A "SPECIAL" festival is heading to the Borders this summer to boost a cause helping youngsters in the region.

The family-friendly Harris Fest has been created to support the Harris Trust.

The charity was set up following the death of 19-year-old Harris Macdonnell.

Selkirk's own Billy Kennedy, of the acclaimed Frightened Rabbit, will headline the event, joined by his new five-piece band, Haiver.

The dynamic group's music looks at dark themes around loss and grief, infused with an "uplifting sense of hope".

Border Telegraph: Billy Kennedy's band HaiverBilly Kennedy's band Haiver (Image: Joe Somerville/Harris Trust)

Kennedy said: “We’re super excited to be headlining Harris Fest in my bonny hometown of Selkirk.

“It’s been an absolute honour to work with Harris Trust and the SPaRKs project to bring this idea to life."

Kennedy said the festival – due to take place the weekend after Selkirk Common Riding – was supporting a "great cause".

The trust was created in March 2021 following Harris' death in August 2020.

The Borderer, who was autistic, took his own life after being treated in an adult psychiatric ward.

Earlier this month the Crown confirmed a Fatal Accident Inquiry would go ahead into his death.

Suited for festival-goers of all ages, Harris Fest will welcome a diverse line-up of performers, food vendors and engaging activities.

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A Harris Trust spokesperson said: "Organised in aid of the Harris Trust, this family-friendly festival promises a day of unforgettable fun and entertainment for attendees of all ages.

"The festival is delivered in association with the Harris Trust’s SPaRKs project – a contemporary music project aimed at young adults from the Borders who are neurodivergent or suffering from mental health issues.

"Students from Selkirk and Jedburgh high schools, involved in this year’s SPaRKs project, will be performing on the day, showcasing the skills and confidence they’ve developed."

Other musical talent taking to the Selkirk stage will include Borders punk rock band 3 out of 4, Hawick singer/songwriter Devin Casson, and Leatherette, an electronic rock bank from north east England.

Harris Fest will take over Selkirk Rugby Club on Saturday, June 22.

Tickets for the festival are now on sale from £10, and all proceeds from the event go directly to support the Harris Trust's work.

The spokesperson added: "Don't miss your chance to be part of this special event; it’s an opportunity for the community to come together, enjoy great music and contribute to a cause that makes a real difference in the lives of young people in the Borders."

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit ticketpass.org/event/EQRIWA/harris-fest or follow Harris Trust on social media for the latest updates.