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dating from the eleventh century and complete with spooky dungeons (where the storytelling sessions take place). or head along the coast in either direction for scenic walks in and around Kilchattan Bay. Port Bannatyne or Kames Bay. About the festival Head doon the water in traditional Glasgow Fair fashion for this bustling. buzzing. highly popular festival on one of Scotland's most accessible islands. lts old-fashioned seaside atmosphere complements a packed programme ofevents: ceilidhs. workshops. storytelling. belly dancing. battle re-enactments. the World Ceilidh Band Championship anti the Bute Birl (various festival acts being shuttled around a circuit of designated pubs). Watch out for a ceilidh cruise on the SS Waverley (not included in weekend ticket). commemorating the late Hamish lmlach. Headline acts include a rare co- billing of legendary singer-songwriters Tom Paxton and Eric Bogle. a farewell- tour appearance by Celtic rockers Wolfstone. exuberant Canadian quintet Mad Pudding. English troubadour Rory MacLeod and jazzy Scots harmony trio Chantan.


Fri 18—Sun 20 Jul

Contact The Beach Bar. Commerce Street. l.ossiemouth. 01343 813614. How to get there Along the A9 via Elgin.

Accommodation Tourist information: 01343 542666.

Tickets All events are free.

The crack All events take place in the Beach Bar.

Eating out Pub meals in the Beach Bar; variety of hotels. restaurants and chippies around town centre.

Other attractions Hit the whisky trail Lossiemouth boasts live distilleries in its immediate vicinity or simply enjoy the coastal views over the Moray Firth. About the festival Without any performers actually booked to play. Lossiemouth nonetheless attracts singers

8 THE LIST lit-24 Jul 1997

and musicians frotn across the UK and Europe. for its intimate. family-friendly gathering. The music policy is largely dictated by who shows up. but tends to range pretty widely. with singing of various styles featuring prominently. Willi two separate bars and a function room. the Beach Bar provides a range of spaces for its mix of sessions and semi-impromptu concerts. which can also spill out into the seafront beer garden in good weather.


Fri 18—Sun 20 Jul

Contact Ursula Murray. The Woodlands. Rothbury. 01669 620149.

How to get there About five miles off the A697. on the Scottish/Northumberland border.


Ten tips for the best test experience

Leonard Scollay and Paul Johnston from Rock, Salt 8: Nails

Accommodation Tourist infortttation: 01665 510665.

Tickets ESQ-£3.50.

The crack Sessions at the Turk's llead. the Railway and the Queen's Head Hotel. Eating out Plenty of cafes and hotels serving food. plus a Chinese chippie. Other attractions Rothbury Forest. part of Northumberland National Park. About the festival Small bttt long- established village festival in a highly scenic setting. offering a traditionally- minded blend of Northumbrian and Scottish fare. the fortner headlining this year in the shape of accordion legend Alastair Anderson. accompanied by his new band Rhymeside. and the piping world‘s answer to the Spice Girls. Kathryn Tickell. Competitions. ceilidhs. workshops and dancing displays complete the bill.

1) All sessions are not the same. Singing sessions demand a considerable degree of hush, and you will be told to shut up if you're talking - if it's conversation as well as music you're after, find a pub where people are playing tunes.

2) Do speak tolstrip the willow with the stranger beside you - folk festivals are incredibly friendly events. and the local welcome is a big part of the crack.

3) Once you've got chatting, pick their brains for local insider knowledge - where to find the best walks/nearby beauty spots/pub food/local craftspeople. etc.

4) If there's no official festival club, keep your ear to the ground to find out where the post-pub session venue is - there almost always is one.

S)1ry at least a nip of the local malt whisky.



Mon 28 Jul-Sat 2 Aug

Contact Rosie Somerville. 4 Old Post Office Row. Fdinbane. Skye. 01470 582224.

How to get there Take the A82/A87 to Kyle of Lochalsh. Main festival venue is Portee's new Community Centre. Accommodation Tourist information: 01478 612137; campsites at Portree.

Sli achan and Fdinbane.

Tic ets Around £5; week long tickets will be available. price tbc.

The crack Lunchtime tunes in the bar at Portree House. post-concert sessions at the community centre

Eating out No shortage ofchoice. Portree being well geared up to feed its hordes of visitors.

Other attractions Portree harbour. the Cuillins. Dunvegan Castle. the Quiraing and tnuch. much more.

About the festival A laid-back but high- quality five-day bash in Skye‘s ‘capital’. with nightly concerts and/or dances paving the way for late-night sessions well into the small hours. and a variety of daytime workshops also on offer. Hungarian and Scottish dance tunes vie to get your feet on the floor on the opening night. which features Makvirag. followed by the Croodie Haws ceilidh band. Concerts later in the week feature contemporary Scots vocal trio Chantan. tartan-samba merchants MacUmba. Gaelic twosome Arthur Cormack and Blair Douglas. and Skye's own dynamic roots/world outfit. the Peatbog Faeries.



Fri 8—Sun 10 Aug

Contact Citty Finlayson. 17 High Street. Auchtermucht '. 01337 828732.

How to get t ere Off the MOO. on the A91; or the A92 from Dundee. then the A91.

Accommodation Tourist information: 01334 652874; free festival campsites at Station Park and Low Road Park. the latter with limited shower facilities. Tickets £2---£5.

The crack Try the (‘ycle Tavern. Hollies and the Royal Hotel for sessions.

Eating out Three hotels serving bar meals. plus Community Centre cafe and Tannochbrae 'l‘earoont.

Other attractions Head for the nearby l.otttond Hills if it's scenery you're after. or visit the historic royal burgh of Falkland. with its famous palace. For something a little more. wild. try the Scottish Deer C‘entrc. up the A91 towards Cupar.

About the festival ()ne of two festivals (the other being Kirriemuir) organised

6) Check on ticket availability ASAP. After you get there - many festival venues are relatively small and do sell out, so don't assume you'll be able to get in on the door.

7) Buy raffle tickets whenever they're waved in front of you - raffles are a vital element in festival fundraising.

8) Go to at least one ceilidh over the weekend - festival ceilidhs are mad.

9) Remember that most festivals are organised and run entirely by local volunteers. not paid professionals - be nice to them, they've laid on all the fun you're having.

10) Be prepared for the unexpected - impromptu festival experiences might include anything from surfing to speedboat rides, sunbathing to dancing in the town square at 5am. (Sue Wilson)