Fochabers abuzz with as Speyfest returns

The picturesque village of Fochabers is abuzz with excitement today as the much-loved Speyfest makes its highly anticipated return. 

Kicking off this evening, the festival promises an action-packed three days of music and culture, celebrating Scottish and Celtic traditions. 

Speyfest Chair Ashleigh Macgregor said: “All of us at Speyfest are so excited to see our attendees starting to flood through the gates. We welcome them with open arms for what is going to be an incredible weekend of music, dance, laughter and community spirit. 

“We have some of the finest Scottish musicians joining us over the next few days and are certain their performances will be unforgettable, and the atmosphere will be unmatched. Tonight’s line up is sure to be full of energy, enthusiasm and passion for Scottish tradition – the perfect way to kick things off! We’ve also got brilliant activities and workshops running over the weekend to keep everyone of all ages entertained. It’s going to be a good one!”

Thousands are expected to flock to the festival over the weekend, eager to experience the blend of contemporary and traditional tunes on offer. Kicking off the opening concert at The Christie Stage tonight are the inimitable trio John McCusker, Michael McGoldrick and John Doyle, who are sure to put on an incredible show. Joining them are Orkney fiddle sensations Fara and talented local acts, Arc Fiddlers and Milne’s High School Fiddlers.

Tomorrow evening, highly acclaimed flautist and piper Calum Stewart will return to his native Speyside, as well as esteemed folk-singer Siobhan Miller. Both are set to mesmerise audiences as they take centre stage, accompanied by their exceptional bands, for an enchanting seated concert. Genre-defying power-house Talisk will then lead the charge for the Saturday Stomp, which will be headlined by Scotland’s folk-rock superstars Mànran. 

The final day of the festival will see beloved Auld Fochabers Fiddlers, Irish traditional music duo A Louth Lilt, energetic quartet Mec Lir, innovative modern female folk band Kinnaris Quintet, Glasgow-based five-piece Ímar and contemporary trad band Ruach performing for audiences, with headliners Skerryvore closing the weekend in style.

In addition to an impressive musical lineup, Speyfest offers a range of entertaining and inclusive activities for festival-goers. From free craft fairs, workshops and storytelling sessions to serenaded afternoon teas, whisky and gin tastings and dances, there are activities to suit all tastes and ages over the next few days. 

First held in 1995, Speyfest has grown from a local event with one small tent holding around 300 people, to a 1500-capacity festival and much-loved jewel in the traditional music calendar in the north-east. Last year saw around 4,000 people passing through the gates across the three days for a weekend of music, culture and family fun. 

The event is supported by the Christie family, The National Lottery through Creative Scotland and many other local sponsors and supporters.

Tickets for Speyfest 2023 are on sale now at