Festival 2021 - 8th to 12th of September 2021 - Friendly Folk in Linlithgow!

  • Ceilidh at the Vennel

    Family friendly ceilidh at the Vennel

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  • Tribute to the late great Matt McGinn

    The Sugary Cake and Candy Man with the ladies.

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  • Bluegrass Events

    On route to the famous Bluegrass Gospel Session

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  • Linlithgow Twinning

    Friends from Guyancourt are part of the Festival family

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  • Sessions

    We hold sessions at the historic Black Bitch Tavern

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  • Musical Cruise

    Festival go-ers gently sailing along the Canal - with Cockleroy providing the entertainment!

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Songs & Reels at the Rose with Hannah Rarity Band - Thursday 6 September 2018

Back by popular request, this year’s event at the Rose Social Club will feature BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2018 - West Lothian’s very own Hannah Rarity - and her fabulous band.

Recently featured in The Scotsman as ‘one to watch in 2018’, Hannah’s spellbinding voice and warm, genuine stage manner have seen her become one of Scotland’s foremost young singers.

Since graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2016, she has toured internationally with the renowned Irish-American traditional group ‘Cherish the Ladies’, appeared as a soloist on BBC Scotland’s Hogmanay Live 2016, sold out her 2017 Edinburgh Fringe debut and featured in projects for the RSNO, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and BBC Northern Ireland TV.

Hannah’s debut EP ‘Beginnings’ marked an exciting chapter in her already remarkable career. Her thoughtful interpretations of traditional material, and sensitive, self-penned songs are skilfully backed by her band. Together they create intricate and fiery arrangements, which are as exciting as they are moving.

For “Songs and Reels at the Rose”, Hannah will be joined by the brilliant young musicians Sally Simpson (fiddle/viola), Innes White (guitar), John Lowrie (piano) and Conan McDonagh (whistle).


  • Venue:  Linlithgow Rose Social Club, Braehead Road EH49 6HF
  • Timing:  8pm - 10.15pm (Doors open at 7.15pm)
  • Cost:  £10 on the door
  • Tickets also available at Far From The Madding Crowd, 20 High Street, Linlithgow, EH49 7AE. Tickets can be booked online at linlithgowfolk.yapsody.com

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Whitetop Mountain Band - Friday 7 September '18

As part of their 2018 UK tour, this family-based band from Whitetop, Virginia is making a very welcome third visit to Linlithgow. Whitetop is an area rich in the old time music tradition and the band has deep roots in mountain music. The members have done much to preserve the Whitetop region’s style of old time fiddling and banjo picking and are legendary musicians and teachers of the style.

Their shows are very versatile and entertaining, including everything from fiddle/banjo instrumentals to powerful solos and harmony vocals on blues, classic country, honky tonk, traditional bluegrass numbers,old timey ballads and four-part mountain gospel songs. The Whitetop Mountain Band is well known for high energy and charisma on stage and their shows also include flat foot dancing.

The 2018 UK Tour line-up will feature “Whitetop Mountain Girls” – Emily Spencer (banjo and vocals), Martha Spencer (fiddle, vocals and dance), Kelley Breiding (guitar and vocals), and Debbie Bramer (bass, vocals and dance).

  • Venue:  Linlithgow Rose Social Club, Braehead Road EH49 6HF
  • Time:  8pm - 10.30pm (Doors open 7.15pm)
  • Cost:  Admission £10 on the door
  • Tickets are also available from Far From the Madding Crowd, 20 High Street, Linlithgow EH49 7AE. Tickets can be booked online at www.linlithgowfolk.yapsody.com

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Ralph McTell - Saturday 8 September 2018

Best known for his international hit “Streets of London”, Ralph McTell has been a stalwart of the British acoustic music scene for the last five decades. He has enjoyed a 50 year, 350 song career, which has taken him from street busking across Europe to solo shows at the Royal Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House.

Known for his virtuoso guitar style, he is primarily a prolific and gifted songwriter. With a style that invites you into a unique world, he weaves a narrative that is both significant and poignant.

