Battle of the Folk Bands Finalists set for TradFest 2017

The finalists for Battle of the Folk Bands have been announced by Hands up for Trad.

With impressive entries from 24 collectives, competition was tough so the final five promise an exciting and enticing evening of entertainment when they take to the stage on Sun 7 May as part of the finale for Edinburgh’s TradFest.

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Since triumphantly bursting on to the folk scene at Celtic Connections 2015, Dosca – an energetic five piece ensemble of bagpipes, flute, guitar, bass and drums – are quickly making a name for themselves among some of Scotland’s finest folk acts.

With influences from Scottish and Irish folk, as well as a hint of jazz, the band’s self-titled debut EP was launched in 2015,
leading them on to a number of prominent appearances throughout Scotland and further afield – including the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, Piping Live! in Glasgow, and a return to Celtic Connections in 2016.

‘Dosca are taking the party up a few notches!’ (Folk Radio UK)


A traditional music trio featuring Ailis Sutherland (pipes/whistles), Ilona Kennedy (fiddle) and Kaitlin Ross (guitar/vocals) playing tunes in the Scottish and Irish idiom as well as Gaelic songs.

Ilona and Kaitlin, former pupils of Plockton Music School and Ailis, a former World Pipe Band Champion are all currently studying at UHI, Western Isles for a BA in Applied Music.

The trio has made appearances at Piping Live! and Celtic Connections. Having previously given performances under the working title of Ailis, Ilona & Kaitlin, the band takes its name from the beautiful and enigmatic hill in South Uist and are looking forward to releasing their debut EP.


A BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2015 Semi-Finalist, Iona
matched her fine voice with an equally fine band to release the début EP, East, in summer 2016 which celebrates the rich balladry of Aberdeenshire, paying homage to the tradition bearers but bringing a distinctly contemporary edge.

Along with Iona on vocals, piano and shruti box; the band are Luc McNally (guitar and vocals), Charlie Grey (fiddle, tenor guitar) and Callum Cronin (double bass).

‘a testament to the strength, endurance and adaptability of the tradition.’ (FolkWords)


With a name still to be decided upon, this fresh collective of five have recently set themselves up as a new band based in Glasgow. With strong roots in Scottish and Irish folk music they create their own compositions, showcase new tunes by contemporary composers and highlight traditional tunes in the mix as well. They aim to create upbeat music that’s fun to play and a little bit different to anyone else.

Band Members: Kevin Murphy – accordion | Ryan Young – fiddle | Tina Jordan Rees – piano | Charlie Galloway – guitar | John Lowrie – drums


A newly formed band of students currently studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with diverse backgrounds drawing influences from Scotland, England, Ireland and the Isle of Man.

TradFest 2017 is Wed 26 April – Sun 7 May 2017

Artie's Tartan TalesThis is the Fifth year of TradFest. From a modest pilot in 2012, it has expanded far to include over eighty events across a fortnight, plus establish itself as a unique and important part of Edinburgh’s cultural calendar. It’s not just a listing of events, but a genuine, dynamic festival experience grounded in the city’s environments, people and communities.

Among the other events taking place are Jock’s Jock, a theatrical evocation of the experiences of WWI frontline ranks collected from first-hand testimony by Jock Duncan; a Voyage of Discovery Project encouraging the next generation to embrace the rich maritime heritage of Leith; and The Soundhouse Organisation’s music series at Summerhall, featuring Scottish, Irish, Americana, Appalachian, country and international styles.

There will also be a May Day procession to Scottish Parliament and a celebration of 30 years of the Beltane Fire Festival on Calton Hill.

Not forgetting the younger ones, Artie Trezise MBE returns with his Tartan Tales for the family and there’s a fascinating event planned exploring the Big Beasties of traditional Gaelic storytelling lore.

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