Jun 3 2011 by Sara Bain, Dumfries Standard Friday
COOL music, a beautiful setting, a fully-charged atmosphere and a few thousand crazy people having fun.
This was the recipe for happiness at the 2011 Knockengorroch Festival which took place at the weekend high in the hills over Carsphairn.
It may be its remoteness that draws almost 3,000 people to this tiny field in the Galloway Hills every year; or the sense of belonging that festival-goers immediately feel as soon as they reach the gates.
Whatever the reason, Knockengorroch is an explosion of music and colour where differences in age, gender and creed are embraced and everyone is made to feel like a part of a special, and very large, family.
The World Ceilidh has been going for 13 years and is run by the Holmes family who own the farm.
As well as music and entertainment, heritage and land are important aspects of their ethos.
The Celtic Longhouse is a popular addition to the festival and was built by father Simon Holmes after much research into the history of the land.
Daughter Katriona said: “I think the festival’s success can be put down to a number of factors.
“Its location is very unique. For a start, it is quite an experience to get there.
“Four miles from the main road, the lane winds over hills that have had settlements of communities there since the Bronze Age.
“There’s an ancient feel to the place that the festival reflects as well as a strong sense of community.
“Since it is a family-run event, it seems to attract people from across the generations and from all over the world.”
Brightly-clad festival-goers this year enjoyed the mix of roots, dance, electronic, new and traditional music for over four days.
Highlights were Horace Andy and Dub Asante; hip hop artiste DJ Yoda; Salsa Celtica; and Adrian Edmondson (of the Young Ones fame) and his Bad Shepherds, playing loud punk classics in a folk style.
And, by the feedback from the festival Facebook page, there are a lot of exhausted people out there who will still be smiling for many months to come.