The Hairth

one the most relaxed, friendliest, and playful festivals around

Feature by R.J. Thomson | 13 Sep 2006

September is often one of Southern Scotland's best months. This isn't just false-optimism at the end of one of the patchiest Augusts in memory, but a statement based on a number of years of intensive study. Not the kind of study that represents a passionate intellectual interest in the wider world, but one that spawns from a positively hypochondriac inclination towards S.A.D.

One way in which the Skinny's more rustically-minded music-loving readers might choose to fend off the oncoming ravages of Seasonal Affective Disorder is by celebrating the dwindling summer days in the countryside. There'll be no finer way to do this than to head to Knockengorroch Farm in Ayrshire, where they are hosting The Hairth, an equinoctal celebration of music from all around the world.

Acts on the bill include such familiar names as Salsa Celtica, Apache Indian & the Reggae Revolution, and the Peatbog Faeries. There will also be a wide range of sounds to cater for even the most eclectic of tastes, with sets from the Kathryn Tickell Band, the Black Seeds, Tarantism, the Baba Kone Band, the David Ferrard Trio, and 10 Storeys High, alongside Skinny favourites Mungo's Hi Fi Soundsystem. Those of you familiar with these names will be aware that it's a fairly 'rootsy' bill – drainpipe jeans and Pringle cardigans will in all likelihood not proliferate – but no-one should be put off what is one of the most relaxed, friendliest, and playful festivals around.

One of the stated goals of the Hairth is to promote the heritage and social history of a region, Galloway, that was once more densely populated. There are few countries in the world to match Scotland in this regard – where areas of rural and even (in the Highlands) wild land have a long history of human civilisation. You are well advised to head to Knockengorroch this September, whether it's for the sun, the sounds, or the ghosts.