Tradition goes live in Edinburgh, when the third annual showcase of Traditional Arts and Culture takes place in Scotland’s capital from Wednesday 27 April to Sunday 8 May 2016
TradFest Edinburgh • Dùn Èideann returns as Edinburgh’s only multi-arts festival dedicated to Scottish traditional folk arts, showcasing culture, live. Rooted in the past yet intrinsically connected to the present, Scottish and international artists will combine with local performers for an exciting fortnight of music, storytelling, dance, crafts, talks, walks, workshops and folk film .
With over 90 events across 25 venues, TradFest ignites the city with celebrations of May Day and Beltane, showcasing ancestry with vibrant cultural creativity. As TRACS Director Donald Smith explains:
‘The foundation of Scotland’s cultural heritage and national identity is traditional arts. Communities are bound by the stories and music that surround them. TradFest offers an explosion of culture to ensure that this history is kept alive and that the traditional arts continue to be given a platform, allowing them to flourish and shape Scotland’s culture for future generations. We’ve packed so much into the 12 days allowing for a great time to celebrate, enjoy and get involved with our traditional arts.”
Performers from Norway, Sweden, America, France, England and Ireland will join top Scottish talent, with the programme offering something for everyone. The line-up also provides a great opportunity to place the spotlight on some of Edinburgh’s most iconic and unusual locations, with the Scottish Storytelling Centre – home of Scotland’s Culture – being the hub for the Festival.
Venues include Calton Hill, Arthur’s Seat, The Pleasance, The Caves, the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Filmhouse, Queens Hall, Summerhall, Dance Base and Blackwell’s. The TradFest Trail highlights craft shops, galleries, pub sessions, instrument makers, bookshops, restaurants and cafes that help visitors experience Scotland’s culture and the folk arts. This year a TradFest Trail Tour has also been added to the mix, led by Old Town expert storyteller Stuart McHardy.
Amongst the host of local andinternational talent appearingon this year’s programmeare Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, Ewan McLennan, Gerda Stevenson, Moishe’s Bagel, Dàimh, Niteworks, Griogair’s Ghettocroft, Gol, Nuala Kennedy Band, Talisk, Siobhan Miller, Dowally, Alan Kelly Gang, Sheesham and Lotus & ‘Son, Ewan McLennan, Martin Simpson, and Mairi Campbell’s Pulse, along with songsters, storytellersand dancers to enjoy anddiscover, including a special appearance by Artie Trezise sharing Trad tales and tunes for youngsters. Plus the fantastic Folk Film Gathering explores cultural treats that show human connection with animals.
Those wanting to find out more about the roots of Scottish culture will be interested in the Treasure Troves of Scottish Tradition series at the National Library of Scotland. A fantastic collective of talent have also come together from Dumfries and Galloway – Emily Smith, Robyn Stapleton, Aaron Jones, Claire Mann, Wendy Stewart, Jamie McLennan and narrator Tom Pow – to evocatively piece together the forgotten songs of William Macmath, giving them new life and showcasing how historically significant the collection is to Scotland’s music heritage.