DERRY — “Halfway to the Highland Games,” a music show featuring several Celtic folk bands, is returning to the Tupelo Music Hall on Saturday at 7 p.m.
The event is meant to drum up some excitement and awareness for the annual New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival, which returns to Loon Mountain Resort in Lincoln Sept. 20 to 22, according to Tupelo owner Scott Hayward.
“We don’t do a lot of Celtic music, so it’s a good opportunity to showcase some Celtic bands,” Hayward said.
The Pipes and Drums of NHSCOT and The Rebel Collective — a New-England-based Irish pub rock band comprised of three cousins — are returning this year.
And Hayward said some new acts have been added to this year’s show, including SYR and Elias Alexander and the Bywater Band. SYR is a six-member Celtic folk rock band from Columbia, S.C.
Elias Alexander and the Bywater Band, from the Boston music scene, combines traditional Scottish music with their own compositions and improvisations.
The Pipes and Drums of NHSCOT was founded last year as a traditional Scottish pipe band, managed by the same organization that hosts the Highland Games. The ensemble also will be performing at the Londonderry Old Home Day parade later this summer, as part of the Nutfield 300 celebrations.
The bands will be selling albums and merchandise in the Tupelo lobby.
“We run it like a regular concert,” said Hayward, who expects the show to last until about 10:30 or 11 p.m.
A new feature of the show this year will be a slideshow presentation at 5 p.m. before the concert. Find out about the symbolic meaning of Celtic imagery by Scotsman Joe Keane, who is also a vendor at the Highland Games.
Amy Lehman, program coordinator for NHSCOT, said the presentation will be free. This is the fourth lecture they’ve held as part of the Scottish Heritage Lecture around the New England region, in conjunction with the Scots’ Charitable Society.
“The event is the brainchild of Highland Games organizer Terri Wiltse, who also organizes the Halfway to the Highland Games event jointly with Hayward.
Last year’s event attracted about 360 people.
“It was very energetic, very well received,” Lehman said.
So far, they have sold nearly 300 tickets.
Tickets to the 7 p.m. show Saturday at Tupelo, 10 A St., Derry, range from $30 to $45. For details, call 437-5100 or visit www.tupelomusichall.com.