Voting open for the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2019 nominations & Top 20 Albums Longlist, as the awards return to Aberdeen with a stellar line-up

Known as the Folk Oscars, on Saturday 7th December, the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2019 will fill the Aberdeen Music Hall with live performances from leading Scottish musicians and singers, including internationally acclaimed artists Skerryvore, Benedict Morris (Winner – BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2019), Heisk and local youth group the Aberdeenshire Folk Project, alongside further Scottish traditional music luminaries yet to be announced.


Broadcast live on BBC ALBA and around the world via the iPlayer, the highly regarded annual awards give recognition to excellence within Scotland’s thriving musical culture, encompassing all aspects of making and performing traditional music from composing, Gaelic song, folk, Scottish dance music, pipe bands and a host of others in between.

Public Nominations and annual voting on the Top 20 Albums opens 1st October for the awards HERE, and will generate over 100,000 public votes across 18 categories including The Highland Society of London’s Gaelic Singer of the Year, Album of The Year, Live Act of the Year, Scots Singer of the Year, PRS Music’s Composer of Year and Instrumentalist of the Year sponsored by the University of the Highlands and Islands = Le taic bho Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean

Organising body, Hands Up for Trad was formed in 2002 and exists to increase the profile and visibility of Scottish traditional music through information, education and advocacy.

Hands Up for Trad’s Creative Director Simon Thoumire thanks all involved: “It is very exciting to announce Aberdeen as the host city for the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2019. It’s been another great year for Scottish traditional music in all forms, and I can’t wait to share the nominations soon. Thanks to all the people who nominate and vote, and to the artists, media and our sponsors and partners for making the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards possible.

The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards each year sees a lively and enthusiastic crowd enjoying phenomenal performances from some of the biggest names in traditional music, as the industry and audience join to honour singers, instrumentalists, composers and songwriters.

Communications Manager for MG ALBA, Murdo MacSween, said: “The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards are a stand-out event in the Scottish music calendar and we’re proud to work with Hands up for Trad to showcase world class talent and the height of creativity.”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music, Creative Scotland said: “Voting in The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards is an opportunity to honour Scotland’s tradition bearers, support our current stars and throw a spotlight on emerging talent. It’s great to see the public at the heart of the nominations process, beating the drum for grassroots community work or singing the praises of our biggest international stars. Na Trads is where the past, present and future of Scotland’s traditional music come together to celebrate a scene that is the envy of the world.”

The Awards recognises outstanding musical talent from all over Scotland, and 2019 will be no different with over 1500 people including artists, media, production and audience all expected to travel, stay and enjoy visiting Aberdeen.

Stuart Fleming, PRS for Music Senior Manager, Scotland & Northern Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Composer of the Year Award, partnering once again with The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards. These awards recognise talent from all over Scotland and celebrate the fantastic traditional music of Scotland’s rich and exciting culture.”

Duncan Byatt (President, Highland Society of London) said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Gaelic Singer of the Year award for the first time this year, and hope that this will help raise the profile of Gaelic singing throughout the Highlands and beyond, for many years to come.”

Anna-Wendy Stevenson, Programme Leader BA (Hons) Applied Music at the University of the Highlands and Islands said: “We are thrilled to be the new sponsor of the Instrumentalist of the Year Award. We are proud to be supporting this highly valuable and celebrated national and internationally recognised awards programme which highlights the wealth of talent and skill we have in traditional music in Scotland.

Tickets are priced £25 (+ Booking Fee), and Concessions are available. To book please call Aberdeen Music Hall Box Office on 01224 641122, or visit:

Aberdeen Performing Arts Chief Executive, Jane Spiers, said: “The MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards are such an important and highly regarded event in the awards calendar, celebrating the most phenomenal musicians from across Scotland. We are thrilled that so many talented people will be gathering together under one roof in the beautiful surroundings of the Music Hall.”

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett said: “It is testament to the outstanding refurbishment of the Music Hall that it has been chosen to host the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2019, known in the business as the Folk Oscars.
“It is fitting that Scotland’s elite musicians and industry experts will come together in a key cultural landmark here in Aberdeen where the cultural offering continues to expand.
“The Music Hall, the newly opened £333million TECA and P&J Live arena complex and the soon to reopen Aberdeen Art Gallery, play an integral part in supporting the city’s ambitious Aberdeen 365 event programme. And, by doing so we can offer world class events, festivals and performances throughout the year, ensuring the city is a vibrant and exciting place to visit, live and experience.”

Chris Foy, Chief Executive, VisitAberdeenshire said: “The North-east’s cultural offering is really burgeoning, with the reopening of Aberdeen Art Gallery in November and the success of recent festivals like True North – the region is enjoying an upswell in enthusiasm for the arts, and we know how important a strong cultural scene is when attracting visitors to the region.
“We’re delighted to see the Scots Trad Music Awards come to Aberdeen at the magnificent Music Hall and look forward to a great night celebrating the best of Scottish musical talent.”

Voting for the Shortlist is set to start from 4th November onwards.

Keep up to date on Twitter @handsupfortrad Instagram @handsupfortrad on Facebook: and use hashtag #Natrads

PRESS: For interviews or images please contact Chris Hunt / Shauna McGregor at Genuine on /

For all currently available images and logos please visit:

Notes to Editors:

Hands Up for Trad – Hands Up for Trad exists to promote Scottish traditional music through information, education and advocacy to artists, participants and audiences across Scotland.

MG ALBA is the operating name of Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig (Gaelic Media Service). MG ALBA works in partnership with the BBC to deliver BBC ALBA. Find out more about MG ALBA and the partnership at or visit for scheduling and programme information.

The Highland Society of London is a charity which promotes and supports the traditions and culture of the Highlands of Scotland. Amongst other activities, each year the Society awards the Gold Medal for the best player of Piobaireachd at the Argyllshire Gathering and the Northern Meeting; presents Gaelic singing prizes at the Royal National Mod; and recently launched the Highland Book Prize.

PRS for Music represents the rights of songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK and around the world. As a membership organisation it works to ensure that creators are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music’s network represents over two million music creators worldwide. In 2017, 6.6 trillion performances of music were reported to PRS for Music with £717m collected on behalf of its members, making it one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations.

PRS for Music’s public performance licensing is now carried out on PRS for Music’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the new joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. They enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. Creative Scotland distributes funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.
For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow @creativescots and

The University of the Highlands and Islands is an integrated university encompassing both further and higher education. The distinctive partnership of 13 independent colleges and research institutions is locally based and rooted in communities, but with national and international reach, as part of a regional university structure.
To find our more visit University of the Highlands and Islands Follow @ThinkUHI #thinkuhi

VisitAberdeenshire is the lead tourism agency for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. It promotes fantastic visitor experiences in North-east Scotland to targeted audiences in the UK and overseas. It also works to develop the visitor economy through initiatives that help tourism businesses to understand, and meet demand from an ever-changing market to strengthen the region’s position as a world-class tourism destination. VisitAberdeenshire is funded by Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Scottish Enterprise and Opportunity North East.