Lockerbie set to Rock for 7th year

Rockerbie, Lockerbie’s largest indoor music festival, will make a welcome return in May.

RockerbieSometimes, the only true path to freedom lies in creation, to make something that can’t be taken from you but can be freely given. And sometimes, if you build it, they will come, to paraphrase the frankly weird “Field Of Dreams”.

Rockerbie, now going into its 7th year, is an example par excellence. It’s a small music festival, held, unsurprisingly enough, in the town of Lockerbie. Run on a shoestring budget and helped by the goodwill of the bands that get involved, the festival brings quality music to the town for locals and visitors alike.

Originally an outdoor event at its inception in 2012, but now indoors, Rockerbie has been held in Lockerbie Town Hall since 2016, with events sometimes twice a year. I’ve been reliably informed that red tape is at the root of the move indoors, and not the rain. This year’s event is on Saturday 19th May, and offers, for the meagre sum of just £10, five quality live acts and music throughout from the Easy Skankin’ Crew.

The bands are as follows:
The Hollows – Decidedly anthemic, 60s influenced rockers from Glasgow, with 2 lead singers sharing vocal duties. They do a mean version of “Born Slippy” too.
Barstow Bats – Self-described as “Scot-Psych”, but rapidly outpacing any label, this deservedly popular Dumfries based combo are veterans of Rockerbie. Pick up a copy of their debut LP “Lyver Riots” if you haven’t heard them yet.
Erin Bennett Band – Now classed as semi-regulars to the area with several gigs at The Venue in Dumfries under their belts, the Erin Bennett Band have stepped in to cover for Origin Sins due to injury. We’re sure her many local fans will be there to watch the performance.
Supa & Da Kryptonites
– Infectiously high-energy 9-piece, blasting out funk, ska, hip-hop and grime with a horn section. Check out their “Dance In The Rain” on YouTube, and try not to dance, I dare you.
Root System – Bouncing ska/punk/dance outfit fae Fife. Festival favourites that look like they’ll wring every last drop of sweat out of you, even if you’re half-comatose already, whether you like it or not.

An interview with Rockerbie organiser James Turpie

Rockerbie organising mainstay James Turpie took a few minutes out to answer some questions about the festival.

James Turpie

James Turpie, one of the organisers of Rockerbie

Small Town Sounds: A new year, a new Rockerbie. How would you introduce it to the unitiated?
James Turpie: It’s the closest to a big city gig you can get in a small provincial town. A bargain price to get in and reasonable priced drinks. Easy access from all over being on the main West coast rail line and M74. Regular buses from Dumfries and lots of accommodation locally if anyone would like to stay the night. All in all a first class night in a first class venue with first class bands.

STS: How many years has it been going now?
JT: The first one was 2012, since 2016 it’s been indoors. It obviously takes a certain level of commitment and energy to keep the festival going year upon year.

STS: How do you keep it up?
JT: Just stubborn.

STS: How do you pick the bands to book for the festival?
JT: Sometimes it’s me seeing them, sometimes it’s them getting in touch. Nine times out of ten I’ll have spoken to them at some point when I’ve been at a gig or it’s a friend of a friend.

STS: What about this year’s line-up?
JT: Root System are one of the bands I’ve wanted to get here for years. One of my favourites from the Scooter tent. I’ve seen Supa + da Kryptonites a couple of times, they got in touch with me about coming after hearing about Rockerbie through other bands. It appears that people like to play here, which is nice to know. Barstow Bats as you know are great. Hopefully with Origin Sins and The Hollows both down from Glasgow, it’ll be a good mix.

STS: Any standout memories from Rockerbie’s past?
JT: The nervous excitement leading up to the first one. The worry leading up to every one since. As you know I love all live music but Esperanza’s set last year was pretty special after years of wanting them here. So many memories its hard to single one out. Bob Hollis of More From Jim saying “the next song is Come on Eileen, I don’t know who she is and I didn’t do it” always makes me smile.

STS: Any final words about this year’s festival?
JT: The main thing is that I couldn’t really do it without the help of all the acts that come and play, the local papers helping out by running articles and the likes of the guys at Alive giving me airtime. It would be great to see as many folk as possible turn up for it.

Wristbands for Rockerbie (which is an over 18’s event) are available at The Brig and The Royal in Lockerbie, Barnstorm Records in Dumfries and the Ram Shack in Moffat, or by e-mailing For more information, give their Rockerbie Facebook page a wee like.

Huge thanks to Small Town Sounds contributor KR for this news story and interview.

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