Celebrated North East Piper Calls the tune at 2017 Holy Island Festival

Award-winning Northumberland piper Kathryn Tickell OBE will headline this year’s Holy Island Festival, which celebrates North East talent.

The two-times winner of the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Artist of the Year award will perform with her group Superfolkus at the Village Hall on Sunday July 16.

This year the festival spans three successive weekends – July 1 & 2, July 8 & 9 and July 15 & 16 – and expects to reach more than 12,000 visitors.

Kathryn said: “I’m very much looking forward to playing at the Holy Island Festival. It’s a magical place. I’ve been a visitor to the island many times, and love the atmosphere and the very special feeling you get – particularly if you’re lucky enough to be able to stay there when the tide comes in!

“I’m bringing a group of talented young musicians with me, the group Superfolkus. Don’t be fooled into thinking ‘aw, a load of kids, how sweet.’ These musicians are totally professional and are making fantastic music.I am proud to play alongside them!”

Lindisfarne drummer Ray Laidlaw and frontman Billy Mitchell also appear as special guest with Billy’s son Tom Mitchell and his group The Borrowed Band at the Village Hall on Sunday July 9.

Tom said: “We’re so excited to come and play at this summer’s Holy Island Festival. There’s nowhere else quite like the island – it’s a truly unique and magical place, as anyone from the mainland who comes to see the show will find out.

“We had had a great time here last year when we performed as part of The Lindisfarne Story Band. The new village hall is a fantastic venue for both band and audience, and I'm looking forward to a great night with The Borrowed Band and our special guests.”

Other confirmed acts include Yorkshire-born virtuoso saxophonist Christian Forshaw, Morpeth group November Club, local folk act Alnwicky, Ryton Choral Society from Tyneside, Gaelic group Blás, North East instrumental sextet Pons Aelius, Newcastle-based Manx music band Birlinn Jiarg, traditional folk song duo from Northumberland The Brothers Gillespie, Scottish Borders folk outfit Small Hall Band and Holy Islanders Anna and Martha Raine. There will also be a dance performance from Newcastle-based LoGiudice Dance and classical music from Garth Newel Piano Quartet.

More than 5,000 visitors flocked to Lindisfarne to enjoy the Holy Island festival last year. And a sell-out crowd of 250 people – including tourists and island residents – packed into St. Mary’s Church to see the Unthanks, while The Lindisfarne Story Band christened the newly-opened £1m village hall.

Island businesses including the Crown and Anchor, The Ship Inn, Pilgrims Café, the Manor House and Oasis Café actively support the event.

Chair of the Holy Island Festival group Reverend Paul Collins said: “Celebrations in 2013 for the Lindisfarne Gospels identified an interest in more events for visitors, islanders and residents across Northumberland and the Borders.
“Building on the success of the last two years, this year’s Holy Island Festival has expanded to take place over three successive weekends. We have lined up even more great performers including music, singing and dancing, offering something for everyone.”

Ticketed events are:
Garth Newel Piano Quartet 4pm Friday June 30, St. Mary’s Church. Tickets £10.
November Club 4pm Saturday July 1, Village Hall. Tickets £10.
Ryton Choral Society 7.30pm Saturday July 8, St. Mary’s Church. Tickets £10.
Christian Forshaw 4pm Saturday July 15, St. Mary’s Church. Tickets £15.
The Borrowed Band, featuring Lindisfarne’s Billy Mitchell and Ray Laidlaw 7.30pm Sunday July 9, Village Hall. Tickets £20.
Kathryn Tickell and Superfolkus 4pm Sunday July 16, Village Hall. Tickets £20.

All tickets are only available online at: