Kelso Folk & Live Festival 2023

September 1st to 3rd 2023

The Kelso Folk and Live Music Club is pleased to announce the line-up for this year’s folk festival. As in past years, this will be a weekend of live concerts featuring award-wining bands and artists, combined with sessions, workshops and open mics offering a showcase for local talent. This year there are three great ticketed concerts to catch. On the Friday night we kick off in spectacular style with harpist Catriona McKay and fiddle player Chris Stout (photo above) who perform traditional Scottish music in their own unique way. With them on the same bill is Iona Fyfe, a past “MG Alba Scots singer of the year” winner who performs both folk and pop songs in the Scots language. She is supported by her three piece band. On the Saturday night we are delighted to have the celebrated English songsmith and guitarist Martin Simpson. Also appearing that night are Malin Makes Music, a four piece band featuring piper Malin Lewis, a BBC Alba Young folk musician of the year finalist last year. Finally our Sunday lunchtime concert features the wonderful Ainsley Hamill and her trio performing English and Scot’s Gaelic songs.

In addition we will have a Borders showcase concert on the Saturday lunchtime featuring Riddell Fiddles, and outdoor events include a dance display from Ragbag Morris. There will also be opportunity to participate in our sessions, singarounds and open mics, whether you are a singer or musician or simply wish to listen to some great live music. All are welcome to join in, and you are sure to find like-minded musicians/singers. For those wanting to improve their skills and gain inspiration, there will be various music workshops on the Saturday morning. All this is going on in the beautiful Borders town of Kelso, a great tourist destination!

Programme at a glance (see concerts for more details)

Friday 1st September

Saturday 2nd September

  • Morning workshops.
  • Best of the Borders free concert at the Old Parish Church, Kelso, 12.00-2.00 pm.
  • Outdoor events in the Town Square, featuring Ragbag Morris. 2.00-4.00 pm.
  • Afternoon open sessions at The Cross Keys and Rutherfords, 2-5 pm.
  • Concert: Old Parish Church, Kelso, 7.30-10.30 pm. Martin Simpson and Malin Makes Music.

Sunday 3rd September

  • Traditional tunes session at The Cross Keys, Kelso, 11.00-12.30 pm.
  • Lunchtime Concert at the Old Parish Church, Kelso, 1.00-2.30 pm. Ainsley Hamill
  • Farewell singaround sessions at the Cross Keys, 3.00-4.30 pm.
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