Newcastleton Music Festival

Secretary Eliza Mood


The 50th Annual Newcastleton Traditional Music Festival

July 5th, 6th, 7th 2019

Bring the kids, bring your dancing shoes, your songs and tunes, bring yourselves and settle into a weekend of real heart-warming treats, the like of which you’ll not have seen for many a long year.

Remember the days when we used to cluster around the old pant-well in the square listening to a fiddler ply his bow. Do you hear that? I swear I can hear Margaret’s waltz.

That’s right. Take your partners. I’ve danced in barns the length and breadth of the valley. But look! Troops of them wi’ pipes and strings and boxes. Now, where are they off…? Why yes, the miscellaneous instruments competition or the dance band: the youngest can’t be much more than seven or so. Aye, this festival is for young and old. And listen! Did ye catch that? If you come from afar ye don’t need to know the chorus: you’ll soon pick it up. ‘Oh, the Gallowa’ Hills are covered wi’ broom…’

So who’s to play for the dancing in the Village Hall then? Derek Edmond’s Dance Band on Friday, I hear, and Freeland Barbour’s Occasionals are to be there on Saturday night! Never! Those’ll be grand nights. And singing? They say the Spiers family are coming: all three—Tom, Maggie and their lass, Emma. And ever so many old friends, too!

What about workshops? There’s Peter Shepheard. Now Pete’s a good friend of the festival since way back. He’ll be giving a workshop on four of the ballads. He’ll get you singing. Or, have you ever fancied learning the harp or the dulcimer? Ailsa Mackenzie’s your woman. She’s a grand lass. Just get your hands on an instrument. Or try the bellows pipes with the talented piper, Kevin Tilbury. Kevin will bring some practice pipes for you to try.

And that’s just the beginning. As well as Scottish musicians there’ll be Northumbrians riding over the border to join us: more about them very soon.

I’ve got a feeling everyone will join in with lots of opportunities to sing and play. As well as our superb special anniversary guests, the tutors, judges and comperes are, as ever, very fine singers and musicians. What songs and harmonies there’ll be! Players and singers from everywhere and anywhere are welcome – and audience, of course. There’s plenty more news to come if you keep your ear to the ground and your weather eye out


Scottish Country Dancing and Ceilidh Dancing

5th July The Derek Edmond Scottish Dance Band

6th July Freeland Barbour’s ‘The Occasionals’

Singers and Songs:

The Spiers Family (Anniversary Guests)

Peter Shepheard (Workshop Tutor)

Aileen Carr (Competition Judge)

Kevin and Ellen Mitchell (Competition Judges)

Di Henderson (Compere) 

Tunes, Scottish, Northumbrian and further afield

Northumbrian Anniversary Guests: watch this space

Ailsa Mackenzie: harp and dulcimer (Workshop Tutor)

Kevin Tilbury small pipes (Workshop Tutor)

A Local Children’s Folk Band, with tutor, Luke Daniels

Opening Hours

program details to follow