Sound of music expected to draw thousands of folk fans

Rothbury Traditional Music Festival 2014'Rothbury Highland Pipe Band'Picture Jane Coltman
Rothbury Traditional Music Festival 2014'Rothbury Highland Pipe Band'Picture Jane Coltman

This weekend, the sound of music will be echoing through Northumberland’s hills as this year’s Rothbury Traditional Music Festival kicks off.

The annual event, now almost 40 years old, promises to be better than ever this time round.

In years gone by, thousands of people have flocked to the usually-quiet Coquetdale village over the weekend.

The Friday night kicks off with a ceilidh featuring North-East folk favourites Fiddler’s Elbow.

It takes place at the Jubilee Hall, in Bridge Street, beginning at 8.30pm.

Tickets are £7.50 for adults and £4 for children.

Saturday sees the free outside stage welcoming guest artists including Absolutely Legless, the Andy May Trio, Tom O’Donnell, the Norcumbrians and the Rothbury Highland Pipe Band, still celebrating their diamond anniversary.

The day also includes face-painting, storytelling, craft stalls and informal pub sessions and singarounds, so there really is something for all the family, especially music-lovers.

On Saturday evening, a concert will take place at All Saints Church at 6.30pm featuring an array of local talent and even some competition winners.

Between 12.30pm and 5pm, competitions of all variety will be open for people to enter. The winners will perform at the concert in the evening.

Barry Chalk, the festival’s chairman, said: “As we draw close to our 40th year, let us all join with that original spirit by revelling in what promises to be an entertaining and energetic weekend.

“We have some fantastic guests this year including the Andy May Trio, the Northcumbrians, the Absolutely Legless Irish dancers, Kirstin Easdale, Fiddler’s Elbow, Keep Calm and Ceilidh On, plus much, much more.”

The 2015 festival’s programme of events will draw to a close on Sunday morning in the Jubilee Hall with another ceilidh.

There will also be Sunday sessions throughout Rothbury’s pubs and hotels for those festival stalwarts still standing.

There will also be workshops taking place on Saturday for those who fancy a break from watching others playing live music.

From 10am until noon, those feeling so inclined can take part in a Northumbrian piping informal session.

There will also be an Irish dancing workshop taking place in the Jubilee Hall.

A further Northumbrian piping session will be on offer at 3.45pm in the Newcastle House Hotel, in front Street.

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