SOME of Europe’s leading musicians will be heading to Bury Met next week for the venue’s sixth Big Whistle Festival.

The event runs over Friday, February 8 and Saturday, February 9 and features an amazing array of musicians, all of whom have the humble tin whistle as part of their performance.

The festival opens in style on Friday with Macmaster/Hay, featuring Mary Macmaster, an innovator of the harp combining seamlessly with Donald Hay on percussion.

Seven-piece Old Dance School bring Friday evening to a crescendo with their duelling fiddles, soaring brass riffs and foot-stomping grooves.

Saturday afternoon gigs feature Big Whistle favourite Michael McGoldrick, exceptional sextet The Shee, Scottish singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni and Anxo Lorenzo, a renowned piper and composer from Galicia.

Quintet Rura bring the Festival to a raucous close featuring three finalists from BBC Radio Scotland's Young Musician of the Year and a nomination for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

The band are rightly regarded as the hottest and most dynamic young band on the Scottish music scene.

The programme also features artist workshops, intimate concerts and throughout the weekend you will be able to meet whistle makers and retailers who will all be on hand to give advice if needed.

Tickets are £52 for a full weekend weekend, £42 for a Saturday day ticket and £18 for a Friday day ticket. For details contact the Met on 0161 761 2216, or visit