TradFest: Celebrating Scotland's rich past and promising future
Launched in 2013, TradFest was conceived as a multi-arts folk festival to mark the start of summer and Beltane – Scotland’s famed May Day celebration. So wild was its success that TradFest is back for a fifth year, with 11 days of music, storytelling, dance, craft, film and drama.
From Thursday, April 26 to Sunday, May 6, Edinburgh will thrum as performers both local and international take part in more than 80 shows and events across 26 venues. Events will celebrate Scotland’s rich past and traditions while revelling in the best of the country’s contemporary performers.
So, what to make a beeline for?
Passing It On
TradFest will be launched on Thursday, April 26 with ‘Passing It On,’ a concert which celebrates the Scottish custom of handing down a song, tune, story or dance to the next generation at social gatherings.
To mark this, some of Scotland’s fresh new talent will perform alongside those who have inspired them.
This will include the fiddle talents of Ryan Young, with Marie Fielding, Brigdhe Chaimbeul and Fin Moore on the small pipes, SIAN and Christine Primrose performing Gaelic song, and Jo De Geer with Dannsa performing step dance.
Held at the Netherbow Theatre, Scottish Storytelling Centre
Featuring the finest folk musicians from the Scottish Highlands, Orkney and Edinburgh, the Shoogles fuse the melodic loveliness of traditional Scottish folk with the foot-stomping beats and basslines of contemporary music, to help bring Scottish music to a 21st century audience.
They’ll be performing on Saturday, April 28 at the Pleasance Theatre with their newest Shoogle, spangly-booted fiddle player Eilidh Shaw.
The Folk Film Gathering
Running in conjunction with TradFest, Transgressive North is running the 4th Folk Film Gathering, the world’s first festival of folk cinema, at the Filmhouse Edinburgh, from Fri 27 Apr – Sat 12 May.
Focussing on ‘a sense of place’, it will feature films from Scotland, England, Italy, France, Alaska and Scandinavia, exploring the connection between communities and the landscapes in which they live. It will also examine and expand the definition of folk – as a living tradition, people’s history, working class culture, or political movement.
A New Conversation
Cultures a world apart can have connections we may not have dreamed of, or differences we might not anticipate. ‘A New Conversation’ brings together two Scottish artists with two Indian artists to explore the links between the two countries.
Edinburgh-based storyteller Daniel Allison, Dundonian fiddler and composer Eilidh Firth, Mumbai actor, writer and director Sheena Khalid and Kashmiri poet and songwriter Mohammad Muneem Nazir collaborate for a night of music and storytelling at the Netherbow Theatre on May 4.
For more information or to book TradFest tickets, visit http://www.tracscotland.org/tradfest or call 0131 556 9579