South Scotland

Song writing festival first for Scotland

Midge Ure
Image caption Songwriter and muscian Midge Ure passes on his tips to fellow songwriters

Dozens of songwriters have gathered in Scotland to take part in a week-long song writing school.

The workshop has been running for the past eight years, but this year is the first time it has been to Scotland.

Twenty-eight people are taking part in the Newton Stewart-held event and the best of the output will be showcased at two concerts at Bladnoch distillery.

The festival is normally held in Bath, but accommodation issues have prevented it being held there this time.

It is being held in partnership with the Burnsong Organisation, whose patron is Midge Ure.

He said: "The best way to find out if you've written something good or not is to sit around with other song writers and play things to them and talk to them and you'll learn how they do it."

Overall director of the festival, Joe Bennett, said: "It's an extraordinary week just to be able to spend time around creativity in this way and in such a rich way."

Michael Cassidy from Paisley, the first winner of a song writing competition set up in the name of the late Gerry Rafferty, said: "There's a great contrast in styles and culture, it's been great to hear a different perspective on things not in your own cocoon and shell."

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