Rothbury Traditional Music Festival: Business as usual despite road closure say organisers

The B6344 remains closed following 2012 landslip - but that won't stop musicians making it to Rothbury from the USA and Cuba

Rothbury Traditional Music Festival
Rothbury Traditional Music Festival

Music festival organisers say it’s “business as usual” despite one of the main roads into their Northumberland village still being closed.

This weekend sees the Rothbury Traditional Music Festival welcome performers from as far afield as the USA, Cuba, Belgium, Ireland and Scotland.

And while the B6344 remains shut - after it was closed on Boxing Day 2012 by “possibly the largest landslip to have ever affected a highway in Northumberland” - it’s hoped folk fans will still turn out.

The landslip on the B6344 road near Rothbury
The landslip on the B6344 road near Rothbury

“This weekend coming up is Rothbury Traditional Music Festival, and while the village is still affected by the landslip that has caused the road closure, we are trying to make people aware that it is business as usual and that the festival is on and has a fantastic line up,” said RTMF committee member Lynn Tocker.

“This year we have musical guests from the USA, as well as lots of local performers, concerts, a free outside stage, competitions and craft stalls.”

Highlights of this year’s festival include a project called Umoja Gaeilca - which aims to “unite the world one song at a time,” and performances from acclaimed singer and activist Lea Gilmore.

On Friday evening the Umoja Gaeilca project will be celebrated at the villages United Reform Church, while there will be a ceilidh - featuring music from the Tony Corcoran Ceilidh Band - at the Jubilee Hall.

Saturday sees music on a free outside stage, plus competitions, pub music sessions, a pipe band and children’s entertainment.

“We have a great line up of acts over the weekend and are delighted to have, fresh from their New York performance with Sting in The Last Ship, The Wilson Family, who are back to the festival by popular demand,” said Lynn.

Rothbury Traditional Music Festival
Rothbury Traditional Music Festival

“They will be performing at the Mart Concert and early evening concert alongside, Umoja Gaelica,

“We’ve also music from the Bottle Bank Band, Benny Graham, Margaret And Andrew Watchorn plus many more acts.

“This years festival promises to be one of the best yet.”

A spokesman for Northumberland County Council said the authority hoped many music fans would turn out for the festival - using the existing diversions to make their way into the village.

“There are well established diversion signs in place in the surrounding area while there are also a number of automated variable message signs reminding visitors that Rothbury remains open for business,” he said.

“We hope as many people as possible get along to enjoy this historic festival, along with all the other attractions Rothbury has to offer.”

Tickets for the festival can be bought from Shepherds Walks on 01669 621044.

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