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Star-studded bill to take Speyfest 2024 by storm


By Alan Beresford

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The main stage line-up for this year's Speyfest has been announced.
The main stage line-up for this year's Speyfest has been announced.

THE stunning main stage line-up for this summer's Speyfest has been unveiled.

Breabach, Sharon Shannon, Ímar, Hannah Rarity Band and many more set to take the beloved Fochabers festival by storm from July 19-21

The cherished annual event brings the best in Celtic and traditional Scottish music to Moray every summer when the iconic tented village takes over the local playing fields. All ticket types for this year’s festival will go on sale from 12pm, Friday, February 9.

Breabach will be taking to the Christie Stage on the Friday evening of Speyfest.
Breabach will be taking to the Christie Stage on the Friday evening of Speyfest.

Breabach, one of Scotland’s most skilled and imaginative contemporary folk acts, will perform on the main stage, known as the Christie Stage, for the Friday night concert in Fochabers.

Irish music legends the Sharon Shannon Trio will headline the Friday concert.
Irish music legends the Sharon Shannon Trio will headline the Friday concert.

They will be joined by two notable acts returning to Speyfest – Irish music legends the Sharon Shannon Trio will headline the Friday concert, while lively Shetland group Fiddlers’ Bid top the bill for Saturday’s concert.

The Saturday will see the Hannah Rarity Band take to the stage.
The Saturday will see the Hannah Rarity Band take to the stage.

The celebrated Hannah Rarity Band will also perform as part of Saturday’s concert, while Glasgow-based five-piece Ímar will return to Speyfest for its 2024 edition to play on Sunday.

Glasgow-based five-piece Ímar will return to Speyfest this summer.
Glasgow-based five-piece Ímar will return to Speyfest this summer.

Also joining the line-up are the Eryn Rae Band, fronted by the winner of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award 2022, and dynamic four-piece Gnoss, who will both take to the stage on the festival’s final day.

Dynamic four-piece Gnoss will be performing on the final day of the festival.
Dynamic four-piece Gnoss will be performing on the final day of the festival.

Elsewhere, talented Highland accordionist and singer Calum MacPhail joins the party for Friday’s standing gig known as the ‘stomp’.

Talented Highland accordionist and singer Calum MacPhail joins the party for the Friday evening stomp.
Talented Highland accordionist and singer Calum MacPhail joins the party for the Friday evening stomp.

Topping off the new additions are Irish traditional music duo A Louth Lilt, Aberdeenshire four-piece Ruach who will play a ceilidh set, and Milne’s High School Fiddlers and The Arc Fiddlers and the Auld Fochabers Fiddlers, showcasing local talent and the beauty of the fiddle.

Milne’s High School Fiddlers are once again a welcome addition to the line-up.
Milne’s High School Fiddlers are once again a welcome addition to the line-up.

The new acts join Scottish icons Tide Lines, six-piece Highland powerhouse Trail West, returning favourites Skerryvore and local stars Tour Bus Fortune on the line-up, who were announced when early bird tickets for the festival went on sale last September.

Skerryvore are back on the bill again.
Skerryvore are back on the bill again.

As well as a host of incredible live music, there will also be local food and drink, traditional music and singing workshops, a non-denominational Celtic Kirk Service and cocktails and canapes on offer.

The ARC Fiddlers will help showcase local fiddle talent.
The ARC Fiddlers will help showcase local fiddle talent.

The festival’s bustling craft fair is held on Saturday afternoon and Speyfest’s much-loved Family Sunday will this year be hosted by Black Isle multi-instrumentalist and BBC Radio Scotland Travelling Folk presenter Anna Massie. Anna will be joined on MC-ing duties by Speyfest stalwart compere Chris Wiles before taking to the Christie Stage herself to perform material from her highly anticipated new solo album.

A range of tickets are available for Speyfest, including weekend passes, concert tickets, stomp tickets, combined tickets, all-day Sunday tickets and new for 2024, a student discount weekend pass. Entry to the craft fair, which is held on Saturday afternoon, is free.

Speyfest Chair Ashleigh Macgregor said: “We’re thrilled to be able to share the full main stage lineup for Speyfest 2024 with you as we put all remaining tickets on sale.

"We’re thrilled to be welcoming back some festival favourites from previous years including Sharon Shannon and Fiddlers’ Bid. Both have played for us before – they adore Speyfest and we adore them, so we’re really pleased to welcome them back. It’s also wonderful to be hosting some incredible new talent and see them perform in Fochabers for the very first time.

“Not only that but we’ve got activities and workshops for all ages taking place across the weekend, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone for Speyfest Family Sunday hosted by the wonderful Anna Massie. It’s going to be a cracking weekend, so I would encourage everyone to secure their tickets soon to ensure their place at the heart of it all!”

Anna Massie added: “I’m so looking forward to Speyfest Family Sunday this year.

"It’s always a lovely atmosphere, with so much for the whole family to enjoy. This year’s line-up is fantastic and it’s bound to be a smashin' day oot!”

First held in 1995, Speyfest has grown from a local event with one small tent holding around 300 people, to a 1500-capacity festival and much-loved jewel in the traditional music calendar in the north-east.

The 2023 edition saw over 3000 attendees across the three-day event, with 30 performances from around 160 musicians bringing the town’s pop-up tented village on the playing fields to life.

Weekend and day tickets will be available from 12pm tomorrow (Friday) at www.speyfest.com and from Christies the Chemist in Fochabers.



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