ENTERTAINMENT: FRESH NEW FESTIVAL LAUNCHES IN AYR

First ever folk festival to take place in the heart of Ayr next summer

By Hannah Innes

It might be bit late to start fishing around for Christmas presents, but if there is a music festival lover whom Santa Claus has forgotten then we can help.

Fresh Ayr is a brand-new folk festival set to take place in Ayr’s Rozelle Park between 11 – 13 August 2023. The exciting three-day event will showcase an array of incredible live entertainment, family-friendly activities, fantastic food and drinks and top of the range camping facilities.

And there are tickets on-line here which you can purchase for yourself and for your friends, which will make pals happy at Christmas and, probably even next summer when the sun will shine (maybe).

Ticket holders will be able to enjoy a world-class line-up of entertainment from some of the UK’s top musical acts, alongside incredible emerging talent. Over 25 world-class artists will perform across the weekend.

Blair Parham, Director of Fresh Ayr Folk Fest, said: “I am so excited to bring the first ever weekend folk festival to the heart of Ayr. It’s something that I have aspired to do for a long time, and I am absolutely thrilled that we have managed to get this off the ground and we are able to offer people a fantastic three-day event with something for everyone to enjoy.

“The calibre of artists we have playing is second to none, the food and drink offering from local suppliers will be amazing, the children’s activities will be captivating, and the location is just beautiful. I can’t wait to welcome you all to Ayr’s Rozelle Park next summer.”

The multi award-winning Scottish supergroup Mànran have been at the heart of the Scottish traditional music scene for over a decade. Internationally recognised as one of the most iconic and respected Scottish bands on the road today, the seven-piece will close the event in spectacular style on the Saturday night.

Gary Innes, from Mànran, said: “We’re delighted to be playing the brand new and innovative Fresh Ayr! It will be great fun and it’s amazing that Ayr is getting its first ever weekend folk festival. There are so many brilliant acts on the bill, and we’re honoured to have been asked to close the Saturday night. It’ll be a night to remember!”

One of the world’s most prolific fiddle groups will bring their virtuosic roof raising performance to Ayr next summer. Blazin’ Fiddles encompass a rare and unique selection of the fiddle’s diverse Highland and Island voices together and will close the final night of the three-day festival.

The genre bending Talisk fuse concertina, guitar and fiddle to produce an innovative, multi-layered signature sound. The trio are one of the most in-demand live bands on the scene today and will bring the Friday night to a high-spirited close.

Regarded as one of Scotland’s best trad singers, Siobhan Miller will also play this brand-new stage. A BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner and four times MG Alba Scots Trad Awards’ Scots Singer of the Year, Siobhan Miller and her 5-piece band will perform a freewheeling set celebrating much-loved Scottish songs.

Kinnaris Quintet will also bring their highly emotive, energetic, and powerful sound to Rozelle Park. Renowned for their uplifting, original, honest and powerful music, the five-piece combine three fiddles, mandolin and guitar while drawing influence from Scottish and Irish music, bluegrass, old-time and classical.

Aileen Reid, from Kinnaris Quintet said: “We can’t wait to perform some of our favourite tunes for the crowd at Fresh Ayr. It’s really exciting to be on the line-up for this brand-new festival and we’re looking forward to playing to the Ayr crowds next summer!”

The musical feast doesn’t stop there – the hugely talented young quartet Gnoss will also bring their energetic live show to the 2023 festival. Having sold out two back-to-back shows at Celtic Connections earlier this year, the foursome have built an invested following through their forward-thinking take on traditional music and the unique warmth of their live shows.

Ayrshire’s own talent will also shine at Rozelle Park next summer with Ayr’s Alistair McCulloch and his trio taking to the Fresh Ayr stage on the opening day. The renowned fiddler will perform alongside Aaron Jones (Old Blind Dogs) on bouzouki, guitar and vocals and Mark Duff (formerly of Capercaillie) on whistles.

Fiddle player Lauren Collier, who is originally from Irvine, will also perform alongside her band. They will showcase material from Lauren’s hotly anticipated new album, set for release in 2023. This new body of work features songs and tunes that Lauren has collected from around the world, with fresh compositions and arrangements that create a blend of music encompassing flavours of traditional, world and electronic music.

Other artists confirmed for August 2023 include Scottish singer-songwriter Amy Papiransky – a firm favourite of KT Tunstall’s, the queen of gentle folk-Americana Edwina Hayes and global folk collective Mishra.

There will also be a host of family entertainment across the weekend, with art and craft stalls as well as the opportunity to learn circus skills, including juggling, diablo and stilt walking.

For keen learners there will be music workshops running from 9am – 2pm on Saturday and Sunday. All workshops are included in the price of the attendees’ ticket.

For those looking to camp, there will be no additional cost and there will be plenty of pitches to choose from in beautiful surroundings. Campers are not only promised a beautiful view to wake up to, but also ‘posh’ loos and showers for an elevated camping experience in the picturesque surroundings.

The party will carry on into the night with a late-night ceilidh taking place on the Friday and Saturday night, with a fantastic ceilidh band keeping dancers on their feet until the early hours.

Organisers will also put on event shuttle buses that will run hourly from Ayr town centre to the park, and back again, to ensure everyone’s journey to and from the event is as safe and stress-free as possible.

Fresh Ayr Folk Festival is supported by South Ayrshire Council. A limited number of early bird tickets are available to buy now. Aged 12 years and under will be able to attend the festival for free and there are discounted tickets available for 13–17-year-olds. Day tickets are available.   

More information and tickets are available at http://www.freshayrfolkfest.com

For more information please go to: https://freshayrfolkfest.com/ / Facebook: @freshayrfolkfest / Instagram: @freshayrfolkfest / Twitter @FreshAyrFolk / TikTok @freshayrfolkfest

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