18 years and the Knockengorroch Hairth burns bright still


YA SALAAM Knockengorroch! Peace upon you sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, children of Bo-Airigh. Another four days of upland music, song and dance, and poetry and storytale, and many more exciting happenings, all have come and gone.   After eighteen years of artistic adventure and much acclaim the meadow Hairth of Knockengorroch World Ceilidh burned bright this end of May, in the form of eighteen guest-fires.

INSHALLAH ‘God Willing’ or if fate decrees Knockengorroch hearths will burn again next May.  Without a warm guest fire in this tranquil upland glen there will be no magic Ceilidh, without the crackling logs, the scented drifting smoke ascending to the homely sky, it may even come about that this great event will falter and then die. Make your voice heard! If like me you cherish liberty and freedom, cultural heritage, artistic expression, or just simply the communal right to re-connect with nature, join with me. Haste ye back to Knockengorroch and return the ‘High-field’ of the ‘Rock-fetched’ back to humankind.

Three days and nights the ‘Cow-lords’ stage was host to performances that called the faithful to the fruitful Celtic hairth of Scottish and World Music. Everybody in the hill-foot audience made connection with the green Bo-Airigh stage and everyone was happy. Diverse genres, many cultures, traditional and cutting edge music, all were celebrated. On the Shieling ‘Summer Lodge’ Stage, in the Knocktaigh ‘Highfield House’, under Maddaigh’s Mash Tree, in the Fraoch ‘Heather’ Bar, world dance, live-song, ambient sound and light, roots music through to digital electronica, and beyond to rhythmic temples of pure spirit driven sound, all the heads and Gairy craigs of Cairnsmore of Deugh echoed to the music of the people of the land.

More still, the work of many years of love and craftsmanship – Lang Whan ‘Long John-Owen’s hall’, the World Ceilidh Longhouse has now a toorie loft house that rises proud before the mount they call the Craig of Greystone and Knockgrey, and Carsphairn Greenwell of Scotland. Fons Scotae: the Fruitful Well of ‘Concordance’, where recht Whan ‘John-Owen’ slew the champion of the ‘Black-stem’ Deugh, and where about a fire three ‘poet-songsters’ played. They spoke to us, and we to them in song, beneath the rafters of a ‘bútt and ben’ long-hall that was built in lasting tribute to those long passed away, but with whom we shared the gift of celebration in the upland spring. . .

Come back again, you patrons of the best music festival I know of anywhere in any truly heiland glen between here and the Himalayan snow. Spread the word! Introduce a friend, or many friends. We need more of you to make the Ceilidh magic happen. And so to all my true good friends I say take care. Inshallah we will meet again next year.