#Covidceilidh proves a hit across the globe

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#COVIDceilidh is not just a new hashtag but a new online phenomenon winning new fans to traditional folk music during the coronavirus.

With venues shut, gigs cancelled and bookings up in smoke, traditional musicians are taking to social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to post impromptu gigs using the hashtag #COVIDceilidh.

The idea originated from one of Scotland’s most recognised and accomplished fiddle players and composers, Duncan Chisholm, to connect musicians with new fans using the power of social media.

Duncan has been using his loyal following and influence to spotlight traditional instrument-playing musicians – known and unknown – with live music lovers around the world.

The aim is to give stuck-at-home folks a lift during the lock down and connect musicians with new fans through a thumping good tune.

Closer to home, a pair of pro musos on Mull, Hannah Fisher and Sorren Maclean, took up the invitation. The acclaimed pair quickly reached an international audience with their turn on fiddle and guitar.

Before the lockdown was imposed, they donned wellies and woollies to play Cathal Hayden’s appropriately-named Splendid Isolation – all framed by the beautiful Kilvickeon beach near Bunessan, Ross of Mull.

Their performance has racked up in excess of 10,000 views and has attracted positive comments from as far afield as France, Bermuda, Florida, Japan and New Zealand.

She commented: ‘It’s great to hear the music has also made it to some of those who are not on social media, through friends and family too. Not bad for a little project started from Duncan’s living room in the Highlands!’

‘The hope is that while we’re all in the same situation, musicians from across the world can play a tune or sing a song to help bring a bit of cheer to the day. It has been hugely successful, with some of Scotland’s best known musicians joining in including Argyll’s own Karen Matheson & Donald Shaw with their son Hector, Phil Cunningham, Shetland fiddle player Jenna Reid and BBC Take the Floor presenter and accordionist, Gary Innes.’

But there’s a serious side to the issue too, as many self-employed musicians are facing up to no gigs or income for the forseeable.

Fans new and old, where possible, can help by purchasing any albums for sale to help support the creative community during unprecedented times for live music the world over.

  • Let us know how you’re beating the lockdown boredom by emailing editor@obantimes.co.uk or giving us a call on 01631 568000