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This year’s Mull of Kintyre Music Festival (MOKFest), returning this month after a year’s absence, is expected to be the first live festival to take place in Scotland in 2021.
Following a relaxation in Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the five-day festival will take place from Wednesday August 18 to Sunday August 22, featuring a fantastic line-up of bands at ticketed concerts and the return of Up the Close.
Headline acts include Tide Lines, Da Birlinn, Scotia Ceilidh Band, Claire Hastings Trio, Ross Couper and Tom Oakes, Catherine Tinney, Ainsley Hamill with Conor Markey, Slainte Davaar Allstars and the Wee Toon Tellers.
As well as signalling a return to live music, this year’s MOKFest will also be one of the first events where dancing will be allowed, meaning all three Victoria Hall concerts will be as close to normal as possible.
All concerts will be held within Scottish Government guidelines, with lower capacities allowing audiences to enjoy each event safely.
The two Saturday night concerts on August 21 cater for all ages, with Tide Lines headlining the Glen Scotia West Coast Rocks Concert and the Traditional Concert with a double headline of Da Birlinn and the Claire Hastings Trio.
This year’s Festival Ceilidh Night on August 20 is the first of the concerts in the Victoria Hall with the Scotia Ceilidh Band performing this year’s ceilidh set.
Organisers are delighted ceilidh dancing will be allowed and the Scotia Ceilidh, which has become one of the most dynamic and entertaining ceilidh bands in Scotland, is guaranteed to provide some great dance sets.
The Wee Toon Tellers, Campbeltown’s concert band, will have a mixture of great songs and tunes from their huge repertoire which can be heard on their two CDs ‘Jarred and Feathered’ and ’10 Years Matured’.
The Dalriada Connections Band will open the evening with a mixture of traditional and Americano music.
On August 21, Glen Scotia West Coast Rocks Concert headlines with folk rock band Tide Lines which has taken the Scottish music scene by storm.
The band will be supported by Beinn Lee, an exciting six-piece band based in Uist.
The hugely popular Rhuvaal will open the concert and it will be great to hear and dance to all three bands at this year’s Glen Scotia West Coast Rocks Concert.
The Saturday night seated Traditional Concert in Campbeltown Heritage Centre, also on August 21, has two fantastic bands with the Claire Hasting Trio featuring BBC Radio Scotland’s 2015 Young Traditional Musician of the Year Claire Hastings on vocals, Jeri Forman on fiddle and Jenn Butterworth on guitar.
Dynamic three-piece band Da Birlinn features Peter Morrison and Ross Couper, lead players with the Peatbog Faeries. Accompanied by Seumas MacLennan on bouzouki, they will perform at what has become a hugely popular concert over the past few years.
The festival’s opening event on August 18 is the Beinn an Tuirc Gaelic Concert which will be held in the Argyll Arms Hotel, Campbeltown.
Headlining the event is Gaelic singer Catherine Tinney and multi-instrumentalist Conor Markey. Among those also performing are Iain MacPherson, Norman Mackinnon, Shona Keith and Raibeart MacCallum with Christine MacIntyre as bean an tigh.
The Kilkerran Dalriada Connections Concert in Campbeltown Heritage Centre on August 22 once again offers an afternoon with a fantastic double headline.
The dynamic duo of Ross Couper and Tom Oakes will perform a mixture of infectious melodies, Celtic grooves and fiery, driving rhythms, whilst Ainsley Hamill, whose voice has been compared to early Adele, will perform accompanied by Alister Iain Paterson.
Expect the usual selection of local and visiting artists including the Lorne MacDougall Trio and Ciaran Mulholland from Northern Ireland.
The legendary Survivors Night finishes off the festival on August 22 with Campbeltown super-group Slainte Davaar Allstars, Rhuvaal, we.R.soul, Alex, Archie and Arran McAllister, The Gilchristians, and Session A83 with Alison M Leith as MC.
The festival also has the firm favourite Young Folk Night on August 19 and, on August 21, harbour tours and Up the Close at Springbank Distillery which starts at 1pm with The Democrats and FLING performing with one more band to be confirmed. Donations are welcome on entry at this event.
The Saturday Session will be in the Kilbrannan Bar this year and once again MOKFest fans are encouraged to check out the festival’s Spotify 2021 playlist by searching MOK Fest.
Tickets are selling well for this year’s events. They are on sale from TicketWeb and AP Taylors, Main Street, Campbeltown.
‘See you there!’ say festival organisers.