MOKFest’s traditional tunes prove popular

The Festival Ceilidh was fun for all the family. Pictured here are, from left, Liam Brodie, Charley Gilchrist, Hannah Gilchrist, Emma Johnston, Ailie Renton, Iona Renton and Amy Ross.

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With an array of sold out concerts and bright sunshine all weekend, this year’s Mull of Kintyre Music Festival (MOKFest) was a definite hit.

Scottish folk music, which has seen a massive resurgence in popularity in recent years, seemed to be the focus of this year’s festival but there was something for everyone across its 10 events.

Things kicked off at the Gaelic Concert at Ceol, Seafield Hotel, last Wednesday, where an array of returning and first-time performers took to the stage in an intimate setting.

The folk music continued on Thursday night, when the Heritage Centre was packed for the Young Folk Night, which showcased the talents of an astounding number of young local musicians.

On Friday night, the Festival Ceilidh was held in the Victoria Hall. It was hard to keep still all evening with the Beinn an Tuirc 3A Pipe Band kicking off the evening, which also featured The Dalriada Connections Band, Eriska, and The Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band.

Those feeling fresh and bright enough to be out and about the following morning attended the first ‘best dressed boat event’ which was held in conjunction with Sailing and Cruising Northern Ireland at Campbeltown Marina. There was not far to go to watch Kintyre Schools and Beinn an Tuirc massed bands perform at the head of the Old Quay, before marching up Main Street towards Springbank Distillery for an afternoon of fun ‘up the close’.

With the sun shining and a rocking line-up of bands, the afternoon proved to be fun for all the family. Headliners a new hope? last played at the festival in 2010, so it was a real treat for all the crowd. Support was provided by Gubbed and we.R.soul, and there was also a performance from Dance Legacy and children’s entertainment from Funky Chicken, as well as various fair rides.

While the events ‘up the close’ were taking place, a music mega-session also took place at the Kilbrannan Bar.

Saturday evening saw two concerts, with the Dougie MacLean Concert packing out the Heritage Centre once again, and the Victoria Hall jumping at the West Coast Rocks Concert, headlined by Manran. It was almost impossible to keep still in the Vic, with toe-tapping performances from Rhuvaal and Heron Valley as well as the main act at the Glen Scotia-Distillery sponsored event.

Sunday, the festival’s fifth and final day, is dedicated to those whose constitutions are strong enough to make it to the final concerts. The Heritage Centre once again opened its doors to host the Dalriada Connections Concert, featuring Chris Stout and Catriona McKay and various other artists at the Mitchell’s Glengyle-sponsored concert.

Also on Sunday, the highlight of many people’s music festival experience, Survivors’ Night was held in the Victoria Hall. The usual home favourites included Gilchristians, we.R.soul, Session A83 and more – and they did not disappoint!

For more MOKFest coverage, see next week’s Courier.