Penicuik gears up for annual music and arts festival

Folk trio Other Roads.
Folk trio Other Roads.

Penicuik’s annual arts festival is gearing up for another week-long programme of art and music next month to entertain local people.

PENFEST, which started in 2013, is run by Penicuik Community Arts Association. The group started arts festivals in the town before the current format, hosting an annual exhibition for even longer.

Edinburgh based artist Catharine Davidson

Edinburgh based artist Catharine Davidson

PENFEST, from September 1 -9, features a number of events, with the traditional art exhibition and festival concert two of the main attractions.

Jackie McDonald, chairman of Penicuik Community Arts Association, said: “The festival has grown since we started, especially the exhibition. It has become bigger and the standard has improved greatly and the amount of visitors to it has gone up.

“The events are more varied this year. We have the addition of writing workshops Taylor Wimpey is sponsoring them. . We have workshops for children and adults, run by Catherine Simpson and Moyra Cormack.

“We have always had writing groups in Penicuik participating but it’s the first time we have had artists come in to do a workshop. I’m very glad we are having them this year.”

Jackie is happy that local youngsters will feature in the showpiece festival concert.

She said: “Well-known folk trio Other Roads will headline our concert on September 8.

“They will be supported by local youth talent. Ukes of Hazard are three ukulele players from Penicuik High School. They are really talented. And we will have Sophie McDonald from Beeslack High, who plays clarinet and sings. She plays a lot of folk but more classical.

“We are hoping for a big crowd that night.

“It is the year of the youth so we’re quite pleased to get the two high schools involved.

“We want to get as much of the local community involved in the festival as possible attending various events.”

The full programme and tickets are available from the cafe at 4 West Street, and at www.penicuikarts.org