Knockengorroch Festival returns next week

Knockengorroch Festival
Photograph by ReCompose

Scotland’s longest running greenfield festival is back! Knockengorroch Festival returns to the hills of Galloway with its long-awaited 2020 line-up and new additions for 2022.

The Knockengorroch site opens on Thursday 19, before the Festival kicks off proper on Friday 20 May, when Afro Celt Sound System finally take to the Bo Airigh stage after being scheduled to perform in 2020.  Founded in the 90s by Simon Emmerson the band were one of the first to bring together African, South Asian and Celtic melodies and beats. In this Knockengorroch incarnation long-term member, vocalist, kora and balafon player N’faly Kouyaté and Dhol Foundation drummer Johnny Kalsi will be joined by piper and Scottish Gaelic rapper Griogair Labruidh and a host of other collaborators.

Also on Friday and brand new for 2022 is the 13 piece Chilean orchestra Newen Afrobeat – the first Afrobeat band in Chile. Plus plenty more happening across the Festival site including 2020 Scottish Album of the Year award winner Nova;  modern electronic Romani club music and rural folk traditions from Don Kipper; tropical grooves from Samedia Shebeen; and the return of Maddie’s Dance Tent after a four year break. Inspired by the Maddie wolf tribes of the area, expect a fresh line up of beatmakers from across these shores across the whole weekend.

The party continues on Saturday with the comeback of elders of traditional sound system and vinyl culture, enigmatic French duo L’Entourloop, aka “Sir James” and “King Johnny”. With a stunning new live stage show and unique banging hip-hop in a Yardie (Jamaican) Style; featuring a full AV show, live brass and MC special guests N’zeng, Troy Berkley and BlabberMouf, this set promises to be an explosive performance on the Bo Airigh stage.

The Knockengorroch meadows will be rocked to the core by the desert blues of Kel Assouf; hip hop artist and political campaigner Lowkey; award winning nu-folk, from Galloway born and bred singer/songwriter and musician from Zoë Bestel; and True innovators of sound and proud co-creators of the Breakbeat genre, Plump Djs make their first outing at Knockengorroch.

The gates open on Sunday 22 May with the Knockengorroch day pass, and the Festival shows no signs of slowing down as two of Scotland’s most acclaimed musicians, and no strangers to Knockengorroch’s stages, Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton perform original compositions, ranging from high octane jigs and reels to beautifully melodic slow airs to brings things to a close on Sunday evening. Appearing with their full five piece big band and a spell binding repertoire full of new and original material, the music is a masterful blend of the old and the new, modern Scottish folk music at its mightiest!

A thrillingly original, intoxicating, life-affirming mix of Eastern European dance music, Middle Eastern rhythms and virtuoso performances, Moishe’s Bagel perform one of their final sets at Knockengorroch; a charismatic voice and positive abundance of energy from Mungos Hi Fi Sound System feat. MC Sun of Selah; honest song writing, warm cello and mellow vocals from Ceitidh Mac; and Leeds posse Mood Swings and The Skinny V Jaiva takeover Maddie’s Tent on Sunday night.  

Away from the stages and there’s yet more to uncover at the Deughside village with the relaxing yurt village and sauna; the River Deugh stone stackers, creating beautiful balance with fire cairns to be lit over the weekend; stories and tea with storyteller Owen Pilgrim at the Telltale Tea Tent; Pond dipping with Tilly back by popular demand; the Craft Village behind the Longhouse; and the Tigtri Kids’ Tent for fun and games throughout the weekend including the kids procession on Sunday. Plus Pyroceltica bring their newest addition of a life sized fire breathing Dragon for a fire show on Saturday night.

The full programme for Knockengorroch Festival is available on the Knockengorroch website.

Weekend camping tickets are available to buy online from £135 (plus booking fees); day tickets for Sunday 22 May will be available to purchase at the gate from £70.

To book weekend tickets, and for further programme information and artist profiles, visit