And the band plays on

Rothbury Music Festival logo
Rothbury Music Festival logo

On November 17, Simonside Country Fair committee most generously donated funds to Rothbury Traditional Music Festival.

The donation is specifically to support our ceilidh band, a children’s band established by the Music Festival in the late ’90s, to encourage the playing of traditional music and instruments.

In 2009, the Music Festival committee agreed to enter into partnership with the County Music Services for the tuition of band members.

Since then, we have continued to pay half of the fees for each participating child.

There are presently a little more than 20 Coquetdale children playing in the band which the children chose to rename last year as the Keep Calm and Ceilidh On band.

They have performed at a St Andrew’s night, as well as at the Music Festival itself, and there are plans for other performances through the year for them to show off their enjoyment of the music and their skills.

In addition to supporting the band, the Music Festival has over recent years funded workshops and a tutor to promote dialect poetry in local schools, an aspect which featured in an edition of BBC’s Countryfile last year.

Together, the band and the dialect poetry help us secure the legacy of Borders music, language and dance for future generations.

Income for the Music Festival is primarily obtained through ticket sales for the concerts and ceilidhs held over the festival weekend in July. This is supported by donations and, on occasions, sponsorship.

From this income, the costs of the artists, performers, venues and support systems along with the costs of the ceilidh band tuition and dialect poetry have to be met.

The generosity shown by Simonside Country Fair committee gives added security to continuing that part of our work, the Keep Calm and Ceilidh On band, for which we extend our heartfelt thanks.

Barry Chalk,

Chairman, Rothbury

Traditional Music Festival.

(For further information concerning Rothbury Traditional Music Festival and to offer support, not least as a volunteer, contact information is to be found on our website: