Extra funding has been given to celebrate the Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering’s 50th anniversary this year.
The ‘Golden Gathering’, as it has been named, takes place from April 21 to 23.
And as this year is the 50th event of its kind, it will be an extra special celebration.
To support that, the Gathering committee has been given grants from the Big Lottery Celebrate! Fund and Northumberland County Council’s Community Fund.
There are also other funding bids in the pipeline to help make it even better.
The programme is still being finalised, but the Northumbrian expression ‘Gowld a gowpens’ — literally ‘gold coins in double handfuls’, conjuring up a sense of overflowing riches — will be reflected in an especially full three-day extravaganza across the town.
Musical headliners include new Northumbrian super-group Alistair Anderson and Northlands, leading traditional band 422 playing at the Saturday night barn dance, Carolyn Robson, and the Bottle Bank Band, including ace fiddler Stewart Hardy, a favourite with Morpeth audiences, who will also run some music workshops in the run up to the Gathering.
All the town centre venues will be in action, with street entertainers and a huge range of concerts, exhibitions, talks and have-a-go workshops.
On the Saturday and Sunday, the Landmark Trust will again open Morpeth Castle to the public, with the Gathering’s storytellers, musicians and living history characters providing plenty of action.
And an increasing number of cafes and pubs have agreed to host music sessions and storytelling, featuring a host of acts.
With Gathering Sunday falling on St George’s Day and Shakespeare’s birthday, the festival has a chance to celebrate Englishness and Morpeth’s Tudor links with mummers, morris and maypole dancing.
Keep up to date at www.northumbriana.org.uk