Bothy Folk Lining Up Performances

Portsoy should have been alive with the sound of music during the first weekend in June, however continued restrictions due to Covid-19 have forced the postponement of the annual Haal music festival for the second year in a row.

The three day event is now scheduled to take place from 1-3 October 2021, when organisers, Folk at The Salmon Bothy, hope crowds will be permitted to gather safely to enjoy performances, sessions and workshops.

The line up for the October event will see performances from renowned folk musicians, including Peggy Seeger and Archie Fisher, supported by Arthur Watson, as well as Chris Miles, Brian Ó hEadhra and Fiona Mackenzie. Performances from Rosie and Orla, Arthur Coates, Bob Sharp, Scott Gardner and many others will bring together a full programme for attendees to enjoy across various venues in the town. Tickets are available to buy now.

During the lockdown periods, regulars and guests of Folk at the Salmon Bothy have produced monthly shows which have been showcased on the group’s Facebook and YouTube channels, attracting audiences from afar afield as Australia. This has enabled the club to support, in a small way, professional performers who have been otherwise unable to perform or host gigs for more than a year.

Two special online events are scheduled to take place in June. On Saturday 5 June, club scene stalwart Bob Sharp will take a look back at how his folk journey started during the 1960s folk revival, recounting the songs, clubs and singers from the era on. A highlight show on Friday 18 June will see a compilation of performances by various artists as selected by guest MCs.

It is then anticipated that Folk at the Salmon Bothy’s online events will wind down, as the club aims to host small outdoor gatherings, regulations permitting. Live outdoor music events are planned for Saturday 17 July and Saturday 21 August from 6pm onwards beside the Scout Hut at Loch Soy, in Portsoy. Entry is free, performance details to be announced.

The club then plans to return to its regular monthly Friday night indoor live sessions, with events scheduled for 17 September, 15 October, 19 November and 17 December, regulations permitting.

Information on the Haal and all of the other Folk at the Salmon Bothy events is available at or on the Folk at the Salmon Bothy Facebook page. Enquiries can also be made to Bob Philips by email at, or by telephone, 07968872217.

(Photo above: Bob Sharp, who will play a special online event for Folk at the Salmon Bothy on 5 June 2021 and at the live Haal music festival in Portsoy 1-3 October 2021)


Folk at the Salmon Bothy in Portsoy hosts a variety of traditional music events and gatherings throughout the year.

The monthly Folk Club Sessions continue to grow in popularity, showcasing a range of music, songs, ballads and poems. Sessions are normally held in the Salmon Bothy in Portsoy on the third Friday of each month, from 7pm – 11pm, however have moved online due to current restrictions. Details and joining instructions can be found at

The annual HAAL music festival continues to attract the best performers from around the regions to take part in a variety of concerts, music sessions, workshops and sing-arounds for all ages and abilities in venues across the town.

The 11th HAAL due to take place on 5, 6 & 7 June 2021 in Portsoy has been postponed and will now take place on 1, 2 & 3 October 2021.

Full details at