Chart-topper to play at Rothbury music festival

Rothbury Music Festival'Fergie Macdonald
Rothbury Music Festival'Fergie Macdonald

An iTunes chart-topper is the headline act at this year’s Rothbury Traditional Music Festival.

Taking place from Friday, July 19, to Sunday, July 21, Fergie MacDonald, the Ceilidh King, will be playing at the event’s first-night ceilidh in the village’s Jubilee Hall.

He was booked to play at the festival in 2011, but had to cancel due to illness.

Fergie, who is in his 70s, specialises in ceilidh music and plays the button key accordion.

And last week he made it to number 1 in the iTunes world music chart.

There has been a call for the Scottish Parliament to give a standing ovation in his honour and he was also featured on BBC Radio Scotland’s travelling folk programme where he gave an interview about being in the chart with DJs and rap stars.

Fergie , a trained physiotherapist and an international clay pigeon shooter, is considered to be the man who popularised the West Highland style of traditional Scottish dance music.

He will also be taking part in events on the Saturday of the festival.

On Saturday morning he will be presenting a ‘my life’ session in the Jubilee Hall, where visitors will be able to find out about his history, hear funny stories and meet the man himself. He will then take centre-stage at the non-dancing ceilidh on Saturday night at the Mart alongside Dan Walsh, Christi Andropolis and Alistair Anderson, VoiceMale, Alistair Russell and Chris Parkinson, plus local acts and festival visitors.

Committee member Lynn Tocker, said: “Fergie is somewhat of a legend in Scotland so it is a huge thing for us to have him playing as far south as this.”

A host of other events are taking place throughout the festival weekend with music, competitions, poetry, a concert in All Saints Church, and a singalong in Tomlinson’s bunkhouse, hosted by Alnwick Pipers Society.

On the Sunday, the final fling takes place with the festival survivors band and a stalwarts and survivors session in the Queen’s Head.

Tickets for the Friday night ceilidh are £7.50 and it starts at 8pm.Tickets for the Saturday night gig cost £10.