Guests

Craobh RuaChristine Kydd & Fiona RossScott GardinerRab WilsonAneta Dortova & friendsRose ByersJim BainbridgeSeilach Fire ShowBob ‘Buff’ Wilson & friendsMagnus Turpie BandThe Macrae FamilyStrandline SingersThe Dodgy JumpersThe Roving Pedlars

…plus lots more!


Craobh Rua

Craobh Rua perform Irish trad in the distinctive northern style of their native Belfast. The band includes banjo, mandolin, fiddle, uilleann pipes, tin whistle, guitar and vocals. With six albums to their name and an enviable international reputation they also, just happen to be, old friends of Girvan Festival.

We’re delighted to welcome the boys back to Carrick to give us a concert set and they’ll also be playing some top-class music in the sessions around town all weekend.


 Craobh Rua


Christine Kydd & Fiona Ross

A trip to Girvan was overdue for Christine Kydd who is returning to her place as a fixture of the Scottish folk circuit. Her long and varied performing career has seen her as a member of bands, Shinseen, Chantan and Calluna and twice nominated for Scots Singer of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards.

Christine comes to Girvan this time with friend and duo partner, Fiona Ross, Australia’s foremost interpreter of Scots song and herself a finalist for Scots Singer of the Year. Local audiences will remember Fiona from her last visit to the Festival in 2019 and the very special concert she gave, Burns and the Tradition: In the footsteps of Jean Redpath, at Culzean Castle with Brian Miller.


 Christine Kydd
 Fiona Ross


Scott Gardiner

Scott is one of Scotland’s top traditional singers, and has been performing at concerts and festivals across the country since his schooldays. Brought up on a farm near Forfar, he is best known for singing the bothy ballads and songs of the north-east and his native Angus. However Scott has also championed the fermin songs of Ayrshire’s Buff Wilson which passed into the tradition in the 1960s.

We are delighted to welcome Scott back to Girvan to give us a concert set, a few songs at the Bobby Robb concert and contribute to the launch of Bob “Buff” Wilson’s book Goodbye Meadowhead.


 Scott Gardiner


Aneta Dortova

Aneta Dortová is a step dancer, flute player, and singer based in Galway, Limerick, and Pilsen. A graduate of the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick, her expertise is in solo step and sean-nós dance traditions of Ireland and percussive dance traditions of the North Atlantic region. Her personal percussive dance vocabulary includes steps from Ireland, Scotland, Canada, the US, England, and Spain. She has worked for or collaborated, among others, with Rob Heaslip, Mikey Kenney, Bea MacMahon, Cormac Begley, and Kíla.

Aneta will be joined by fiddle player Janet Lees of Corran Raa. Aneta herself is also a very fine flute player and we’re hoping to hear a few tunes when she joins us at Girvan.


 Aneta Dortova


Bob ‘Buff’ Wilson & friends

Irvine’s Buff Wilson was incorporating his experiences of farming and life into song while still a teenager in the 1960s. His songs ‘Alexander’s Threshing Mill’ and the ‘Sheep Dip Song’ made their way into the tradition and travelled from Ayrshire to Aberdeenshire and further afield.

Buff, now known as Bob, returns to the folk world with a handsomely produced new book of his songs and recollections, Goodbye Meadowhead, that we are delighted to launch at the 49th Girvan Festival.



Rose Byers

We’re delighted that Annadale’s Rose Byers makes her first trip to Girvan Festival. Rose is a fine singer, fiddler and musician. She is currently studying on BA Scottish Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.


 Rose Byers Music


Rab Wilson & friends

Ayrshire poet Rab Wilson has a long bibliography of new poetic work in Ayrshire Scots. Festival audiences may know his recent work with a musician familiar to Girvan Seán Gray.

We’re delighted to welcome Rab to launch his new book Collier Laddie. There will be readings from the book – a first hand account of being on strike for almost a year during the Miner’s Strike – and a few mining songs thrown in for good measure too.


 Rab Wilson


Jim Bainbridge

Singer and melodeon player Jim Bainbridge has been singing & playing since his early days on Tyneside in the 60s, often accompanied by his wife Francie on her spoons! Now a resident of Galloway Jim has performed widely in England, Scotland and Ireland. Jim has recently begun a regular singing session at the Vaults Arts Centre in Newton Stewart.

We’re delighted to welcome Jim to Girvan to MC the annual Bobby Robb Memorial Concert.


Seilach Fire Show

On Saturday night after the evening concert there’ll be a spectacular fire show, a collaboration between local artist David Powell, CRAG Community Arts and local school children. There might even be some music and dance!


 David Powell


Magnus Turpie Band

Multi-talented Magnus Turpie is a gifted button box player and fiddler from Edinburgh, well-known at Festivals the length and breadth of Scotland! He’s also a long-term friend of Girvan Festival and we’re delighted to welcome him to give us a concert set fresh from his appearance at the Battle of the Folk Bands 2024 at Celtic Connections.


 Magnus Turpie


The Macrae Family

The Macrae Family are one of Ayrshire’s traditional music dynasties. Led by the redoubtable Maggie Macrae and featuring the fiery fiddling of Aly Macrae, fast becoming something of a national treasure in his day job as actor and musical director for the likes of National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Don’t tell Aly but the best fiddler in the family is actually his brother James!


The Roving Pedlars

We’re delighted that members of Moniaive’s principal ceilidh crew The Roving Pedlars are joining us to leads some sessions over the Festival weekend.


 The Roving Pedlars