Ralph made his debut in 1968 with the album “Eight Frames a Second” and in 1974, the release of “Streets of London” earned him an Ivor Novello Award. In 2002, he was presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Tonight, Ralph will be playing songs from his full catalogue.


Aberdeenshire folksinger, Iona Fyfe, has become one of Scotland’s finest young ballad singers, rooted deeply in the singing traditions of the North East. A finalist in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2017, Iona embraces the repertoire of her native North East throughout the UK and Europe. Following her outstanding performance at our “Songs and Reels at the Rose”event last year, we are delighted to welcome her back to Linlithgow and our headline concert. Iona will be accompanied by musicians Jack Badcock and Ross Miller, Linlithgow’s very own world champion Town Piper.
  • Venue:  Linlithgow Academy Theatre, Braehead Road, Linlithgow, EH49 7EN
  • Time:  7.30pm - 10.30pm (Doors open 6.30pm, entry into hall 7pm)
  • Cost:  Tickets £25.  All seats unreserved.  Licensed bar
  • Tickets available from 'Far From the Madding Crowd', 20 High Street, Linlithgow, EH49 7AE.  Online booking available via www.linlithgowfolk.yapsody.com

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In a major coup for Linlithgow Folk Festival Association in its twentieth year, Celtic music giants, SKIPINNISH will be coming to the town on Saturday June 23rd.
Skipinnish Article
Voted ’Best Live Act’ at the 2017 Trad Music awards, Skipinnish are one of the biggest acts on the vibrant music festival scene at the moment, and their concert in Linlithgow will surely be the hot-ticket event this year at the Marches Marquee at the Rugby Club.
Their large and growing fan base is such that all Skipinnish gigs in 2017 sold out in advance.  From Eden Court Theatre in Inverness to The Queens Hall in Edinburgh and from the Albert Halls in Stirling to the famous Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow, every show was full and audiences went wild!
The Barrowland show, which was the band’s biggest gig to date, sold out completely four months before the concert and all gigs announced so far for 2018 are on the way to capacity ticket sales already.
Skipinnish are on the crest of a wave that is growing bigger and more powerful with every performance.   How far the band’s popularity will continue to grow is difficult to predict, but if this year’s shows are anything to go by their wave is on the way to great heights and the Marches Marquee in Linlithgow is the place to be on Saturday the 23rd of June  2018.

Tickets are now SOLD OUT.

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The Linlithgow Folk Festival Association is grateful to West Lothian Council for all that it does and has done to promote music in the county, and in being one of the few local authorities to provide free tuition for school pupils. Their support for orchestras, ensembles, bands and groups can be seen in regular successes in festivals and competitions, and in the many happy young performers.

We are however very concerned that West Lothian Council intends to stop all tuition for string and percussion instruments, and close down all the related orchestras and groups.

This includes the West Lothian Folk Group under the direction of Norrie Maciver, lead singer with Skipinnish, who are performing in Linlithgow in June, as part of the celebrations marking 20 years of the Linlithgow Folk Festival. It also includes Linlithgow and Bathgate school orchestras, the Linlithgow and Bathgate Junior Strings and the Sinfonia.

We understand the difficult financial pressures on the council, and that no service can be immune from the need to find savings. However, it is unacceptable to select one or two music disciplines and remove all provision for them while others remain unaffected. Sacrificing over 550 young people to keep tuition free for the remainder is wrong.

This will have a devastating impact on them, especially those who are already committed to SQA exams in Music in those instruments. For a great many of them, music is not a hobby. Music is their life.

Parents and carers are asking to be able to pay a fee to keep tuition going, as happens in most other local authorities in Scotland.

We call upon West Lothian Council to put a hold on the planned cut and consult with parents on a model for the Instrumental Music Service based on fairness, and on alternative sources of funding including charging families who can afford it. This would mean everyone can keep doing what they love.

In our 20th year, we ask a very important question - What would traditional music be without fiddles and percussion?

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