Unique cultural festival on island

A unique cultural event will take place on Holy Island during Easter weekend.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 22 February, 2018, 11:04
Kathryn Williams, who will perform Hypoxia, the album inspired by Sylvia Plath, which started life as a Durham Book Festival commission in 2013, at this year's event.

A limited audience will enjoy a full day of events at the inaugural Pilgrimage To The Islands festival, with various artists playing and performing while the tide flows in and around the location, cutting them off from the mainland.

The event, on Saturday, March 31, will include performances by two of the region’s most esteemed artists.

The Fake Festival on the riverside in Chester-le-Street. Keep Breathing performing at the gig.

An intimate solo performance by former Mercury Prize nominee Kathryn Williams is in store for the evening. Williams has named her inspiration among greats such as Nick Drake and Sylvia Plath.

Another of the main performers is Kathryn Tickell, the world’s foremost exponent of the Northumbrian pipes. She is a composer, performer and successful recording artist whose work is deeply rooted in the landscape and people of Northumbria.

Kathryn Tickell made such a cultural impact that she was awarded the OBE in 2015, and she will perform on the island with her long-time collaborator Amy Thatcher (accordion, clog dancing).

A major feature of the day is a live soundtrack played to vintage film taken of Holy Island and the nearby Farne Isles, as well as film of fishing and shipbuilding in the North East, performed by Hector Gannet.

The Fake Festival on the riverside in Chester-le-Street. Keep Breathing performing at the gig.

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This 42-minute combination of cine, amateur and professional footage has only been performed once before in its entirety, to a sell out audience at a heritage centre on the banks of the River Tyne.

Local lads Keep Breathing have a special acoustic set, and the organisers are keen to give people a range of cultural and inspirational activities, including the chance to go on a guided nature walk with a highly experienced local guide.

In addition there will be a talk by social scientist Dr Audrey Verma, The Darker Side of Birding, which gives wonderful perspective, often with humour, at the interactions and possible harm to our feathered friends when birders or twitchers follow their quest to ‘tick’, ‘list’ or record their own experiences.

Northumbrian food and drink will be available, as will further authentic scrutiny of the area by St James Infirmary from Ashington Northumberland, performing How The North Was Won... And Lost.

There will be spoken word by emerging Northern poet Paddy McCann, plus a curious combination of Johnny Brown (Band of Holy Joy), and Gary Chaplin (Quarterlight) performing together as Sally Wheatley.

Local ex-punk turned lauded guitar folk experimentalist Steve Malley, aka The Horse Loom, has been confirmed as performing material from his self-titled 2012 release, and the possibility of new songs.

Day tickets are £17.50 (for a limited time only). Visit https://event.wescantickets.com/MzcyMzQx for booking and more information.