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a 3-day celebration of all things Country & Western when Creetown is transformed into a wild west frontier town

Laura Scott takes a trip to Scotland’s Wild West where guitars, cowboy hats and line dancing are putting a small Galloway village on the must-see map. (Wide selection of high quality photos available.)

Think of south west Scotland and you’re likely to imagine a rural idyll of beautiful countryside and landscapes interspersed with sleepy villages and quaint towns. So upon visiting it can be a little disconcerting to find yourself surrounded by cowboys, watching a western style shoot out in a town where the roads are closed to cars but warmly welcome hoards of line dancers every September.

Welcome to Creetown, welcome to Scotland’s biggest country music festival. In fact we had stumbled upon the sort of all consuming welcome that left us grinning from ear to ear and enjoying a newfound appreciation for country music.

The Creetown Country Music Festival is a 3-day celebration of all things Country & Western when Creetown is transformed into a wild west frontier town. Normally home to 750 residents, during the festival around 10,000 country music lovers, country and western fans, cowboys, line dancers and people who simply enjoy live music and a good time inundate this small village and the surrounding towns.

The event is focussed around 3 days of live music in a marquee called ‘The Big Tepee’ and a programme of country related festivities that dominate the streets of the small town. Attractions on offer include a street fair, costume parades, stalls, a western style shoot out, line dancing, archery, gold panning, bucking broncos, log throwing and whatever other quirky ideas the festival organisers pull out of their cowboy hats.

On our leisurely tour of Scotland’s south west we arrived in Creetown when the village was in full gun toting, foot tapping, line dancing swing; streets lined with families enjoying the festivities and live country music blasting out into the attractive town square. 2009 will be the 13th year the festival has taken place and the event is gaining momentum. This year it takes place from 18th to 20th September and it has expanded to include an additional ‘Homecoming’ marquee, featuring traditional, folk and Scottish music, plus a Tribute evening to round off the festivities. It's also proving a draw for TV crews and the festival will feature in three 1-hour programmes to be broadcast on Scottish digital TV channel BBC Alba later this year.

Creetown, and indeed Galloway, is a magical place to visit at any time of year. The landscape of this quiet corner of Scotland is a perfect mix of long sweeping coastlines, mountainous uplands, swathes of forest and woodlands, lochs, tumbling streams, nature reserves and wetlands, rolling farmland and quiet moors, and amongst all the scenery are plenty of interesting things to do and see.

For example, as well as the country festival Creetown is also home to a most unusual museum and visitor centre of international acclaim, the Creetown Gem Rock Museum which showcases a tremendous variety of gemstones, minerals and fossils in easily accessible and truly interesting exhibits.

There’s something joyful about experiencing and sharing in other people’s passions, and that’s what the Creetown Country Festival is all about. It has its roots in not in a passion for country music, but in a passion for Creetown itself.

Determined to breathe life back into their quiet village a large group of residents took it upon themselves to create an event that would encourage visitors to the town. The enthusiasm with which country fans followed their passions was contagious, and Creetown caught the bug. The residents decided to host their first festival in the mid-90s at a time when the tourist season was winding down and it proved an immediate success, with people travelling the length and breadth of the UK to experience what is now Scotland's largest country music event.

As visitors to the area we were more than happy to join in the festivities. We decided to invest in a couple of Stetson hats and with a little trepidation we ventured into the Big Tepee to spend an evening listing to the kind of music we’d normally avoid.

Perhaps it was the enthusiasm of the crowd, or the vigour of the dancing, or the costumes, or perhaps simply the close proximity of a well stocked bar that caused us to catch the Creetown Country bug? Whatever it was, our journey home was filled with the sounds of damn fine, foot tapping country tunes reminding us of Scotland’s wild wild west.


A large selection of excellent high res photos are available on request.


For further information, to arrange visits to the festival and / or to request press pass tickets, please contact Lorna Young on
Tel: 01387 263 886 Mobile: 0790 567 9475 or email:


The Creetown Country Music Festival are able to provide weekend tickets with camping for competition prizes. Please contact Lorna Young to discuss further on:
Tel: 01387 263 886 Mobile: 0790 567 9475 or email:

Notes for Editors:

This article is provided to assist in raising awareness of Creetown and the annual Creetown Country Music Festival (18-20th September), a wide selection of excellent high-res images are available. If you use any of the information in this article we would be grateful if you could let us know. We are also happy to provide post-event information, photos and features.

• 2009 is the 13th annual Festival, taking place from 18th – 20th September 2009.
• The Festival can attract up to 10,000 people each year - Creetown’s resident population is only 700 people!
• The festival is a 3-day celebration of Country & Western, including live music, a street fair, parades, demonstrations, street dancing and competitions.
• The festival is organised entirely by an enthusiastic team of volunteers and is the largest country music festival in Scotland.
• The Creetown Country Music Festival 2009 is sponsored by the Stranraer and Wigtownshire Free Press.
• The Creetown Country Music Festival is supported by Gaelforce 2009, Dumfries & Galloway Council and Dumfries & Galloway Arts Association.
• Homecoming Scotland 2009 is a celebratory programme of events across Scotland from 25th January to 30th November 2009. Spread the word and join our celebrations in 2009. Find out more at

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