Portsoy Haal Music Festival Line Up Announced

📷 Tommy Sands Music

Folk At The Salmon Bothy has revealed the line up for the 2023 Haal music festival

Now in its 13th year, the Haal will take place from 2 – 4 June in Portsoy, bringing together renowned folk musicians and performers from across the globe.

Acts from Scotland, Ireland and the USA will take to various stages across the town to entertain during the weekend.

Headlining the event is The Sands Family from Northern Ireland. Irish songwriters, singers and musicians, Anne, and her brothers Tommy, Ben and Colum, have travelled the world performing as a group and individually. Tommy and his brothers will also lead a song writing workshop on Saturday 3 June, giving budding songwriters the opportunity to learn from the masters of music.

Karine Polwart, Scottish singer, songwriter, composer and essayist, and one of the top acts in the present Scottish folk scene, will headline the Saturday showcase concert.

On Sunday 4 June, a group of like-minded musicians will perform ‘Steele the Show’, featuring songs from the late Scottish singer-songwriter and instrumentalist, Davy Steele. Davy’s widow Patsy Seddon, his son Jamie, Karine Polwart, singer and harpist Mary Macmaster, and singer-songwriter and keyboard player Beth Malcolm, are just a few of the performers set to join together for this unique and unmissable tribute.

Also performing during the weekend will be Scots troubadour Jim Malcolm, drummer and percussionist Donald Hay, and American born singer songwriter Kathy Stewart, along with a host of others.

The Haal programme will also include a number of informal sessions and sing-arounds at various venues across the town.

The full programme will be available soon online at

The Haal line up was announced at the club’s recent Bothy Ballads and Burns event, held at Portsoy Bowling Club, and hosted by the Lennox Family, supported by Doug Hay, Bill Gray and Ron Gardner. The audience was regaled with songs and poems from the pen of Robbie Burns, as well as a selection of north east bothy songs, including The Hearst o’ Rettie and Drumdelgie.

Bob Philips, chairman of Folk At The Salmon Bothy, commented, “We are excited to be welcoming a number of high profile musicians and performers from across the folk scene to Portsoy for the 13th Haal, as the event continues to grow in popularity. We are especially delighted to welcome The Sands Family, it is fantastic they have agreed to support our wee festival. We are confident that once again the Haal will offer a rich and plentiful programme showcasing the best of the Scottish folk music, with something to delight all visitors.”

As a prelude to the Haal, the club will welcome Irish singer songwriter Tommy Sands to Portsoy on Saturday 25 March, where he will perform at the Salmon Bothy. Doors open 7.30pm, tickets £10 available at the door or in advance.

Tickets for all events are available from Bob Philips on 07968 872217 or

Folk At The Salmon Bothy continue to meet on the third Friday of each month at the Salmon Bothy in Portsoy.  Doors open 7pm, entry is £4, tea and coffee provided. The next open mic event takes place on Friday 17 March, all welcome.