First acts announced for Knockengorroch 2022

Photograph by Jethro Collins

Scotland’s leading world ceilidh is back, as Knockengorroch is set to return music to the hills and people to the land once more, 19 – 22 May.

Knockengorroch has unveiled the first acts to perform at its comeback event in the Carsphairn Hills of south west Scotland. Leading the line-up on the Bo-Airigh stage is the highly anticipated and critically acclaimed European and African based collective Afro Celt Sound System. Rescheduling their appearance from 2020, the collective will fill the hills of Galloway with their driving afro house, bold West African brass, and exuberant electronic rhythms.

They share top billing with a rare UK date for elders of traditional sound system and vinyl culture, the enigmatic French “Sir James” and “King Johnny”, aka L’Entourloop, a unique hip-hop ‘Yardie Style’ show featuring DJs, MCs, live brass and unique visual creations drawing on classic French cinema.  Sunday’s closing performance on the Bo-Airigh stage will come from Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton’s Symbiosis, two of Scotland’s absolute finest award winning pipers, appearing with full 5-piece band to offer a masterful blend of the old and the new; modern Scottish folk music at its mightiest!

The co-creators of the Breakbeat genre, internationally renowned UK DJ and producer duo, Plump DJs, aka Andy Gardner and Lee Rous will fuse the favourite styles of their youth into their ‘Plump Music’. Self-admitted suckers for bass and bringing ‘the groove’, the duo will have the Festival jumping once more. Also making their way to Knockengorroch 2022 by way of Belgium and Mali is Kel Assouf, with their unique blend of Tuareg roots and psychedelic rock. With one foot in the Sahara and the other in Europe, Kel Assouf melts African trance rhythms with the energy of vintage rock.

Knockengorroch has long pushed the boundary of ‘traditional’ music, supporting artists that channel the voice of the people, and 2022’s edition is no different, with British-Iraqi rapper and political activist Lowkey set to take the mic. Scotland’s Album of the Year Award winner 2020, and DJ Mag’s 2021 Best of British Breakthrough MC / Vocalist, Nova AKA Nova Scotia the Truth will bring her uncompromising lyrics to the hills of Galloway, spanning grime, trap, garage, and hip-hop. And future-afro soul vocalist, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Fehdah, from the front-line of an emerging Irish RnB and electronic music scene.

The natural amphitheatre of the Southern Uplands of Scotland, is the perfect stage for world music, and Knockengorroch has an incredible line-up of roots and folk music for its return including:

  • Festival favourites, and internationally renowned Glasgow-based sound system collective Mungo’s Hi Ficome with their full rig in the original Jamaican sound system tradition bringing dub reggae classics and fresh new productions, dancehall and dubstep to the party.
  • The original cutting-edge jazz-inflected klezmer and Balkan inspiration of Moishe’s Bagel;  an intoxicating, life-affirming mix of Eastern European dance music, Middle Eastern rhythms and virtuoso performances.
  • The British all-female folk band, at the forefront of the wave that revolutionised traditional Scottish and Gaelic music in the 1990s, The Poozies.
  • Innovative and multi-award winning ensemble, Don Kipper bring their psychedelic turbo folk – transformations of the world’s folk music from Turkish Fasıl and Greek Rebetiko to Klezmer.
  • Performing on an assembly of instrumentation including electric guitar, Elka Panther organ, piano, blues harp and accordion, re-contextualised via effects boxes, samplers and sequencers, experience the addictive, inventive sounds of Callum Easter.
  • Plus high energy folk pop from Australia’s Little Quirks; nu-folk from ukulele player and singer Zoe Bestel; rocking blues for heavy times from John Fairhurst; trans-European fusion project Blue Giant Orkestar; soaring re-imaginings of an orchestra with the Tinderbox Collective; chamber folk-pop from Twelfth Day; and contemporary folk and virtuoso guitarist Stacey McMullen.

With more acts to be announced in the coming months, including the full line-up of beat-makers to fill Maddie’s Dance Tent, regular Knockengorrochers and Festival newcomers can expect to enjoy the cutting edge of music from across the Celtic diaspora and beyond.

Knockengorroch is Scotland’s longest running greenfield festival and a true celebration of music, people, and the land they came from. The festival will feature a series of environment and heritage workshops and activities, comedy, theatre, and arts and crafts; as well as a range of activities for younger festival-goers to get involved.

Knockengorroch 2022 will take place Thursday 19 – Sunday 22 May 2022. Weekend tickets are available now via