Hot reception awaits fans of Moray’s premier traditional festival

Rura to headline in Keith this summer
Rura to headline in Keith this summer

SUMMER IS NOT so far away with the days already getting longer – and thoughts are beginning to turn in the direction of Moray’s impressive entertainment programme through the warmer months.

These will very much include the 41st Keith Traditional Music and Song Festival (TMSA) – this year being held from June 10 to 12.

Concerts, ceilidhs, dancing and competitions will again feature in various venues in the Moray town – with the headline act for the 2016 festival announced yesterday, RURA taking centre stage months after winning the Scottish Trad Music Award’s Live Act of the Year.

RURA have cemented their reputation as one of Scotland’s most powerful folk-based bands – their exquisitely rugged, yet refined blend of fiddle, highland pipes, voice, flute, bodhran and guitar has proven a resounding hit across the board, and with audiences and critics alike.

The five-piece’s fire first ignited in 2010, as award-winners at Glasgow’s world-renowned Celtic Connections festival, where they have now appeared on a remarkable seven consecutive occasions.

Since then, Steven Blake, Adam Brown, David Foley, Adam Holmes and Jack Smedley’s powerful instrumentals and haunting song craft has been a highlight of many of the world’s leading folk festivals – including Speyfest, Cambridge, Tønder, Winnipeg, HebCelt and Shetland, amongst countless others.

The group will headline the Saturday night concert in the Royal Hotel (sponsored by Strathisla Distillery) and will be a bit of a homecoming for fiddler Jack Smedley who is originally from Cullen and played in The Strathspey Fiddlers.

The full list of guest artists is the process of being finalised and will be available on the Festival’s website. In addition to RURA the guest list includes Joe Aitken, the Linties, Rachel Carstairs and the Alan Crookston Scottish Dance Band.

Commenting on the headline event Festival Chairman, Kathleen Anderson, said: “We are very excited that RURA are the headline act for this year’s Festival.

“They were awarded Live Act of the Year and when you see them you will know why. They are one of the hottest and best bands on the traditional music scene and I know that the folk that come to see them will have a great night and be thoroughly entertained.

“We are finalising the rest of the guest list but those confirmed already show the quality that we have managed to attract once again.  The Festival is shaping up very nicely and we are confident that it going to be another wonderful weekend of music and song.”

Tickets will be available soon from Mither Tongue, Mid Street, Keith and also from Sandy McCombie on 01542 882638. For more information log on to the website or join the Facebook page at