Girvan folk festival celebrates 40th year at Celtic Connections

Girvan’s folk festival reaches middle age this year celebrating its 40th event since the first gathering in 1974.

Adviser for the 40th festival Pete Heywood told a festival committee meeting that the event will have an exhibition at this week’s Celtic Connections in Glasgow.

Mr Heywood outlined the options being taken forward.

He said: “We now have confirmation of an exhibition space at Celtic Connections in the main bar area of the Royal Concert Hall.

“The exhibition will comprise approximately 30 large panels showing the Girvan history in photography and script supported by giveaway postcards reflecting the theme. Other options will include a media ‘launch’ during Celtic Connections and a dedicated website to support the exhibition.

“Further planning beyond Celtic Connections will include a festival souvenir programme with, probably, audio content, touring the exhibition before May and a significant exhibition presence in Girvan during the festival period.”

Pete also noted the wider and future possibilities in terms of the Girvan story being a part of a Scottish folk festival history.

Roslyn Halley of Ayrshire and Arran Tourist Board outlined the role of the tourism department as being logistical, publicity and enabling support to the project.

After a meeting last year between the festival committee, the council and VisitScotland, South Ayrshire Council granted £5000 specifically for the Celtic Connections exhibition.

She described several possible publicity outlets, for example, Prestwick Airport, websites, Visit Scotland publications, year of homecoming materials, ‘day pass’ promotions, media campaigns and banners on Burns House in Ayr.

Tom Easdon from Castle Security indicated he is willing to continue for 2014 on the basis that the campsite will likely attract more campers for the 40th festival. The committee recognised the issues of low campsite occupancy in 2013 and thus the viability of the security operation.