When: 1st – 3rd April 2016
Where: Morpeth, Northumberland
£: Ticket prices vary depending on the event, some events are free
What is it?
The people of Morpeth will welcome visitors this weekend, as the town showcases Northumberland’s traditions in the annual festival of music, dance, craft and dialect. This year’s Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering will take place from Friday 1st April to Sunday 3rd April, with a medieval theme.
This years’ event sees the 800th anniversary of the original Morpeth castle and town being burned down by King John. Family art workshops will create jesters’ costumes on April Fools’ Day, and a fire-eater will entertain over the weekend. Drinking songs will feature throughout, inspired by the number of alehouses that grew up in the town after King John granted its market charter.
Events will be happening across all the central halls and public spaces, with the Landmark Trust opening the doors of Morpeth Castle to the public. Here Gathering artists will perform medieval music and give armed combat displays. Local cafes have stepped forward to offer their services as extra new venues to host storytelling and piping sessions following successful debut events last year.
The competitions for music, dance, craft, dialect and literature have been, along with a concert and barn dance, the core of the festival since it began. Ellington Colliery Band and local dance teams, Andy May Trio and Peter Wood headline the indoor concerts. Fiddler’s Elbow will be playing at the Saturday barn dance.
There’ll be the usual concerts, workshops, dancing, sessions, street shows, market stalls, crafts exhibition, talks, bellringing, and the grand Saturday morning procession which this year will include the Baghdaddies. On the Sunday there’s A Night on the Tiles with medieval tilemaking, tales of the historic local pubs and Jim Mageean rounding off the weekend with rousing songs of fires and fuddlers.
More info: www.northumbriana.org.uk/gathering