Scotland's first 'Covid-safe festival' in running for event of the year honour

Scotland's first “Covid-safe festival” is to compete with the Edinburgh International Festival and Celtic Connections for an event of the year honour at a major Scottish music industry awards.

By Brian Ferguson
Monday, 1st November 2021, 11:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 7:51 am

Capers in Cannich, a small-scale music and glamping festival, was launched in May in response to Scotland’s strict Covid rules.

Staged on a secluded Highland farm, it was designed to allow music fans to spend their weekend in a socially-distanced “bubble” and was the first festival to be staged in Scotland after lockdown was lifted.

Also nominated for an award is a single and video created in honour of Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir and his fundraising efforts since being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

Festivalgoers stayed in luxury belltents at the new Capers in Cannich event.

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    Five Capers in Cannich events were held over the summer at Invercannich Farm, near Beauly, in the Highlands, by Karl Falconer and his family.

    The event, which is due to return in 2022, is in the running at next month’s MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, alongside a traditional music showcase the EIF staged at Edinburgh University’s Old College Quad and this year’s Celtic Connections, which was staged entirely online.

    Also in contention for the same award are Under Canvas, an outdoor festival staged by Eden Court, in Inverness, and the National Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs festival.

    The awards, also known as Na Trads, will be staged at the Engine Works in Glasgow and broadcast by BBC Alba on 4 December. Public voting on the awards begins today.

    Five editions of Capers in Cannich were held between May and September. Picture: Ryan Balharry

    Capers in Cannich director Karl Falconer said: “As a brand new event, it feels fantastic to be nominated.

    “Bringing our Covid-safe concept to life for the first time was an incredibly exciting challenge and this nomination is testament to the hard work and vision of the team."It’s very humbling to be in such esteemed company alongside some of the most iconic events in Scotland.”

    Highland fiddler and broadcaster Bruce MacGregor put together a new “Scottish Folk Orchestra” to create Doddie’s Dream, which featured violinist Nicola Benedetti, his bandmates in Blazin’ Fiddles and trad stars Julie Fowlis, Duncan Chisholm, Aly Bain, Phil Cunningham, Ali Levack, Gary Innes, Douglas Montgomery and Brian Cromarty.

    Inverness-based MacGregor said: “The tune actually came to me on Hogmanay. It felt almost like a hymn and quite optimistic, despite everything that was going on at the time.

    The MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards will be staged in Glasgow next month.

    “I was out cycling a couple of weeks later and nearly fell off. I just thought to myself: ‘Why am I mucking about when I could actually make some music to raise funds for Doddie’s charity?’

    “The single and the video took around three weeks to record. They got so much support when they came out and Doddie's Dream got to number nine in the UK charts.

    “People are now playing it on all sorts of instruments and it’s being played before Scotland’s games at Murrayfield this month.”

    Other nominees in the best trad video category include Ali Levack, Lewis McLaughlin, Mhairi Macmillan and Lapwyng.Album of the year nominees include Ross & Ryan Couper, Brian Ó hEadhra & Fionnag NicChonnich, Rachel Walker, Mec Lir, Whyte, Duncan Lyall, The Chair, Karen Matheson, Gnoss and Kris Drever.

    Anna Massie and Bruce MacGregor were among the musicians to record Doddie's Dream.

    Ali Levack, Findlay Napier, Ingrid Henderson, Iona Fyfe and Mhairi Hall are all shortlisted for musician of the year, while Arthur Coates, John Dew, Madderam and The Canny Band are contenders for best up-and-coming artist.

    Ainslie Hamill, Iain 'Costello' Maciver, Kim Carnie and Mairi Macmillan will compete for the crown of best Gaelic singer.

    Beth Malcolm, Calum McIlroy, Cameron Nixon and Ellie Beaton are all nominated for the best Scots singer honour.


    Original Work of the Year sponsored by PRS for Music

    1. Calum MacPhail - 7 Years Old

    Ali Levack, Julie Fowlis, Brian Cromarty and Douglas Montgomery were among the musicians to record Doddie's Dream.

    2. Fatma's Waltz - Adam Sutherland

    3. Dùsgadh – Breabach

    4. The Driftwood Project - Jack Badcock

    5. Wild Edges - Inge Thomson

    Community Project of the Year sponsored by Greentrax Recordings

    1. Cabraich Community Arts, Stornoway: Online Skills and Ceilidh

    2. Dee and Don Ceilidh Collective’s ‘Our Rivers and Glens’ project

    3. Riddell Fiddles’ Two Towns Housing Estate Youth Musical Outreach Programme4. Stonehaven Folk Club Folk in Crisis Concerts

    Event of the Year sponsored by VisitScotland

    1. Capers in Cannich

    2. Celtic Connections

    3. Eden Court Under Canvas

    4. In The Tradition - Edinburgh International Festival Traditional Music Programme 2021

    5. NAAFC Festival

    Gaelic Singer of the Year sponsored by The Highland Society of London

    1. Ainslie Hamill

    2. Iain 'Costello' Maciver

    3. Kim Carnie

    4. Mairi Macmillan

    Musician of the Year sponsored by The University of the Highlands and Islands

    1. Ali Levack

    2. Findlay Napier

    3. Ingrid Henderson

    4. Iona Fyfe

    5. Mhairi Hall

    Online Performance of 2021 sponsored by Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust

    1. Alec Dalglish Live Streams

    2. An Tobar Summer Sessions

    3. Làn-Dùil Online Festival

    4. Norrie "Tago" MacIver Live Streams

    5. Ron Jappy Vincular Album Launch

    Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year sponsored by Traditional Music and Song Association

    1. Beth Malcolm

    2. Calum McIlroy

    3. Cameron Nixon

    4. Ellie Beaton

    Trad Video of the Year sponsored by Threads of Sound

    1. Adahs Way - Ali Levack

    2. Doddie’s Dream - Bruce MacGregor

    3. Summer - Lewis McLaughlin

    4. Mairead nan Cuiread - Mhairi Macmillan

    5. Pretty Girl - Lapwyng (Valtos Remix)

    Trad Music in the Media sponsored by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

    1. Ceòl is Cràdh’ (BBC ALBA)

    2. Tartan Tunes

    3. Taynuilt Ceilidh’s

    4. The 22nd Annual Pipes of Christmas – 2020 / The Clan Currie Society / The Learned Kindred of Currie

    Up and Coming Artist of the Year sponsored by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

    1. Arthur Coates

    2. John Dew

    3. Madderam

    4. The Canny Band

    Music Tutor of the Year Award sponsored by Creative Scotland's Youth Music Initiative

    1. Imogen Bose Ward, Fiddle

    3. Isla Ratcliff, Scots Music Group

    4. Michael Bryan, Guitar

    5. Craig Muirhead, Director of Piping and Drumming at Strathallan School

    Album of the Year sponsored by Birnam CD

    1. And Den Dey Made Tae by Ross & Ryan Couper

    2. Cairdeas by Brian Ó hEadhra & Fionnag NicChonnich

    3. Gaol by Rachel Walker

    4. Livewire by Mec Lir

    5. MAIM by Whyte

    6. Milestone by Duncan Lyall

    7. Orkney Monster by The Chair

    8. Still Time by Karen Matheson

    9. The Light of The Moon by Gnoss

    10. Where the World Is Thin by Kris Drever

    Glasgow's Celtic Connections festival was staged without audiences at the start of 2021. Picture: Gaelle Beri
    Edinburgh University's Old College Quad played host to the Edinburgh International Festival's 'In The Tradition' concert series. Picture: Ryan Buchanan