Hootenanny ‘gamble’ pays off in fine style

AROUND 500 music fans gave the Summer Festival’s first ever Hootenanny a massive thumbs up on Saturday night.

The bowls hall of Teviotdale Leisure Centre was transformed for an event inspired by Jools Holland’s New Year music show, and it was such a hit that organisers look set to make it an annual event.

Summer festival chairman Raymond Wood told the Hawick News: “The Hootenanny was unbelievable, words can’t describe how brilliant it was. The bands were superb and we used every table and chair in the entire leisure centre, and I must commend the staff who really helped. The people just kept flowing in and there was folk there of all ages – both young and old had a ball.”

And highlighting the committee’s intention to boost the bowls hall as a location for future events, he added: “We also set out to profile the hall as a veune that’s underused, and feel now people are speaking about what a great place it is.”

Three different stages played host to the Joe Mangels, Duke Street and an acoustic set by the Stevie T Band, as the audience enjoyed a first for Hawick and the TLC venue, where the bowling club hosts kept the crowd refreshed at the bar.

Summer festival secretary Graham Ford, who was compere for the evening, commented: “The Hootenanny was a bit of gamble, but the public really took to it, and the bands got it too, so I would think it will almost certainly be back next year.”

A successful opening day set the tone for the rest of festival week as townsfolk supported the varied programme.

Organisers were pleased with the turnout for Sunday’s car treasure hunt, but it was the attendance for Monday night’s annual guided walk, led by Haig Martin, which set a new record. Raymond said: “A total of 23 people turned out for Haig which is the most there has ever been. he was really pleased and we are over the moon.”

As the rest of the festival week has played out, Teries have delighted in Hawick Film and Video Group’s 1971 Pictorial, lapped up the popular restaurant nights, stepped out on the Archaeological Society’s guided walk, been entertained at Hawick Sings, and witnessed the brand new Thoosand Pound Drop game.

Raymond added: “As a committee we’ve worked hard all year, and are just delighted that people are supporting the festival.”