LOWENDER 2024 TAKES PLACE BETWEEN FRIDAY 25 AND SUNDAY 27 OCTOBER 2024 IN REDRUTH. HEAR THE BEST IN CORNISH MUSIC AND WATCH THE BEST IN TRADITIONAL DANCING AT THIS COLOURFUL ANNUAL FESTIVAL
When it comes to traditional Cornish music and dancing, the Lowender Celtic festival has to be one of Cornwall’s most important and inspiring events. Attracting hundreds of performers from Celtic nations and regions like Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Brittany every year, it is a festival that adds so much energy and colour to Cornwall while also making sure its Celtic traditions are laid bare for both locals and visitors to learn about and enjoy.
It takes place over a few days every autumn, with Lowender 2024 (formerly known as Lowender Peran but it updated its name in 2023) in full swing between Friday 25 and Sunday 27 October 2024 (during the 2024 October half-term) in Redruth.
Expect Cornish wrestling, street entertainment in town, a Hunter’s Full Moon Party and a ‘fiddle technique workshop’ over the three days in October 2024 as these took place the previous year. In short, expect a wealth of exciting events and traditional activities.
For more than 40 years now, Lowender Cornwall has been an important influence when it comes to the modern revival of Cornish music, song and dance. It started in 1978 and was always held in Perranporth until it switched to Newquay in 2014. Now it is held in multiple locations in Redruth, in the heart of Cornwall’s historical mining country, a region known for its love of culture and tradition.
But what to see, do and experience at Lowender 2024? Well, there’s going to be a wide programme of events and activities over the three days but the ceilidhs – social gatherings with traditional folk dancing and music – are certainly some of the highlights.
There will also be workshops, talks, street demonstrations, children’s activities, poetry recitals, storytelling, instrument masterclasses and much more besides during the packed programme. Some of the evening dances go on into the early hours, in fact. Anyone can buy tickets (when they are on sale) and join in, sometimes aided by a ‘caller’ who can guide them through the moves.
As a guide for what could happen at the 2024 edition, here is a rundown of the 2023 highlights:
Thursday 26 October: Redruth School hosted the Thriving Traditions showcase, which included performances by all-female Perranporth-based shanty act Kana, singer and fiddler Richard Trethewey and Cornish dance group Kekezza.
Friday 27 October: There was street entertainment in Fore Street during the day, including Cornish wrestling, plus Scottish, Irish and Manx music sessions at St Rumons Town Bar. Redruth School hosted Breton band PLACK, Welsh act AVANC and Cornish outfit Splann in the evening alongside fresh crepes.
Saturday 28 October: A 2023 Lowender special mini cider festival took place at Market Hall during the day alongside an array of street entertainment. There was also a Scottish Highland dance workshop, a ‘fiddle technique’ lesson, a guitar accompaniment workshop and a Cornish folklore adventure story at St Andrew’s Church. In the evening, the Hunter’s Moon Party was a scream…
Sunday 29 October: The final day saw a Celtic service taking place at Redruth Methodist Church in the morning before a sing-song inspired by Cornish and Celtic music rounded all the fun off in Redruth town centre.
Lowender Peran 2023 was hailed as a success but Lowender 2024 could be bigger and better. Expect the same energy that has been put into the festival over the past four decades but also expect new blood, new ideas and new activities, especially for the kids too as it is during half-term week.
This is just a flavour, however. Head to the official Lowender 2024 website for the detailed programme of all the events as and when they are published so you can work out what to see, do and hit up over the week. And then prepare to experience a unique Celtic festival in the heart of Cornwall that’s quite simply like no other. Oll an gwella!