TradFest Staff

TradFest – Events We Can’t Wait For

The TradFest programme is full of fantastic events to tickle your traditional tastes. In the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh in spring, it’s recommended you find a nook to relax and engross yourself in the programme to find the tantalising treats that you won’t want to miss, but for those unsure where to start or balancing many plates of daily living, here’s a few picks from the TRACS team to help you navigate into this fortnight festival that celebrates traditional culture live!

TradFest Portrait BannerGary West – Chair – TRACS

There’s so much great stuff happening at TradFest it feels unfair to pick out a few highlights… But if I must!

One of the bands that first got me interested in folk music as a boy in the 1970s was The Tannahill Weavers, so it’s great to see they’re playing TradFest on Wed 29th April. The Lyrical Heart show from Frieda Morrison on the afternoon of Sunday 3rd May will be a belter I’m sure, as will the tribute to the late, much-lamented Sheila Stewart, Queen Among the Heather, on Sunday 10th May. But I’m looking forward to it all!

Donald Smith – Development Director – TRACS

I’m looking forward to the Mummers Workshop on Friday 1st May and the Mayday Parade through the Old Town on Saturday 2nd May.

Hang out with the festive spirit, and deck yourself out with some appropriate foliage, banners and headgear.

Bea Ferguson – Scottish Storytelling Forum Chair – TRACS

I’m looking forward to indulging my two passions of storytelling and song. There are lots of events, but two which especially appeal are the story and songs of Pete Seeger to celebrate what would’ve been his 96th birthday in Which Side Are You On? at the Storytelling Centre on Friday 8th May and the workshop Traditional Scottish Songs and their Stories with Christina Stewart on Saturday 3rd May.

The Scots Music Group Ceilidh with Canongate Cadjers at St Brides on Saturday 2nd May also sounds fun – and it’s in a good cause too.

David Francis – Executive Officer – Traditional Music Forum

It’s such a packed programme, full of good things. Where to start?

In music: Nuala Kennedy is a must as is Swedish trio Väsen. Mairi Campbell, Emily Smith and Kim Edgar’s show A Fine Wee Lass? promises to be fun, and then there’s Salt House, Robyn Stapleton, Twelfth Day, The Shee, Bella Hardy...

On the story front: Thomas McCarthy and his Songs and Stories of the Pavee People looks good and the Mummers’ Ceilidh will get you dancing. The folk films and trails are a great addition to the programme. Finally I’ll be all ears at What Next for Scotland’s Cultural Community? on Sunday 10th May, an important gathering of thoughts and ideas to take us forward.

Elaine Webster – Outreach and Education Officer – Scottish Language Dictionary

Opportunities to celebrate Scotland’s languages aw ower the place wi awbodie. The folk films plus finale debate on culture sounds exciting to me, and I will savour the art exhibition at the Scottish Storytelling Centre too.

For a run down of events with Scots at the core listen to Episode 16 of Scots Language Radio here.

Joanna Powell Art

Davide Panzeri – National Storytelling Coordinator – TRACS

I’m really excited by the European Ceilidh on Saturday 2nd May – it’s a fun night and you get to try out some dances from the continent. It’s great to have the contrast between the energy of a Scottish Ceilidh and the mellow tunes of French bal folk, and there is always such a good vibe!

And then of course if you want more you can always come to the Scottish Storytelling Centre on Sunday 3rd May to listen to some Italian folk music from The Badwills. It will be a fun night, and I’m not saying it just because it’s my band…

Lindsay Lou & the FlatbellysÁsta Ásbjörnsdóttir – Business & Administration Manager – Scottish Storytelling Centre

Friday 8th May has a bluegrass theme with two exciting acts to choose from, The Shee and Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys. Which one will I go for? I have a difficult decision to make… I am also really intrigued by Diane Cluck, she sounds amazing!

Lindsay Corr – Marketing and Communications Manager – TRACS

I am looking forward to hearing Grammy award-winning vocalist Mollie O’Brien on Thursday 7th May with her husband Rich Moore, as it’s her first time performing in Edinburgh so a great chance to catch her live!

I love how Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys are giving American roots a contemporary twist so looking forward to them on Friday 8th May, Tales in the Making on Saturday 9th May is a great collaboration of two classic tales retold with the added visuals of stunning craft artists, which is returning to the Centre after great response when it premiered here in late December, and I’ll follow that up with the fantastic Southern Tenant Folk Union that night. There’s also Colum Sands, Calum Lykan’s Traditional Tales of Scotland plus any excuse for a ceilidh

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