Music on the Marr 20-23 July 2017 – Press release

Press Release: 12th April 2017

Music on the Marr, Cumbria’s most friendly musical event, returns 20 to 23 July this year. The village festival with the feel good factor announces the line-up for 2017 with local, national and international acts.

Headliners include the band that defined Scottish folk-rock: Wolfstone with Duncan Chisholm, hot Scottish property The Elephant Sessions and the legendary Kanda Bongo Man from The Congo bring world music to Castle Carrock along with traditional Zimbabwean music and mbira reggae from Zimbaremabwe. The remarkable Urban Folk Quartet with local lad Dan Walsh, Jo Broughton, Tom Chapman and Spanish fiddler Paloma Triges also find a headline slot. Harp maestros Katrin Finch from Wales and kora player Seku Ketia from Senegal will play. The UK’s finest wordsmith and cardigan aficionado Les Barker performs too.

Lucy Ward, Brain Peters, Jackie Oates and James Finlay perform their show ‘Liberty to Choose’, with music from The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs. Top of the list Scottish fiddler, Adam Southerland joins Hamish Napier in their ‘Nae Plans’ duo where nothing is rehearsed or planned; it is all off the cuff on Friday night.

Three English traditionalists Moore, Moss, Rutter will be there and we welcome back London jazz sensation Sarah Gillespie with her trio. The accomplished English concertina player with one of the finest voices in traditional music Steve Turner will play. Talisk, a Scottish three piece, guitar, fiddle & concertina led by the energetic and multi award winning Moshen Amini are not to be missed. Our resident band Hadrian’s Union will launch their new CD and play all the tunes from it.  Journalist, broadcaster and impresario Andy Kershaw will let you have his opinion on a great many things. Look out for Katy Rose Bennett, Cumbrian singer and song writer Holly Clark and border singers The Brothers Gillespie.  Of course our patron and doyen of British folk music Roy Bailey will sing and play with Marc Block.

Full weekend tickets are now on sale for £77.00. A variety of other tickets are available from £15.00. From All accompanied under 16’s have free access to the entire festival.

“It has a distinct spirit which you could bottle”- Tony Hendrey

Further information from

Box office: 01228 670329

Richard Johnstone.

Notes for Editors

  1. Music on the Marr was founded in 2010 when a marquee was left behind following a village wedding. A couple of drunken musicians stumbled in and Music on the Marr was born.
  2. Weekend tickets include our famous Friday hog roast.
  3. We provide Music in the Hat, a ‘give what you can afford’ concert on Thursday evening for early arrivals.
  4. We provide free access to all accompanied under 16’s exposing them to local national and international musicians. 123 children attended in 2016. Music on the Marr musicians work closely with our primary school to involve children in the festival.
  5. We provide a series of music learning and developmental workshops free to all ticket holders during the festival.
  6. We provide a showcase for young and emerging musicians drawn from local schools. This event is not ticketed and can be attended by anyone. We know of at least one individual who has chosen a career as a musician as a result of appearing in the showcase and another who was so inspired by watching a previous event, she has developed her own music to a standard where she was showcased last year.
  7. We provide opportunities for many musicians to play in sessions at the festival and to busk in front of an appreciative audience.
  8. We have achieved a high degree of integration and involvement with the local community for pleasure and recreation as well as injecting considerable amounts of money into local business and the wider economy. Festival budget is nearly £50k
  9. Partners in delivery include: Castle Carrock School, St Peter’s Church, The Watson Institute, The Duke of Cumberland Inn, Pennine Artisans and a wide variety of musicians, music teachers and the good people of Castle Carrock who give many hours of their time to help deliver the festival.
  10. The festival raised £2506 last year towards the St Peter’s Church Restoration Fund and we provide a similar amount each year. We support other charities too.
  11. Music on the Marr is produced and directed by Geltsdale Arts Ltd a not for profit organisation.
  12. Spin offs from Music on the Marr include the creation of ‘The Dukes’, a high achieving ukulele band under the direction of Ian K Brown; Geltsdale Soundwave, a village based choir who sing acpella songs in many parts and in many languages lead by Lulu Guinness; a fortnightly jam session which any musician at any level of competence can join.

Contact Richard Johnstone 01228 670329 and 07802 409770


RWJ 110417

T-Shirt Design Competition

The deadline for submissions closed at the end of April

The winning designer received all-weekend passes to Music on the Marr, 21st-23rd July.

This year’s design, in conjunction with the RSPB, one of our sponsors, is honouring the Hen Harrier, a rare species which occasionally makes its home in Geltsdale  – just a short distance from the festival site.

Please follow these guidelines in your designs:

  1. Only two colours are allowed: black and one other colour (which will be selected by MoM team depending on the colour of t-shirts)
  2. The MoM logo must be incorporated into your design.
  3. A Hen Harrier and the words ‘Please Sky Dance’ must also feature in your design.

The deadline for submissions is 20-Apr-2017.

To obtain an electronic version of the MoM logo, please contact Tricia Meynell at

Your final design should also be submitted electronically, via pdf to Tricia Meynell at the email address above.