Wednesday, November 07, 2007

John Lennon Festival Shines On UK Awards Night

"I always felt free in Scotland," said John Lennon.

That freedom was shared by artist and audience alike earlier this year at a Festival in Durness named in tribute to the much-loved musician, writer and peace activist. In spirit and body, family, friends and fans of John Lennon came together in the Scottish Highlands for three days of music, poetry, drama and more - under the Northern Lights.

Last night, at a ceremony in London, England, the John Lennon Northern Lights Festival was named "Best New Festival" at the UK Festival Awards - joining long-standing celebrants, such as the Isle of Wight and Glastonbury festivals, on the winner's podium. Hearty congratulations are due Festival Coordinator Mike Merritt and his team, and to all the people. Imagine ( :

Singer-songwriter Allison Crowe's honoured and delighted to be Canada's musical ambassador to the event, sharing the stage and experience with an eclectic line-up, including: the original Quarrymen (John's skiffle group which evolved into The Beatles); contemporary UK chart-toppers Nizlopi; premiere Scottish jazzer Todd Gordon and his combo; Britain's most popular living poet and playwright Carol Ann Duffy (second only to William Shakespeare among university-age readers); punk poet John Cooper Clarke; members of the Royal Academy of Music; all together with the Queen's Master of Music, composer/conductor Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (in a joyful musical triumph, his first public performance in 15 years).

During the Festival in Durness in late September, John's family gathered for the dedication of a simple plaque - now on the family croft above the waters and sands of Sango Bay. It says: "John Lennon 1940-1980, Musician & Songwriter, lived here".

Och aye. He's living there still.

In My Life

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