Festival weekend excitement...

5 Jul 21
by Billie Jones

Longing for a return to scenes like this...

Less than a week to go before this year's Newton Stewart & Minnigaff Traditional Music & Dance Festival, Festival Director Nathon Jones discusses opportunities for traditional music sessions this weekend and we look at plans that are already underway for some very exciting comeback events in 2022.

"It was difficult to accept that this year's event would, again, not be taking place as we'd planned it; back in late 2019! The fantastic acts booked for 2020's festival - Damien O'Kane & Ron Block, The Sarah Markey Band, Ali Levack, Ulaid, Grainne Brady to mention but a few - were lined up again for this year's event but with the Scottish Government's announcement that lockdown restrictions would not be easing as expected, we had to make another very difficult decision; a decision, however, that was, ultimately, the right one in terms of protecting our staff, performing artists, crew and festival audience's safety and also ensuring the long term survival of the festival."

"This year's event will, instead, focus on what has played a significant part in the success of Newton Stewart & Minnigaff Traditional Music & Dance Festival over the years - the brilliant tune and song sessions which can be found in pubs and hotels throughout Minnigaff and Newton Stewart."

Dumfries & Galloway is currently in the Scottish Government's Level 1 tier level meaning that 2m physical distancing is still required, as well as the wearing of face masks, unless exempt, when moving around premises.  However, we would strongly advise all festival visitors to speak directly with any establishment they intend visiting to ensure utmost compliance with current Government guidelines, as well as any venue specific conditions that may be in place.

The Crown Hotel, Newton Stewart - 01671 402727
The Bruce Hotel, Newton Stewart - 01671 638090
Blackhorse Hotel, Newton Stewart - 01671 403302
Star Inn, Newton Stewart - 01671 402303
Central Bar, Newton Stewart - 01671 402300
The Vault Arts Centre, Newton Stewart - 01671 404924
Cree Inn, Minnigaff - 01671 402743
Creebridge House Hotel, Minnigaff - 01671 402121

"We're looking forward to welcoming visitors to Newton Stewart & Minnigaff again this weekend and whilst it may be a significantly reduced programme this year, just the act of getting together with a few well ken't faces and playing some tunes and songs together again is going to be fantastic."

Plans are already well under way for 2022, with Weekend Pass tickets already on sale.  Damien O'Kane & Ron Block, The Sarah Markey Band and Grainne Brady are confirmed, so it's shaping up to be another fantastic event and a return, we hope, to the regular progamme of concerts, workshops, tune and song sessions, Highland dancing competition, piping competition and more.

Planning is also under way for new events in Autumn and Spring and it is hoped that these will become regular dates in the charity's annual programme, including a wonderful new coastal setting and an exciting new venue that we can't wait to reveal. Stay tuned for that!

Book Weekend Passes for 2022

In Other News

Funding joy for Highland dancers!

Trad Music Trust, in partnership with the Paula Herries School of Dance, have been awarded a National Lottery award from The National Lottery Community Fund to purchase staging for the Highland dancers and Highland dancing competition at Newton Stewart & Minnigaff Traditional Music & Dance Festival!

26 Aug 21
Billie Jones

Live trad music tonight!

Looking forward to another night of tunes and songs with local and visiting musicians at The Vault Arts Centre from 6pm this evening (Friday 20th Aug). Folk club takes place on the 2nd last Friday of every month and musician's are always very welcome.

20 Aug 21
Nathon Jones

Open Mic Night

This Friday 6th August, from 6pm, sees local and visiting talent take to the stage at The Vault Arts Centre, Newton Stewart, for the regular open mic night. Spaces are limited, as we're still in Level 0, so advanced booking is recommended. We also still have some performance slots available!

6 Aug 21
Nathon Jones

Supported by:
  • Kilgallioch Community Fund Logo
  • The Holywood Trust Logo
  • Baillie Gifford Logo

8th annual music festival

The 8th annual Newton Stewart & Minnigaff Traditional Music & Dance Festival will take place over the 8th-10th July 2022 and plans are already underway for a HUGE comeback event featuring, as ever, the very best in traditional music. We're delighted that the Damien O'Kane & Ron Block Band, Sarah Markey Band and GrĂ¡inne Brady are already confirmed and thrilled to also announce Irish fiddler player Megan Nic Fhionnghaile! It's going to be an incredible weekend, not to be missed.

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