Tickets to be won by lucky folk

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FROM a platinum album-selling singer to a fiddler who has performed alongside Paul Weller and Billy Connolly – Innerleithen Music Festival will once again provide a weekend of quality music.

The headline act of the ninth festival – the hugely successful Barbara Dickson – on Saturday, August 20, is already sold out, but there are tickets left for all the other events.

On Friday, August 19, the main concert features a trio of the finest musicians from the world of contemporary folk music – Heidi Talbot, John McCusker and Boo Hewerdine.

John is one of Scotland’s most accomplished fiddle players, appearing on stage beside ex-Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler, Roddy Woomble, Kris Drever and messrs Weller and Connolly.

Heidi sang with the Irish-American super group Cherish the Ladies for several years, but is now making a name for herself, both as a solo artist and touring with John and Boo.

Other concerts over the weekend feature leading Scottish folk bands Real Time and Sangsters, plus well known soloists such as Henry Douglas from Hawick, and Eric Faulkner, the ex-Bay City Roller who has returned to folk music as a highly entertaining singer-songwriter.

Complementing the main concerts are a series of music workshops and other events throughout the three-day festival.

Kenny Speirs of Real Time will be helping guitarists sharpen their skills, young singing stars Siobhan Miller and Jeana Leslie will be teaching Scots song, and local musician Alison Cameron will be leading a fun percussion workshop.

On Sunday, August 21, Nathan Rogers from Canada will be passing on some of the mysteries of the amazing Tuvan throat singing technique.

Meanwhile, in a free event at St Ronan’s Wells, Ian Green will be talking about his fascinating career as a soldier, policeman and latterly as the man who set up and runs the leading Scottish traditional music record label, Greentrax.

More information is available from the festival website, by phoning 01721 729949 or by emailing

Tickets will be available for most events at the door, or in advance from Scotlight in Innerleithen, the Eastgate Theatre box office in Peebles or via the website.

In conjunction with the festival, TheSouthern is offering two free tickets to Heidi Talbot, John McCusker and Boo Hewerdine’s opening concert on Friday, August 19.

To enter, answer this question:

Which musical instrument is John McCusker best known for?

Send your answer, name, full address and phone number by email to or by post to Innerleithen Music Festival Competition, The Southern Reporter, The Hermitage, High Street, Selkirk, TD7 4DA by Thursday, August 11.

Usual Southern rules apply.