Subject: Scottish National Folk Festival|
Date: 09 Mar 02 - 11:51 AM
The National Folk Festival, Scotland, is a new festival
starting in August 2002. Although a new festival, there
is plenty of history. The organisers were involved in
creating The Girvan Traditional Folk Festival in 1974
running it for the first 21 years. The Girvan Festival
was a relatively small festival, but it earned a
reputation far greater than its physical size with its
combination of formal and informal events.
The National Folk Festival, Scotland, is twinned with
The National Folk Festival in England. Both events will
have their own style, but share a common ethos. Both
will be celebrations of Traditional music.
The Festival Weekend starts on Friday evening, 9th
August, and ends (officially) on Sunday evening, 11th
For early birds, there is an opening concert in
Kilmarnock on Saturday 3rd August, some events during
the week, then the 'festival weekend from 9th -11th
August. This gives you options to build the festival
into a nine-day holiday with traditional music. You can
combine the festival with Common Ground - widening your
options for what we expect to be a wonderful week in
You can combine Common Ground and The National Folk
Festival, using the same accommodation at Auchincruive,
from 3rd to 11th August.
The choice of venue has an enormous influence on any
event. Two main factors will have a moulding influence
on The National Folk Festival Scotland; it will be a
campus based festival with some wonderful historic
The festival weekend will take place at The Scottish
Agricultural College at Auchincruive, near Ayr. This is
a rural campus - you can walk for a couple of miles along
the river Ayr yet still be in the grounds of the
college-with good facilities and reasonably priced
accommodation. Camping facilities will be available for
the duration of the festival. The campus approach will
allow us to cater for families and help build the sense
of community that exists in all the best festivals.
The hub of the festival will be Oswald Hall, a magnificent
Robert Adam designed mansion house that was gifted by
the Oswald family to establish the College in Ayrshire.
The music room in Oswald Hall will be home to many of
our concerts. It is a magnificent room, holding fewer
than 150 people, ideally suited to acoustic music. In
1996 we had a great concert there with The Boys of the
Lough playing acoustically. There are other rooms within
Oswald Hall that will allow a range of activities to
take place at the same time. With walls that are a metre
thick, sound spillage shouldn't be too much of a problem!
There are sporting facilities on site including tennis
courts and the usual facilities including a shop,
cafeteria and a bar. Before the festival weekend, there will be a number of 'National Folk Festival' events
throughout the area. On Saturday 3rd August we are
having the opening concert for The National Festival in
The Palace Theatre in Kilmarnock. This is a week before
'the festival weekend'. Between that opening concert and
the 'the festival weekend' there will be other concerts
in some 'splendid venues' including Dean Castle,
Kilmarnock; the Scottish Maritime Museum and in Culzean
Castle - regarded as 'the jewel in the crown' of National
Trust properties in Scotland.
Running alongside The National is a summer school called
'Common Ground'. The two events are distinct but in some
respects Common Ground will be the 'artistic engine'
for some parts of The National Festival. The musical
focus of The National will be very much on the tradition,
and being in Scotland, the musical traditions of Scotland
will be well represented. Our guest list is still being
developed; we expect to announce a reasonably complete
list by Easter, just after The National Folk Festival
Here is a provisional guest list, we expect quite a few
more additions and some yet to be confirmed:
Norman Kennedy, Bob Blair, Alison McMorland, Geordie McIntyre, Tom Smith & Wattie Lees, Heather Heywood, Blazin' Fiddles, Donal Maguire, Jerry Epstein, Si Kahn, Jock Tamsons Bairns, Walt Michael & Company, Bob Zentz & Rick Lee, Earl White & Matt Gordon, Lea Gilmore, Maggie McInnes, Roy Harris, Margaret Bennett, Elizabeth Stewart of Fetterangus, Sheila Kay Adams, Pete Clark and more ..
Workshops & Masterclasses
Common Ground on the Hill, a Summer School for the
Traditional Arts, will be running in the week leading up
to The National Folk Festival and will offer plenty of
opportunities for people to learn. During the National
Festival we will be having some workshop type events,
but the main emphasis of the Festival will be on
performance and participation.
We will be offering 'Season' and 'Weekend' tickets that
will give entry to all events - including the 'Late Night
Extra's'. Because many of the venues will be small,
Season and Weekend tickets will be on sale will be on
sale before individual tickets. We expect individual
tickets to be available for most of the events.
