The popular Lochwinnoch Arts Festival returns to the idyllic Renfrewshire village for a 12 day celebration of music, theatre, comedy and much more.

It has been part of the local cultural scene for 17 years and for two weeks from Tuesday 13 March – Sunday 25 March across a range of village venues, the 2018 Lochwinnoch Arts Festival will offer something for everybody.

Many of the events are free, while others are being held to raise funds for good causes – with a special focus on St Vincent’s Hospice, which is marking its 30th anniversary year.

The opening concert will be both raucous and at the same time poignant. The Small Fezzes, the ever popular Lochwinnoch Ukulele band will get Lochwinnoch 2018 underway ‘with friends’ at the McKillop Hall. This will be a Concert for Anne Moore –dedicated to the memory of a wonderful lady, lover or the arts, huge supporter of the festival and a founding member of the Small Fezzes. The Annie’s Song tribute is free, though tickets are required for entry – all donations will go towards the funding of equipment for Corseford School, where she taught for more than 30 years.

World renowned crime writer Christopher Brookmyre will be appearing with the Lochwinnoch writers group on Thursday 15 March, while local author Corrine Hutton will be in conversation with Professor Rowena Murray on Saturday 24 March.

The popular ‘A Buddy Good Laugh’ returns to the Mckillop Hall on Friday 16 March featuring some of the country’s top comedy talent, including TV and radio star Des Clark.

Some old favourites are also on the festival bill including the fantastic jazz band Rose Room, this year joined by international saxophone player Laura Macdonald.

A special evening of classical artists from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s brass quintet and classical guitar featuring Matthew McAllister is also set to be a highlight of this year’s programme.

Among the considerable local talent on show is the ever popular Calder Drama Club, this year with the comedy ‘Lady Chatterley’s Charter’ on Thursday 22 March.

Musician and entertainer Willie Gamble and friends; rock band Howlin’ radio; the unique sound of Witches’ Brew; an all-new selection of tunes from Glasgow Theatre Guilds Musicality; and a community concert in the Parish Church with the Lochwinnoch Choral Society add to the eclectic mix on offer.

In addition to the fantastic music, theatre and comedy offering there will also be art and photography exhibitions, craft fairs, pottery and felting try-out events and drop in jamming sessions in local pubs. The festival really has something for everyone.

Festival organiser Dr Morag Thow said, ‘The Lochwinnoch Arts Festival is, as we have badged it, the friendly festival. For two weeks it offers a chance for local talent to mix with national and international starts in music, comedy, writing, drama, painting and crafts.

“It is a brilliant thing to be part of, whether as a performer or a member of the audience. I cannot thank our supporters and sponsors enough, as without them the Festival would simply not be possible.

“This year we are remembering our dear friend Anne Moore, and will hope to raise both money and awareness of the great causes that she herself supported – St Vincent’s Hospice and Corseford School.”

There really is something for everyone at the Lochwinnoch Arts Festival from 13 – 25 March 2018.

For more information about the festival and to find out where you can get tickets please visit: http://lochwinnochartsfestival.co.uk/.