Special Events

We have a few ‘special events’ throughout the Festival and plan to introduce more. Every event might be considered special or course, so some of these may need some explaining. Girvan is a mixed event with a range of activities which we hope will appeal to most people. Although we are reluctant to put some things into their own ‘boxes’, we do think that it is helpful to create opportunities which cater for special interest groups and with appropriate venues.

PLEASE NOTE: Information here currently refers to our 2019 Festival.  Our Programme for 2020 is still to be announced, but will be similar in style and content to last year’s event.


It is now around 50 years since Cathal McConnell and Robin Morton moved to Scotland. In Ireland they had performed as Boys of the Lough but first emerged in Scotland as a duo later forming the group Boys of the Lough with Aly Bain, Mike Whellans and then Dick Gaughan.  Over the years The Boys have gone through many incarnations with Cathal being the constant over all those years.  Cathal is an absolute one off; a genius, a master musician – words really don’t do him justice.  He works easily with other musicians but it is as a soloist that his genius truly shines. During Girvan Festival our aim is to honour Cathal in some way, marking this anniversary.


In Bob Blair and Sandra Kerr we have two musicians who knew Ewan well, including working with him in The Critics Group. Both have a tremendous respect for Ewan and are among the few people who are able to bring that degree of personal experience and insight when talking about Ewan and his immense contribution to the folk revival.


Between the 1930s and 1980s, the folk singer, Jock Duncan, interviewed around 60 veterans of the First World War, mainly in his native North East of Scotland. He went on to spend many years transcribing all of his interviews in the rich variations of Scots in which they were spoken. The result is a unique and illuminating collection of first-hand witness testimony of the horror — and humour — of the Great War. Jock’s Jocks is a one-act play by Gary West which is based on the exact words of these soldiers. Featuring music, song, laughter and tears, the cast comprises Scott Gardiner, Charlie West and Gary West.