We will try our best to make all the events affordable
and will have special rate family tickets. Volunteering
opportunities should also help make participation
We have yet to finalise our ticket price but anticipate
a full weekend ticket price of £40. We will give good
value for money!
Concession prices and volunteers: Concessions will be
available for people who find it difficult to meet these
costs. Please apply as early as possible for this
assistance. There will also be opportunities for people
to trade part of their costs in return for stewarding or
other similar duties. Again, please apply early.
Accommodation: is available within the college campus in
single or twin rooms. Bed & Breakfast for three nights
will cost about £40. This accommodation will be limited
with priority given to festival ticket holders who book
before the end of May.
The accommodation is in student rooms, is clean,
comfortable but not luxurious. If you fancy a little
more luxury there is a range of accommodation within easy
driving distance right up to Five Star hotels
with International Golf Courses on their doorstep.
Meals can be purchased as required at the college.
Children under may share a room with parents using camp
beds or airbeds.
Camping will be available within the campus and caravans
will be catered for. These facilities are intended for
festival attendees only. Not everybody in any group
needs to hold a weekend ticket, but we expect the main
purpose of them camping is to attend the festival.
Getting Involved - Volunteers
The organisers see their job as creating the framework
within which all the participants are able to create a
special event. The job of the main organising
committee is only the first step towards a successful
event and volunteers will be needed to ensure that things
run smoothly. Ideally you will have some relevant
experience, such as organising or helping out at your
local folk club, but the main qualification will be an
interest in the music and a friendly, flexible, can-do
attitude. We welcome enquiries from individuals,
festivals, clubs etc., who are interested in getting
involved in the festival.
Travel & Transport
By Air: Auchincruive is close to Prestwick Airport which
is well served by Ryanair with cheap flights from London,
Dublin and several European destinations. Glasgow Airport
is about 25 miles away offering flights from various
destinations. For travel from the East Coast of the USA,
we have found Icelandair flights to Glasgow from via Iceland to be a good route.
There are other connections via London or Ireland.
By road; from England we are about a two-hour drive from
Carlisle, Newcastle area about four hours, Manchester
four to five hours. From Ireland the ferry crossing to
Troon is about six miles and from Stranraer about an hour
up the coast along the A77.
By rail: The railway station in Ayr is about three miles
away. This is on the line South from Glasgow towards
Ayr and Northwards from Stranraer through Ayr towards
Glasgow. There are plenty of special offers for travel
to Glasgow. Glasgow to Ayr costs about £4.
Keep in touch with developments by joining our mailing
list. We will do our best to respond to enquiries on an
individual basis so that you can plan your attendance.
Feedback is vital to us at this stage in the development
of the Festival - we value your opinions, ideas and
offers of support.
Friends of the Festival
Our aim is to create an event that will continue to
develop over a number of years. We will use all of our
experience to get the first event off the ground but we
realise that we will need the enthusiasm of many people
if the festival is to reach its potential. That can't
be done without friends and supporters.
Partnerships: Our strategy for development is based on
partnerships with likeminded people and organisations.
Our first partnership is with 'The National Folk Music
Festival' in England. This has been running for 35
years and is also based at an Agricultural College, at
Sutton Bonnington, near Loughborough. This 'twinning'
is much more than just a name association; we share a
similar musical ethos. Further partnerships may well
Sponsors: We are actively seeking sponsorships to allow
us to develop the various opportunities that The National
Folk Festival offers. If you can help to introduce us
to a potential sponsor, please contact us.
Donations: We also welcome donations from individuals
with an interest in traditional music. There donations -
however small - can be really valuable; first of all
because they are encouraging and secondly because
commercial sponsorship comes at a price.
The Personal Touch
We are eager to make your visit to The National Folk
festival - and to Scotland if you don't live here - as
enjoyable as possible. Contact us early, and sign up
early, and we will try our best to help you make the most
of your visit. Keep in touch via our website, but feel
free to write to us, phone us or request us to contact
Tell your friends!
Please forward this email to anybody you think may be
interested - but please add a friendly covering note to
them so that we don't get the blame for pestering them!
We look forward to seeing you in August.
The National Folk Festival, Scotland / Common Ground
PO Box 26064, KILMARNOCK, KA2 0YG.
Telephone - 01563 571220 (+44 1563 571220)
The National Folk Festival, Scotland:
Common Ground Scotland
Write to us c/o
The Tradition Bearers
PO Box 26064, KILMARNOCK, KA2 0YG.
Telephone - 01563 571220 (+44 1563 571220)