2018 - 5th Anniversary Year!

16 Jan 18
by Nathon Jones

Tune session in full flow at last year's festival.

Happy New Year to you all! We hope you had a fantastic Christmas and New Year and that, like us, you're already thinking ahead for the 6th-8th July and the 5th anniversary celebration of Newton Stewart & Minnigaff Traditional Music & Dance Festival.

The Christmas tree is down (isn't it?!) and we're all back to work and back into a routine which, for many, is a blessed relief.  It has been a busy Christmas 2017 for us as we hosted our first ever Christmas event, the fantastic Emily Smith's 'Songs For Christmas', at Crafty Distillery on 22nd December.  It very quickly sold out and was a fantastic night of music so we'll be doing that again later this year along with additional plans we have to host more concert and workshop events throughout the year.

We can't quite believe that it's our 5th anniversary year this year; so many amazing nights of music with some of the world's greatest traditional musicians - Máirtín O'Connor, Cathal Hayden, Seamie O'Down, Niall Vallely, Caoimhín Vallely, Seán Óg Graham, Martin O'Neill, Siobhan Miller, Rachel Newton, Jarlath Henderson, Innes Watson, Hamish Napier, Duncan Lyle, Andrea Gobbi, Ross Ainslie, Ali Hutton, Cillian Doheny, Cillian King, Ryan Young, Mohsen Amini, Lauren MacColl, Mattie Foulds, Emily Smith, Jamie McClennan, Ross Couper, Tom Oakes, Craig Irving, Charlie Stewart, Becky Hill, Claire Hastings, Robyn Stapleton, Laura-Beth Salter, Jenn Butterworth...and many more. They've all performed at the festival since our innaugural event in 2014 and it has been a joy to welcome them to the festival and to Dumfries & Galloway.

We have big plans for the 5th anniversary year and are delighted to have already confirmed world class guitarist Tim Edey, the fantastic Joy Dunlop, Edel Ní Churraoin, Gráinne Brady, Suzanne Fivey and Catherine Ní Shúilleabháin, otherwise known as LAS, and the brilliant Aaron Jones, Jonny Hardie, Ali Hutton and Donald Hay or, as we all know them, Old Blind Dogs who will be headlining our finale concert on Saturday 7th July.  We'll have other lineup announcements very soon.

We're also introducing a brand new event this year too, in partnership with Paula Herries School of Highland Dancing; traditional Scottish Highland Dancing competitions which will see young people aged 5-25 competing in Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing, the world governing body of highland dancing, registered competitions throughout the day on Saturday 7th July. We'll have a new dedicated section for that on our website this month and will be open for applications as of February.

We're delighted to be bringing this event to the region and introducing traditional Scottish dancing to the festival programme. What a wonderful way to celebrate Scotland's Year of Young People too!

It's going to be one of the best festival weekends so far and we've loads to do so please keep coming back for all the latest news, special offers, lineup announcements and more as there'll be plenty going on between now and July.

Weekend passes are already available using the link below and we'd recommend booking early. Early bird prices are only available until March so don't miss the chance to save £5.00 on the standard pricing.

Looking forward to seeing you all again and to another magic weekend of tunes, songs, the best o' craic', good company, great entertainment and superb music.

Nathon Jones
Founder & CEO
Box Office: 07762 064 298

Early Bird Weekend Passes - Buy Now

In Other News

£226.67 raised at Cree Inn event

A huge thank you to everyone who came out to the Cree Inn on Saturday 9th February and helped raise a brilliant £226.67 for The Vault Arts Centre project. That takes the running total to £496.67, which is a terrific start, with further fundraising planned over the coming weeks.

11 Feb 19
Nathon Jones

Fundraising night at Cree Inn

This Saturday 9th Feb, Trad Music Trust will host an evening of live music and entertainment to raise funds for the proposed new arts centre in Newton Stewart. There will be live music from the Board of Trustees, family and friends plus a charity raffle with some amazing prizes up for grabs!

6 Feb 19
Nathon Jones

Benedict Morris confirmed for July

It's the news you've all been waiting for; we have again managed to secure the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2019, Glasgow fiddle player Benedict Morris. Benedict will be performing with a trio at the opening night concert in the Festival Marquee on Friday 12th July 2019.

3 Feb 19
Billie Jones

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  • Merrick Real Estate
  • Creebridge House Hotel
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6th annual music festival

The 6th annual Newton Stewart & Minnigaff Traditional Music & Dance Festival will take place over 12th-14th July 2019 and, after another outstanding programme of events in 2018 which saw us hosting Scottish Highland Dancing competitions and, as ever, some of the biggest names in traditional music, it looks set to be another packed programme and is really living up to it's reputation as one of the best rural arts festivals in Dumfries & Galloway.

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