NEWS: Pilgrimage To The Islands | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Kathryn Williams

As spring attempts to clamber onto the freezing shores of the Northumberland coast, we look forward to a crisp new festival, Pilgrimage To The Islands, on Holy Island, taking place on Saturday 31st March.

Featuring performances from an impressive array of local music pioneers, it promises to showcase a mix of home-grown art, film and music, combined with nature and tradition. Mercury nominated folk artist Kathryn Williams headlines with an intimate solo performance, alongside folk legends Kathryn Tickell & Amy Thatcher who bring Northumbrian pipes, accordions and clog dancing to the stage. Other acts include Hector Gannet, St James’ Infirmary, Sally Wheatley (aka Johny Brown, Band of Holy Joy), Horse Loom and Gary Chaplin, many of these performing specially commissioned or site-specific pieces. On a more visual plane, The Pitmatic Painters bring their regionally reflective creations to the island.

Steeped in history and rugged natural beauty, Holy Island is the major draw to this event. The fact that you can’t arrive (or leave!) during high tide (1.15pm-7.45pm), combined with the prospect of a two-mile trudge across the decidedly dicey Pilgrims Way, merely adds to the allure. So, providing you can navigate the safe crossing times, taking advantage of shuttles from Newcastle, Ashington and Alnwick, you should have no trouble enjoying the show from ‘around lunchtime’ onwards. As well as live music, the festival is set to include guided nature walks and wildlife talks, as well as Northumbrian food and drink aplenty.

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