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Got your festival calendar sorted yet? Here are three not to miss this summer!

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With our love affair with music festivals showing no sign of slowing down, we look at what’s in store at three popular events.

1. ORKNEY FOLK FESTIVAL

Thursday, May 26, to Sunday, May 29

A bumper line-up has been announced for the Orkney Folk Festival, with 18 acts, spanning nine distinct traditions, named so far to perform at the 34th annual event. Artists from the US, Canada, Finland, Ireland, England, mainland Scotland, Shetland and the Hebrides will join with Orkney’s own talent at the four-day event.

Orkney Folk Festival’s artistic director, Bob Gibbon, said: “We’re really pleased with how this year’s line-up is coming together. The artists announced represent a very broad spread of not just international folk
traditions and styles, but also the rich tapestry of Scotland’s own folk scene. It’s great to have artists from the three island groups of Orkney,
Shetland and the Hebrides at the festival in the same year, as well
as leading and new names from the Scottish mainland.

“From jumping party bands to solo singers and musicians, and leading international performers to singalong family shows, there’s something there for folk of all ages – and we can’t wait to welcome them all to the festival once again.”

Among those appearing are RURA, live act of the year at the 2015 Scots Trad Music Awards; Scottish fiddling sensations Session A9; traditional Irish song quartet Lynched; Acadian trio Vishtèn; Rob Heron and the Teapad Orchestra; Geoff Lakeman; popular Shetland fiddle and guitar duo Maggie Adamson and Brian Nicholson; Zoë Bestel and The Glencraig Scottish Dance Band.

The festival will also host the first Orkney performances from the distinctly Scottish FunBox – the new family singalong show from Anya Scott-Rodgers, Gary Coupland and Kevin Macleod, former stars and writers of The Singing Kettle.

To find out more about the festival, visit www.orkneyfolkfestival.com

2. HEBRIDEAN CELTIC FESTIVAL

Wednesday, July 13, to Saturday, July 16, in Stornoway, Lewis

The award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival will have a strong female voice from the start this year. HebCelt’s opening concert on July 13, featuring leading traditional Gaelic singers from different Hebridean islands, will also herald the regular programme of events hosted by An Lanntair arts centre in Stornoway during festival week.

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Hebridean Women will focus specifically on songs for and about women, and feature some of the very best female vocalists from the Outer Hebrides – Julie Fowlis, from North Uist, Mary Smith and Isobel Ann Martin (Lewis), Cathy Ann MacPhee (Barra) and Kathleen Macinnes (South Uist).

And while it’s women who take centre stage for the opening concert, the honour of closing the festival falls to Scottish rock legends Runrig. The band will close the 21st HebCelt’s “coming of age” celebrations on Saturday, July 16, during the nationwide tour in support of their 14th, and last, studio album, The Story, which was released earlier this year.

HebCelt has grown from a small event attracting less than 1,000 fans to an international showpiece for Celtic and traditional music, generating more than £20million for the local economy over two decades. Tickets for concerts and community shows, together with the popular late-night dances and festival clubs in An Lanntair and “lates” in the Caladh Inn, are on sale now.

Contact: www.hebceltfest.com or 01851 621234.
3. SOUTHERN FRIED FESTIVAL

Friday, July 29, to Sunday, July 31, in Perth

Three UK music greats come together to showcase their love of Americana in this year’s Southern Fried Festival. Nick Lowe, Paul Carrack and Andy Fairweather Low will make their Scottish debut in an ultra-rare trio show as a climax to Perth’s festival of American roots music, with other headliners confirmed as Imelda May, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Gretchen Peters.

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The award-winning festival is organised by Horsecross Arts and takes place in Perth Concert Hall and other city-centre venues. Now in its ninth year, it offers three days of the very best in Americana, covering all the roots music bases from blues to bluegrass, soul to country, rock and gospel.

Festival director Andy Shearer said: “We’re delighted with the strength and breadth of this year’s headline acts. Mary Chapin Carpenter is one of the few remaining big-name songwriters on the Americana scene who hasn’t yet performed at Southern Fried, so we’re very pleased to secure an appearance from her.

“Nick Lowe is another artist we’ve been chasing pretty much every year since Southern Fried began. To book him this year in the company of two real heavyweight musicians in Paul Carrack and Andy Fairweather Low feels like a real coup and something our audience will get really excited about.”

Passes for the festival are on sale now. As well as the main shows, there will be a number of smaller gigs taking place in city-centre venues, open mic sessions, a free outdoor stage, a new daytime acoustic stage and various fringe events, plus a generous serving of the famous Southern Fried soul food.

For tickets and further information contact Horsecross Arts box office on 01738 621031 or visit www.southernfriedfestival.co.uk

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