Call to join first Scottish Folk Day

Gary Innes, BBC presenter from Spean Bridge and founding member of Scottish supergroup Mànran, with young piper Katie McEwan of Oban High School Pipe Band, who will be joining in celebrations for Scottish Folk Day. Photograph: Kevin McGlynn.

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The first ever Scottish Folk Day will take place on Saturday September 23, celebrating the country’s folk scene, and offering a networking platform for musicians at all levels to showcase their talents.

The pilot project is calling for people of all backgrounds and abilities to stage live performances and workshops, giving folk fans across Scotland and Europe the opportunity to connect with a wider, like-minded community.

Organised by Scotland’s Traditional Music Forum (TMF), Scottish Folk Day is running in tandem with European Folk Day, held on the same date, and coordinated by the European Folk Network.

Organisers are encouraging anyone interested in folk music, from young learners to stalwart professionals, school classes to established bands, to do something to mark the new annual event.

Whether it’s hosting an in-person performance or participation opportunity, or recording and sharing a musical performance or rendition online, all contributions are eagerly welcomed.

Folk fans can use the hashtags #ScottishFolkDay and #EuropeanFolkDay to showcase the breadth of activity taking place across the continent.

David Francis, director at Traditional Music Forum, said: “Folk music is a huge part of Scotland’s culture and heritage, and is still prevalent in the lives of many Scots today. Scottish Folk Day is a means of celebrating that history, and keeping the tradition alive by connecting people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds who share one common interest. Whatever your ability, whatever your style, we want to hear from you!”

The traditional arts are an essential element of European cultural identity and diversity, in which millions of people work, create and actively participate on a daily basis.

However they enjoy significantly less recognition than other art forms such as classical music, jazz or contemporary dance. European Folk Day aims to change this by offering a collective voice to the pan-European community, and highlighting the importance of folk-traditions in the European cultural landscape.

Araceli Tzigane, Spanish Board member of the European Folk Network said: “In Scotland, as in every European community, the traditional arts are essential foundations of cultural heritage and identity. Participation in the European Folk Day will be a shared celebration, joining communities across Europe to increase recognition of traditional arts in all their diverse forms.”

For further information on how to get involved, visit: