Tuning up for popular Kirriemuir Festival

Kirriemuir will bustle with some of the best in Scottish traditional music next weekend when the Kirriemuir Festival returns for its 33rd year.

Organised by the Angus branch of the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland, the festival has seen many changes since it started in 1982, but it is still regarded as one of the foremost events of this nature and practises and preserves the best of Scotland’s musical heritage.

This year the committee has lined up a variety of guest artistes from near and far. Local performers are to the fore including, well known singing group Angus Folk, Kirrie’s own Joe Aitken as Master of Ceremonies and Paul Anderson from Tarland.

The weekend’s programme will also feature fiddle virtuoso Jim Brown from Newtyle; button accordion player Shona Donaldson from Huntly, who is one of the country’s greatest bothy ballad singers; the Angus Strathspey and Reel Society, who are so well known that they need no introduction; Forfar Instrumental Band which will play in the Square on Saturday afternoon or in the church hall in the event of rain; Dundee singer Barbara Dymock; Jimmy Hutchison from Fife and local duo Ailis Sutherland and Diona Kennedy.

It also includes the Kyle Innes Trio from Fife; Manuel Waldesco Balaguer-Cotez, a multi-talented musician originally from Spain but now living in Angus and long-time festival supporter Jim Taylor who is always in demand compere and singer.

The festival will begin with the opening ceilidh in the Guide Hall on the evening of Friday, September 5, while the following day is taken up with a myriad of competitions.

The prizewinners’ concert will be held in the evening followed by ceilidhs in the Guide Hall and Bowling Club.

On the Sunday morning there will be a service in The Glens and Kirriemuir Old Parish Church, led by Rev. Malcolm Rooney, with hymns sung to old Scottish melodies played by the Angus Strathspey and Reel Society.

On Sunday afternoon the Thistle Club will play host to a ceilidh which is always one of the weekend’s highlights, and to bring everything to a close there will be the Survivors’ Ceilidh in the evening.

Throughout the weekend there will also be the festival’s popular open music sessions.

Tickets can be bought from Rennie’s Shop, 2 St Malcolm’s Wynd, Kirriemuir (01575 573292) and the Festival Office will be located over the weekend in Age Concern on the town square.

Further information is available from Patrick Newman on 01575 540261 or online at www.kirriefestival.org Maps showing the festival venues can also be downloaded from the website.