THE opening night of the Rolling Hill Folk Festival in Melrose is being turned into a pre-wedding party.
So many friends and relations of Beth Scrimshaw have bought tickets that the concert, with the Clarty Cloot Band, is already sold out.
Beth, from Inverness but now living and working in London is getting married on the Eildon Hills on Saturday and is bringing a host of friends to Melrose from north and south.
Organiser Ron Anderson said: “The place is going to be filled with Beth’s friends and relations on Friday night and there’s sure to be a nice party atmosphere.”
The three-day Rolling Hills Festival, at the Corn Exchange, celebrates live traditional and contemporary folk music.
Saturday’s concert is headlined by the Tannahill Weavers, musicians of 40 years standing who conclude their Scottish tour in Melrose that night.
The internationally established and respected Tannahill Weavers head off to Ohio after their Melrose date.
“It’s quite an honour they are finishing off their Scottish tour at our festival,” said Mr Anderson. “It will be a night to remember and you will go away with music in your hearts,” said Mr Anderson.
Tickets are £15, £12 concessions, under 18s £3.
Sunday brings young talent from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Barluath, to the town.
Mr Anderson said: “We’re hoping for nice weather, for everyone to enjoy the music, for lots of informal sessions at the George and Abbotsford Hotel and for everyone to enjoy the street performances organised by Scottish Borders Council in the Square.”
On Saturday morning at 11am Gaelic singer and tutor, Mary Low, will run a much requested workshop. A few places are still available and anyone interested should ring to book.
In the evening Scottish traditional duo Alison McMorland and Geordie McIntyre entertain from 7.30pm.
“Alison has the sweetest voice you have ever heard and she plays the banjo and Geordie is a traditional singer with a long and interesting pedigree,” said Mr Anderson.
Cambridgeshire guitarist Phil Hare is also taking part in the concert: “He is a brilliant guitarist and his particular skill is that he can compose a song on the spot from a suggestion from the audience – it’s astonishing.”
Sunday is about encouraging young people to become involved in traditional music for the day’s concert will be free to under 18s.
Young musicians, the Feis Rios Trad Trails, based in Ross and Cromarty, feature in Sunday’s concert along with Barluath, the students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Scott Gardiner, one of Scotland’s young top traditional singers accompanied by talented guitarist, Johnny Kemp.
The concert starts off with local singers, the Fisher Lassies, from Peebles, the Yarrow Valley, Traquair, Innerleithen and Darnick, who have received praise for their harmonic acapella style interspersed with instrumental items from their talented fiddle and concertina players. Tickets are £7, £5 concessions.
Organisers held a craft fair in the town last Saturday to raise money for the festival.
For more information and tickets visit www.rollinghillsfolkclub.org.uk or ring Mr Anderson on 01896 820340 or 07986 644661.