Girvan Folk Festival 2013

ohn Watt & Davie Stewart, in the dance hall at the first festival – 1974. © Peter Fairbairn, Kilmaurs

It was the annual Girvan Folk Festival at the weekend and by all accounts a good time was had all around.  While I did not attend any of the two dozen or so events I do live in the very heart of the town of Girvan and this meant I was within earshot of most of the pubs and hotels which hosted the groups and bands playing their music and teaching others the skills of folk.  This was the thirty ninth festival, tinged with a hint of sadness as the instigator of the festivals Bobby Robb died last year.

In the Roxy Beer Garden 2013. © Tog Porter – Wigwam Photography

While it is no secret that Girvan has suffered in the current recession I was proud of the way that the town managed to bring in a couple of thousand visitors over a weekend and take good care of them.  This despite the diminishing in facilities in the town (don’t get me started on politics!) and weather that was thankfully mild but dull and rainy.  Listening to the music gave me free entertainment and some joy too.  It is always good to hear people having fun (my neighbours got married at the weekend too) and while I got little sleep on Saturday night I lay awake with a smile on my face while the guitars played away the wee hours.

I have heard a rumour that some people complained about the charge for a weekend in secure parking and camping in the town.  This charge being to turn away those not interested in the festival and for security, including a police presence, to keep families and others safe.   I personally think that about 35.00GBP for a family of four for a weekend pitch during an event is perfectly fine but some did not.  The security was needed after the activities of some ‘people’ (and I use the term loosely…cretins would be more accurate) last year and some property damage.  There was no trouble this year that I am aware of.

If you have an interest in Folk Music check out the website for the festival and even if you don’t do it anyway as it is worth five minutes to see all the pictures.

Perhaps my schedule will allow me to attend some of the gigs next year for the big fortieth festival in 2014.

Well done Girvan!