25th Arran Folk Festival 7th – 9th June 2019

Here is some news from Arran Events about the upcoming Folk Festival, with details on the exciting evening concerts. There are still tickets left, including the 2-day passes, but they are selling fast! Tickets are available to buy online from www.arranevents.com or in person from Brodick Post office.

Friday 7th June

Jenn Butterworth and Laura-Beth Salter are no strangers to the Arran Folk Festival and we are delighted to welcome them back this year to headline our opening night. Meeting through the thriving folk music scene in their adopted home of Glasgow, the two singers and musicians have formed a very tight-knit act, their rhythms and harmonies blending seamlessly together.

As well as performing as a duo, Jenn & Laura-Beth are also founder members of Kinnaris Quintet who have steadily been storming the UK festival scene.

Maeve MackinnonTrio. Maeve Mackinnon, a graduate of the RSAMD and Sabhal Mor Ostaig, released her debut album “Don’t Sing Love Songs” back in 2007. Last year saw the release of Maeve’s third album “Stri” to four and five star reviews. Between albums, Maeve has toured internationally with her own band and with acts such as ‘McFall’s Chamber’ and ‘Salsa Celtica’. In 2015 she was featured vocal soloist at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo playing to crowds of 3000 per night.

Maeve appears at our Folk Festival with her regular trio : the fantastic Brian McAlpine (Session A9) and the wonderful Ross Martin. (Daimh).

Bobby Watt is Arran born and bred but has spent his adult life in Canada. A multi-talented man – singer, songwriter, stonemason, scuba diver! – we are delighted to welcome Bobby ‘home’ as part of our 25th Anniversary line-up. In fact, it was Bobby who organised the very first Arran Folk Festival away back in the early Seventies as a means to raise funds to start a diving club on the island.

Bobby has performed with numerous bands, starting with ‘Cromdale‘ and more recently with ‘Ecosse’, but is here performing solo for us. Still one of the best male voices in folk music, we can’t think of a better way to get this year’s Festival off to the perfect start!

Saturday 8th June

We’ve finally got them to Arran! Taking their name from the Gaelic for kinship, Daimh (pronounced “dive”, and see feature image) are a 5 piece group based in and around Lochaber and Skye. Their contemporary take on Highland and Gaelic music is built around the bagpipe/whistle skills of Angus Mackenzie, the fiddle virtuosity of Gabe McVarish and the grooving guitar of co-founder Ross Martin. Complimented by the mandola and accordion playing of Murdo “Yogi” Cameron, and topped by the wonderful voice of rising star Ellen MacDonald, Daimh are definitely worthy of the title Gaelic Supergroup!

Winners of ‘Folk Band of the Year’ at the most recent Scots Trad Music Awards, tonight’s headline act is definitely not one to miss!

The Ledger is a collaborative project that teams Arran lass Gillian Frame and her husband Findlay Napier with their good friend Mike Vass. Together the trio cast a contemporary eye over folksongs originally collected during the Fifties by folksong champion (and later MP) Norman Buchan. This promises to be a fine treat indeed!

Our evening concerts in Brodick Hall on Friday and Saturday nights will be licensed by our good friends at the Isle of Arran Distillery, this time under the guise of the newly opened Lagg Distillery. Doors open at 6:30pm for a 7:30pm start and tickets are available to buy online from www.arranevents.com or in person from Brodick Post office.

Online ticket sales to date have been exceptional – the Festival sold out in advance last year and we fully anticipate a repeat this year so I would advise not leaving it until the last minute (I know a lot of people say this about their own ticket sales but I actually mean it!!).

In addition to the above concerts there will, of course, be free afternoon sessions in the wonderful Douglas Hotel hosted by Uncle Keith. As always, feel free to bring an instrument or a song and show us what you’ve got!

The success of our evening sessions has led us to seek larger surroundings so we are grateful to the new owners of the Brodick Bar for taking us in and providing a venue for this year’s late night sessions which will start once the concerts in the hall have finished!

We hope we have succeeded in presenting a blend of well-loved and established acts mixed with a fine selection of up-and-coming talent from the world of Folk Music and would like to thank all our visitors this year – old and new- for coming (back) and we hope the weekend is as busy as usual!