Elgin centre kick-off for three weeks of the Feelgood Festival

THE PLAINSTONES IN ELGIN and St Giles Church will host the launch this weekend of the Moray Feelgood Festival 2017.

The 21-day long series of events is aimed at creating a real festival feel – starting on The Plainstones from 10am until 2pm on Saturday, with live music including The Culbiners, Sid Innes and The Penguins Tuxedo Youth Samba band from Nairn, making a big noise!

The Festival is Moray’s contribution to The Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, which has taken place across Scotland for the last 10 years, connecting audiences of all ages and backgrounds to mental health themes that challenge stigma, increase awareness and improve wellbeing.

The NHS bus will also be on The Plainstones with free health information for all, with a slant towards mental health and wellbeing, but welcoming all health queries. In St Giles Church there will be an Art and Mental Health Information Fair, with many of the artists and groups taking part in the Festival, showing their work and talking to the public about what they do.

A spokeswoman said: “We hope people will enjoy the chance to chat to the artists, dancers, musicians, writers, film makers and other performers who are giving their time and talents to the festival. Groups who support mental health and wellbeing will also be present to offer information to the visitors.

“In addition, there will be teas, coffees and home bakes, yarn bombing, knitting, pom-pom making, mindful colouring, face painting, temporary tattoos and the start of the festival raffle with some excellent prizes.”

Later in the day there will be an opportunity to try out Samba Drumming with the Penguins Tuxedo (from 3pm to 4pm, ages eight and over). That will be followed by ‘The Art of Mindfulness’, with Jan Grigg of Mindful Forces offering a mindfulness taster session, including visual expression (4.30pm until 6pm, 16 and over, free).

In the evening, Carol Scorer will offer a Community Drum Jam, with African style rhythms and instruments from 7-9pm (£5 adults, £4 concessions). This should be a great chance for everyone to take part in a big drumming circle.

The festival continues until October 28, with many family events during the Tattie Holidays, as well as those for adults. There will also be a Pop Up Shop in St Giles Centre which will offer arts and crafts activities, knit and natter, mental health information and a cuppa.

Full festival information and the programme can be found at moraywellbeinghub.org.uk/festival.