COMEDIAN Janey Godley, chanteuse Christine Bovill, Scottish Jazz Awards finalists Rose Room and playwright Alan Bissett will headline Lochwinnoch Arts Festival in March.

Organisers have just finished putting together the programme for the community-led festival which will see the return of Gypsy-jazz favourites Rose Room and the evocative Bovill, who will bring her new show Paris to the creative village.

Next year sees the “friendly festival” stretch over three weeks for the first time in its 19-year history – despite it being a lean year for cash.

“We get some Big Lottery funding every second year, but we still have excellent headliners,” says Morag Thow who began the festival in 2001 as a one-day event.

Though the focus is on the village – long a hub for creative folk of all kinds – Lochwinnoch Arts Festival’s ethos is outward-looking too, with 2020’s event featuring Ghanaian-Celtic fusion band Hesu and The Fusioneers’ Scottish-Indian musical Barra To Bengal.

Godley will close the festival in raucous, pot-clanging style on March 29 and more laughs will come from Bissett who’ll perform a double bill of his hit shows as Moira Bell, the hardest – and sharpest – woman in Falkirk.

Further events feature acclaimed local writers such as Fishnet author Kirstin Innes, Peter Aitchison and Melanie Reid, while young musicians from the community will perform at a Village Live Night.

Thow says the biggest issue which limits access to the major festival in the central belt is the expense. She adds: “As well as celebrating talents of people from around the village, Lochwinnoch Arts Festival is about bringing bigger things to a rural area.”

March 6 to 29, venues across Lochwinnoch. Tickets on sale from January 31. Website: