Gisburn Gathering offers four day folk festival in forest

A new music festival - Gisburn Gathering - starts on Thursday (August 12th) and promises a four-day jamboree of folk music song and dance.

By Tony Dewhurst
Monday, 9th August 2021, 3:45 pm
Festival organiser Mikey Kenney
Festival organiser Mikey Kenney

Showcasing acts from Britain and Ireland, headliners include folk guitarist Ellis Davies, flautist Ellen McGovern and BBC Folk Singer of the Year Rioghnach Connolly.

Musicologist, Mikey Kenney, says he is honoured to be co-ordinating this weekend’s event at Stephen Park near Clitheroe - the home of Lancashire’s Cloudspotting Festival.

“The Gisburn Gathering will be about musical spontaneity and camaraderie you can’t create on a Zoom call,” he said. “Like many people, I seem to have spent half my life on Zoom

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during the last year and a half, and we’ve all missed that precious human connection.

“We only began planning Gisburn Gathering in June, so it has proved to be a bit hectic getting everything in place in time. However, it will be a carefully curated weekend of

performances and great sessions, and hopefully the sun will shine too."

He added: “There’s some terrific acts and we are so excited about gathering in this beautiful part of Lancashire.”

Kenney, an accomplished artist and performer, having released two albums to much acclaim, regularly hosts workshops on the tradition and history of fiddle-playing. “Some of the region’s most experienced musical performers will be on hand to teach, mentor and share their skills,” he added. “But most of all it will be a family festival where everybody can join in and have a great time.”

Kenney also runs the Lancashire Turns and Tunes project, exploring social dancing traditions in Lancashire.

“There’s going to be so much good stuff going on, for example a singing workshop with Rioghnach Connolly who is an incredible musician. Rioghnach is a traditional singer and flautist from Ireland, whose father Tarlac played the Uillean pipes while her grandparents were singers steeped in Gaelic history.”

Rioghnach’s workshop will see her coaching the basics of vocal technique, breath work and singing posture. “Not only is Rioghnach a brilliant musician but she is a very

keen community music activist,” added Kenney. “I think that’s very important. All the artists playing at Gisburn Gathering are passionate about giving something back and passing on their knowledge to the next generation of musicians.

“As this is the first one, we just don’t know how many people will come, but if it goes well then we hope to be back at Gisburn Forest in 2022.”

Kenney wishes to thank Matt Evans and David Brookhouse for helping organise Gisburn Gathering. Daytime musical workshops will be focused on aged 6-18 and although some

musical experience is preferable it is not essential. The Gisburn Gathering with camping facilities on site runs until Sunday.

For further information see Mikey.co.uk/Gisburn Gathering and tickets from Eventbrite/Gisburn Forest Folk Gathering.