Town tuning up as annual Kirrie Festival offers packed programme

Kirriemuir will become the focus of the Scottish traditional music world next month when the Kirriemuir Festival returns.

The town will echo to the sounds of some of the best traditional music and songs to be heard anywhere in the country and, organised by the Angus branch of the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland, the event is now in its 31st year.

Although the festival has seen many changes since it started in 1982, it is still one of the foremost events of this nature and practises and preserves the best of Scotland’s musical heritage. This year the committee has assembled a large number of guest artistes from near and far. Local performers are to the fore including accordionist Ian Cruickshanks, well known singing group Angus Folk and Kirrie’s own Joe Aitken. From further afield there is virtuoso fiddler Carol Anderson and singers Bill Grey and Sarah Walker, plus many others.

The festival begins with the opening concert on the evening of Friday, September 6, while the following day is taken up with a myriad of competitions, and anyone who can sing or play a musical instrument is welcome to go along and join in.

Although there are trophies to be won, the festival is known for its lighthearted approach and the emphasis is more on fun than serious competition.

On the Saturday evening there will be more concerts and ceilidhs while on Sunday morning there will be a church service, 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 what is probably the biggest gathering of the festival and, to bring everything to a close, there is the Survivors’ Ceilidh in the evening. Tickets for all events can be bought at the Festival Office (Age Concern on the town square) or at the door. Further information is available from Patrick Newman on 01575 540261.