Charity music festival organisers hope for a bumper year

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By Lynda Williamson

This weekend over 100 musical acts will converge on the Colstoun Estate in the heart of rural East Lothian to perform free of charge at the family friendly Linkylea music festival.

Now in its 9th year the organisers of this small and quirky, two day festival have given more than £40,000 to good causes in India.

By Lynda Williamson

This weekend over 100 musical acts will converge on the Colstoun Estate in the heart of rural East Lothian to perform free of charge at the family friendly Linkylea music festival.

Now in its 9th year the organisers of this small and quirky, two day festival have given more than £40,000 to good causes in India.

Organisers hope to raise £10,000 this year and bands and solo acts including The Victorian Trout Conspiracy, The Stagger Rats, The Merrylees and Morphamish aim to help them reach that target.

This year the festival is being held at the Colstoun Estate as it has now outgrown its original venue and is moving to the larger one.

The Linkylea festival began life as a BBQ held by founders Bonny and Flora Squair in their mum’s back garden at Linkylea Cottage. Bonny first visited India 15 years ago and was appalled to see the conditions which some Indian children endured in orphanages. Determined to do something she asked musician friends to play at her BBQs for free and sold tickets to her friends. Bonny regularly visited India (always paying for her own flight) distributing the money raised and building relationships.

The venture  blossomed to such an extent that in 2012 Bonny decided to set up the Linkylea trust and now four trustees give freely of their time to ensure that the money donated is used effectively and furthers the objectives of the charity. During a trip to to Gwalior, one of the poorest parts of India, in May 2012 the trustees identified several projects which the charity now supports.

The festival also benefits local people, it supports and promotes local bands by giving them a platform to perform on. There is the opportunity for local people to volunteer and work alongside event workers from successful commercial festivals and numerous event professionals mentor young people from the local area.

Last year 500 people attended the festival and the organisers hope for even better attendance this year.

Full details of the event which takes place on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th September can be found on their website www.linkyleafestival.org.uk or on Facebook www.facebook.com/events/619579371400669/?fref=ts