Ceilidh Culture 2010 Hits The Streets

Submitted by edg on Tue, 16 Feb '10 11.38pm

English folk musician Kate Rusby, who won a Mercury prize nomination with her 1999 album Sleepless, headlines the eighth Ceilidh Culture, Edinburgh's festival of traditional music and culture, which runs 26 March to 18 April. Rusby, reckoned to be one of the most talented contemporary folkies around, plays at the recently re-opened Usher Hall (18 April).

Other concert highlights over the three weeks include Hobotalk, who have toured with The Verve, Gomez and Don McLean, at The Voodoo Rooms (16 April); singer-songwriter John Rouse at the HMV Picture House (26 March); high octane strings from Shetland's The Fiddler's Bid at the Queen's Hall (11 April); and Irish musician and producer Paul Brady at the Queen's Hall (15 April).

Ceilidh Culture will also hold a Street Fair for the first time, from Friday 2 to Monday 5 April, on Castle Street, with food and drink stalls, crafts, fashion and music.

As in previous years, there's also music workshops, ceilidh dancing, poetry, and storytelling with events such as three nights of workshops with Swedish folk group Svanevit (meaning ‘white swan’) incorporating Swedish bagpipes, strings, and voice and an afternoon International Circle Dance Ceilidh for all-ages (7 April) .

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion for the City of Edinburgh, who was at the launch at the Whiski Bar earlier today, described the fest as "a real celebration of all that is wonderful about the traditional arts in Scotland."

Cardownie also sees the fest tying in with the council's Gaelic Language Plan: "In parallel to the events running as part of Ceilidh Culture, the City of Edinburgh Council has been developing a Gaelic Language Plan which sets out a series of actions to develop the Gaelic language within the city."

Those attending the launch were treated to sneak previews of some of the acts, including: local singer and musician Mairi Campbell, who shot to international fame when her haunting rendition of Auld Lang Syne featured on the soundtrack of the 2008 Sex and the City movie; folk singer/songwriter Caragh Nugent; and celebrated city piper Louise Marshall Millington (pictured).

Mairi Campbell, who hopes to launch her first solo album at The Voodoo Rooms on Friday 16 April and will perform with choir Sangstream at Augustine United Church on Friday 26 March, said: "I love this festival, it truly is a people's folk festival and I can think of no better place or time to showcase my first solo album."

For those looking for a reel, the Ceilidh Club at The Lot will be hosting dance bands, among them accordionist Sandy Brechin and his band the Jimi Shandrix Experience on Tuesday 13 April. Meanwhile, Whiski Bar will be hosting regular "Footstomping" Traditional Scots Music nights throughout the festival.

Ceilidh Culture tickets and information are available from the Usher Hall box office.