The end of the line for children’s music festival?

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Fears are growing the children’s Kintyre Music Festival could fold after more than 40 years unless volunteers come forward to join the organising committee.

The popular event, which showcases the musical talent of primary and secondary schoolchildren from Kintyre and beyond, typically takes place each June but hasn’t been held since 2019 because of the Covid pandemic.

Now, a spokesperson for the group has told the Courier it may never be held again unless several volunteers join the committee, including someone willing to take on the role of secretary.

‘We’ve got a very small committee but, with all the rules and regulations that will be required from now on, we don’t have the manpower to proceed,’ said the spokesperson.

‘In addition to organising competitions, manning doors and everything else we usually do, we’d have to carry out rigorous cleaning and contact tracing, and it’s just not feasible.

‘Most competitions take place between 9am and 5pm, which is when a lot of parents are working, so we know it’s difficult for people.

‘But unless there’s a lot of interest from people wanting to serve on the committee, I don’t think the festival will be going ahead in future.’

Each year for more than four decades, the week-long festival has challenged young musicians through more than 20 competitions for various age groups and musical genres including brass, woodwind, piano, vocals and piping.

The festival culminates in a weekend cup-winners’ concert at which all of the first-placed entrants in each class perform their winning pieces.

The 2020 event was cancelled at the start of the pandemic and, with restrictions still in place in 2021, a virtual festival was held during what would have been the festival week.

Children were invited to submit clips of their music which were then shared on the Kintyre Music Festival Facebook page for family and members of the community to enjoy.

But this year, with a couple of stalwart committee members retiring from their roles, even that may not be possible.

‘If anyone wants to join us and keep the festival alive, they can let us know by contacting us through our Facebook page,’ said the spokesperson.

Any past competition-winning musicians who still have their cups and trophies are asked to hand them in to their schools.

A decision on what to do with them will then be taken if not enough committee members are found to allow the festival to continue.