Festival’s plea for help

A plea for help to breathe new life into the Kirriemuir Music Festival was made at last week’s meeting of the town’s community council.

Mr Patrick Newman of the Angus Branch of the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland, which runs the three day event, told members the traditional music festival had become a bit “lacklustre” in recent years.

The festival has been running in the town since 1982 but over the years the attendance figures have fallen.

Addressing the meeting, Mr Newman said: “We are trying to get some of the people in Kirriemuir involved but, to be honest, the silence has been deafening.

“We are looking for ideas. This year’s festival is on September 6 and 7 so it is probably too late for this year, but we are looking ahead to next year.

“We have to get fresh blood.”

Members of the community council advised Mr Newman to contact Graeme Galloway of DD8 Music, a community-led group which nurtures a variety of musical tastes and styles.

Cathy Stephenson said: “They are always keen to connect with other groups in the community.”

She also recommended the TMSA Angus Branch look into possible LEADER funding which could help cover the costs of the music festival.

She advised the community council was unable to offer grant assistance to the music festival, but agreed to give Pat information on a “funding tool kit” which is currently available and also information on the “European Leader” funding.

The 33rd annual Kirriemuir Music Festival begins on Friday, September 5.

In the past it drew hundreds of visitors over the three day event, with competitions, ceilidhs, concerts, singarounds, street entertainment and impromptu music sessions held in various venues throughout the town.

The competitions cover a variety of classes from fiddle and accordion playing to bothy ballads, Doric Verse, story telling, diddling and ceilidh bands with competitions for seniors and juniors.