INNERLEITHEN is turning up the volume again in 2018 – and is looking for locals to lend a hand.

Since its inception in 2003 by a group of Tweeddale folk music enthusiasts, the Innerleithen Music Festival has evolved into one of the biggest folk festivals in the Borders.

Those behind it were inspired by the ‘Both Side The Tweed’ festival that was staged in the town in 2001 and 2002.

The event has gone from strength to strength, and attracted names such as Capercaillie, Eddi Reader, Barbara Dickson, Julie Fowlis, Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham, and Dougie Maclean to appear over the years. 

After the 15th festival in 2016, the current committee decided to scale down its involvement and create a different kind of event, one that was easier to organise and with less financial risk. 

The change moved away from being dedicated to folk music and attracting ‘big names’, and encouraged others to get involved and take responsibility for their own events. 

The committee is looking to do the same again, and would like anyone from any genre of the arts or local interest to take part. Robin Dempsey, secretary and public co-ordinator said: “Since 2003, the Innerleithen Music Festival has really raised the profile of the town amongst visitors as well as giving local music lovers some great memories of concerts with internationally known stars.

“The festival has now had to evolve as the three of us who’d organised it in recent years wish to scale back our involvement. 

“However, we’re confident we’ve created a model which will encourage others to participate. It’s been a fascinating and personally very satisfying journey.”

The 2018 festival will run from August 17 to 19 and those interested in staging events, are encouraged to attend a meeting on Tuesday, January 16 at 7.30pm in the St Ronan’s Hotel, on Innerleithen High Street.

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