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Caithness News Bulletins December 2003

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Caithness Country Music Festival 23 December 03

Caithness is set to become Nashville, Tennessee - for a weekend anyway - when the county's first ever country music festival takes place next year in Thurso.

Local country music enthusiasts have come together to organise the event at Thurso's Gillock Park and caravan site between the 9th - 11th April. The three-day event will feature five live shows with headline acts of international standing and will also feature popular local, Scottish and Irish bands. In addition, pupils from Wick and Thurso Schools, will also be entertaining cowboys and cowgirls alike and The Caithness Dusty Boots will lead a series of line-dancing workshops.

Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE) has awarded organisers, the Northern Nashville Country Music Club, a funding support package totalling 9,900, which includes 7,000 from the European-funded Community Economic Development (CED) programme.

David Shearer of the Northern Nashville Country Music Club said: "We are grateful to CASE for their support in assisting this ambitious project and making it become a reality. The Northern Nashville Country Music Club has 17 years experience in bringing top quality music to the area and our emphasis throughout has been the involvement of the whole community.

The Caithness Music Festival we know will grow year on year and be an asset to the area. Together with CASE this festival of international standard will put Caithness firmly on the map of country music lovers everywhere."

Head of Strengthening Communities at CASE, Eann Sinclair said: "The north has a long history of country music appreciation and both CASE and the CED programme recognise the value in promoting this in a festival format. We hope that this initial funding will allow the organisers to start this event in a positive way and look forward to it becoming a regular feature on the national and international calendar."