The island’s biggest annual inter-Celtic festival, Yn Chruinnaght, gets under way next week with music, dance, language, and arts and crafts events.
Since 1978, the festival has celebrated the cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany and the Isle of Man.
The festival runs from Wednesday to Sunday next week with events in Peel, Ramsey, Laxey and Douglas.
A major coup this year is the sensational Irish band Flook, who have been described by The Scotsman as ‘sheer musical magic’.
Another star secured is Scottish harpist and Gaelic singer of the Year Mischa MacPherson.
Mischa will be headlining an atmospheric concert in St German’s Cathedral on Wednesday next week (July 15) with support from Bulgarian piper and singer duo, Vladimir and Ivelina, and the innovative Manx trumpet and organ duo Chronicles. The following day she will lead a Puirt-à-beul singing workshop.
The festival welcomes back traditional fest noz singer Lors Landat and accordionist Thomas Moisson.
They will lead Breton dancing at the dance night on the Thursday and perform in an Inter-Celtic Celebration concert on the Saturday.
Another highlight of the concert will be the premiere of a specially commissioned piece by David Kilgallon, entitled ‘The Gathering’.
Welsh lovespoon carver Sharon Littley will lead two weekend workshops (£30 for four hours) introducing the 17th century craft. Participants will be able to take home their own wooden lovespoons.
Local artists and craftspeople including Bruno Cavellec, Nicola Dixon, Collette Gambell, Kate Jerry, In with the Old, Out with the New and Apple Orphanage will also be featured in the Artisan Craft Fair on the Saturday.
Talented youngsters will be represented in a ‘Rising Stars’ music and dance concert which will feature harpist Arabella Ayen, singer-songwriter Frankie Greenwood, music and dance duo Owen and Ailish Williams, plus accordionist Jack McLean.
Young Bree buskers, the fantastic Bree Supergroup and Rachel Hair’s young harp group Claasagh will also be performing.
Dance fans will enjoy watching Irish dancers Scoill Daunse Yernagh Ellan Vannin, Rhythm of Bulgaria, Manx groups Perree Bane, Manx Folk Dance Society and Ny Fennee and representatives from Cornish dance group Keskowethyans.
There will be opportunities to join in, too, during workshops and the Inter-Celtic ceili.
There will also be upbeat music to dance to from popular Manx band Mec Lir, plus local acts including The Mollag Band, Strengyn, Malcolm Stitt, Matt Creer, Scammylt, Ruth Keggin and Greg Joughin.
Many of the events are free. Ticketed events start at £5 for adults, available at www.ynchruinnaght.com or from Celtic Gold, Peter Norris Music, Shakti Man and Thompson Travel.
A festival pass to access all events is £40 (only available online).