A brand new festival celebrating folklore is set to launch in Upper Nithsdale this autumn.
Award-winning tour creators and guides, Mostly Ghostly, are delighted to announce the Festival of Folklore – what is believed to be Scotland’s first festival focusing on myths, legends and dark history.
The Festival is the start of a new chapter for the team, who specialise in exploring the darker side of history. They have been working closely with the Upper Nithsdale Tourism Partnership for over a year now, exploring ways to support community led tourism development. Inspired by the area’s stunning natural beauty and colourful tapestry of history and legends, the team see great potential for a new festival experience.
Team and Festival Founder Kathleen Cronie tells us more:
“We’re delighted to be collaborating with colleagues from the Upper Nithsdale Tourism Partnership on the inaugural Festival of Folklore. The area boasts a relatively undiscovered ‘mythical landscape’ steeped in history, heritage, myth and magic. Coupled with vibrant and welcoming communities, we felt this area would be the perfect location for our new Festival.”
The Festival of Folklore runs from Friday 27th September till Sunday 29th. Guests will be encouraged to stimulate their senses and discover unique aspects of this enchanting setting through storytelling, art, tours and trails. Festival locations include: Crawick Multiverse, A’ the Airts, Wanlockhead Museum of Lead Mining, the dramatic Kirkconnel hills and historic streets of Sanquhar. Upper Nithsdale is becoming a hotspot for genealogical tourism and research. It is well known for its legends of witches, ghosts and wraiths, as well as its history abundant in tales of the Covenanters, mines of lead and streams of gold, alongside a cultural heritage rich in creativity.
Telling us more about their plans, Kathleen continued:
“We aim to start small, with a view to growing the Festival in years to come: our vision is that the Festival of Folklore will become a destination event in the region’s colourful and eclectic festival calendar, building a dedicated following and attracting new people to discover the delights of D&G. This is an excellent opportunity for innovation, nurturing local passion and knowledge, and bringing communities together, and in doing so, helping to boost the local economy.”
Partnership working is a top priority for Mostly Ghostly and the team are thrilled with the support received so far.
Team Member and Festival Co-Founder John Hill said:
“We’ve met some wonderfully encouraging people in the past year or so, all doing their utmost to shine a positive spotlight on the area. Kind offers of help have come in from individuals, community groups, businesses and attractions, keen to support the Festival. We appreciate the advice and suggestions given, from offers to take part in and host events to ways of promoting it, and are delighted with the overwhelming positivity that’s come our way. This has helped to lay strong foundations from which we hope the Festival will flourish.”
Rose Murdoch, Chair of the Upper Nithsdale Tourism Partnership, said:
“The Upper Nithsdale Tourism Partnership is delighted to be working with Mostly Ghostly to deliver this unique and exciting Festival of Folklore in Upper Nithsdale – a Festival that will allow visitors to the area an opportunity to learn about the rich heritage, history and culture of the area through a variety of different media, from storytelling, walks, tours and art.”
“Upper Nithsdale has so much to offer visitors to the area yet we are still the “hidden gem” in Scotland. We hope that this Festival of Folklore will enable us to showcase and share our natural assets, compelling history and proud heritage to visitors to the area, and for them to discover, experience and enjoy all that we have to offer.”
Marketing consultant, Lorna Young, who has been supporting the Upper Nithsdale Tourism Partnership, said:
“The really exciting thing that the Upper Nithsdale Tourism Partnership has focused on is the opportunity to develop tourism experiences and products that showcase the unique assets of the area, and the Festival of Folklore is a wonderful example of that.
“Successful tourism isn’t solely about marketing. It’s about finding the best way to unlock the potential of our people and places to help visitors to enjoy authentic, memorable and inspirational experiences.
“The Mostly Ghostly team’s understanding of the heritage potential of Upper Nithsdale has been a real asset. They have invested huge amounts of time in understanding the rich history and the fascinating stories of this relatively unknown part of southern Scotland.
“I fully expect this pilot festival to grow into a nationally significant heritage festival,and I look forward to experiencing Mostly Ghostly’s interpretation of the intriguing history of Upper Nithsdale.”
Jon Evans, Vice Chair of the Upper Nithsdale Tourism Partnership said:
“Mostly Ghostly have created a programme of events that aims to represent the diverse communities of Upper Nithsdale. Each of our communities is distinct and has its own stories to tell, but weave these stories together and there’s a rich and fascinating tapestry of experiences and histories to share. This first festival is just the start of something that has great potential to grow and put Upper Nithsdale on the map.”
Summing up, Kathleen said:
“We’re very excited about welcoming our first guests to the Festival of Folklore! This is a huge opportunity to promote our region, and in keeping with the ethos behind the Upper Nithsdale Tourism Trail, we aim that the Festival will help change the area’s story to a more positive one, showcasing its fantastic folklore blended with stories from farther afield. Raising the profile of this awe-inspiring location is key, and we hope that people from around the country will add the Festival of Folklore to their must-experience list!”