Trad festival to put town on musical map for second year

editorial image

Next weekend sees Newton Stewart and Minnigaff celebrate the best of Scottish sounds as the area welcomes the return of a traditional music festival.

Back for its second year, the Newton Stewart and Minnigaff Traditional Music Festival brings three concerts, six musical workshops and a variety of family-friendly workshops throughout the weekend.

The not-for-profit festival has had a successful year since its inaugural event last July with a successful funding bid to the Regional Arts Fund and sponsorship from leading local and national businesses.

Co-organiser Nathon Jones said: “The support from local businesses, organisations and the local community has been absolutely fantastic.”

The festival kicks off on Friday with an evening concert at The Belted Galloway, Newton Stewart, featuring the duo of Laura-Beth Salter and former Douglas Ewart pupil Jennifer Butterworth; BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2015 finalist Ryan Young accompanied by Craig Irving on guitar and support from once-local singer/songwriter Jonathan Henderson.

Saturday’s programme sees the traditional pipe band performance by Rhins of Galloway Pipes and Drums at the monument gardens in Newton Stewart followed by a piping workshop at the Belted Galloway.

Mandolin, guitar and groupwork workshops follow with f iddle and bodhran workshops next - all are free to under 16’ and will be run by artists from this year’s festival.

Saturday afternoon welcomes BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2015, Claire Hastings, and BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2014, Robyn Stapleton, andJohn and Rona Carson.

Saturday sees a concert at Penninghame St. John’s Church Hall featuring local band The Oystercatchers, award winning autoharp player Nadine Stah White and the winners of the Newton Stewart and Minnigaff Traditional Music Festival Tune & Song Writing Competitions which have been running in the lead up to the festival.

The Máirtín O’Connor Band, Claire Hastings, and Robyn Stapleton, The Jones Family, Claire Mann and more will complete the Saturday programme. Tickets and full programme timings are still available online at, or on 01671 404924.