Linlithgow Folk Festival set to get underway

Emily Smith and Jamie McLennan will headline Linlithgow Folk Festival.
Emily Smith and Jamie McLennan will headline Linlithgow Folk Festival.

The 20th anniversary Linlithgow Folk Festival gets underway tomorrow (Wednesday) with an opening night ‘Stramash’ in Linlithgow Bowling Club, and the organisers have put together a packed programme for this milestone year.

Young musicians will be very much to the fore at the annual celebration of traditional music, dance and song in the Royal Burgh, which runs from Wednesday until Sunday.

Events will include the third staging of Songs and Reels at the Rose in the Rose Club, this year featuring the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year, Benedict Morris.

Talented duo, Emily Smith and Jamie McClennan, will be headlining the festival and making a welcome return to Linlithgow.

Multi award-winning Scottish singer Emily Smith and New Zealand born songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jamie McClennan have been making music together for over 15 years. Having spent much of 2016 off the road (with Emily on maternity leave), the couple took time off to focus on writing new material. The fruits of their labours were two albums, the first of which ‘Unplugged’ was released in April 2018.

Currently touring under the name, Smith & McClennan, Emily and Jamie’s Linlithgow concert on Friday September 13 will take place at the Rose Social Club on Braehead Road. They will be supported by Forth Street, a young seven-piece band who met at the Tolbooth traditional music classes in Stirling.

Linlithgow Folk Festival is firmly established on the traditional music scene and all the mainstay events will take place again. These include the musical cruises on the canal, the family ceilidh at the Vennel, the Hub at the Masonic Hall, the Bluegrass Concert and Gospel Session, and the outdoor Nora Devine Stage at the Cross.

Among the whole variety of acts appearing on the 2019 Nora Devine Stage on Saturday and Sunday September will be the famous St Roch’s Ceili Band from Glasgow.

The Festival has a tremendous reputation for encouraging and nurturing budding musicians and singers and the popular Youth Showcase on Saturday will take place again this year at the St Michael’s Kirk Hall. This event gives young performers under the age of 18 the opportunity to perform right at the heart of the festival

Full details of the Folk Festival programme can be found in the 12-page Folk Festival guide. Copies are available in local outlets. A comprehensive run down also appears on the festival’s Facebook page and on the website www.linlithgowfolk.com.