Media Release: Folk festival celebrates 41 years


ONE of Scotland’s longest-running folk festivals takes place this weekend.

The 41st Keith Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) Festival features headline act, RURA – with many other top performers taking part throughout the country’s first official ‘Scots Toun’.

Festival committee chair, Kathleen Anderson, said: “We are ready and raring to go with this year’s festival. We have, again, managed to attract a high-quality list of guest artists with a good mix of music and song, young and more experienced, local and visiting. We are delighted to have the current Live Act of the Year winners, RURA, headlining this year. They are a wonderful band and I hope that folk take the chance to see and hear such an acclaimed band.

“Of course, the competitions and sessions open the playing and singing up to everyone who wants to take part and I am sure that these will be as popular as ever. The main thing about our festival is that people enjoy themselves and I have no doubt that everyone who comes along or takes part will do just that.”

As well as RURA, the line-up of guests includes the ever popular Joe Aitken, singers Danny Couper and John Dickson, Keith quine Rachel Carstairs, singer and storyteller Natalie Chalmers, local ceilidh band Gled tae be Glaikit, Glenfiddich fiddle champion Raemond Jappy, the harmony singing group Linties, fiddlers The Mayfield Group and playing for the Friday night dance is Alan Crookston and his dance band.

Other events throughout the weekend include an Old Time Dance, concerts, ceilidhs, competitions, the Chorus Quaich Competition and the open air concert.

Sessions also take place in Keith’s pubs and shops, and folk are encouraged to go along to join in or just listen.

The 41st Keith TMSA Festival runs from Friday 10 June to Sunday 12 June – a great weekend of Scottish traditional music, song and dance with a really friendly atmosphere.

Tickets and programmes are available from Mither Tongue, Mid Street, Keith and also from the Festival office located within the Pop Up Shop, 175 Mid Street, Keith.

For more information visit or e-mail: Join the festival on Facebook at or follow on Twitter @KeithFestival

TMSA Keith Festival timetable:

Friday 10 June – 8pm

  • Opening Ceilidh – Bowling Club (sponsored by Huntly Chip Shop and Alex Grant & Co) featuring young performers from the Keith area.
  • Bothy Ballads & Other Songs Concert – Plough Inn (sponsored by Shears Hair & Beauty Retreat and Barbara Anderson Fiddle School in Huntly). Followed by a free sing-a-round from around 10pm, where attendees can either take part or just listen.
  • Old Time Dance – The British Legion Club (sponsored by Tesco Keith and Cramond Insurance Life & Pensions) with music provided by Alan Crookston Scottish Dance Band.

Saturday 11 June

  • The official TMSA competitions (sponsored by Alex Grant & Co), with categories covering instrumental solo and groups, singing, poetry and storytelling – across four different venues. Competitors can register at the festival office which will, this year, be in the Pop Up Shop at 175 Mid Street from 9.15am. The first competitions begin at 10am. All the singing competition winners will receive a copy of Norman Buchan’s 101 Scottish Songs (also known as ‘The Wee Red Book’) – reprinted by Collins in celebration of the TMSA’s 50th anniversary this year. There is no charge to attend the competitions as an audience member, though donations will be welcome.
  • Family Day informal music sessions in Shears, Tesco, The Deli Shop, Plough Inn and Royal Hotel.
  • The Prizewinners Concert in St Thomas’ Hall (sponsored by Alex Grant & Co) starts at 6.30pm, with performances from the winners of the day’s competitions. Tickets £6 adults/£2 children.
  • Concert Ceilidh, 8pm, in the Royal Hotel (sponsored by Strathisla Distillery), headlined by RURA – awarded Live Act of the Year at the 2015 Scots Trad Music Awards. The multi-instrumental band has 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 with audiences and critics alike. RURA was formed after their core members met through one of the TMSA Young Trad Tours of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year winners and finalists. Tickets are only £15.
  • Concert Ceilidh 2, 8pm, in the Bowling Club (sponsored by Peterkins and NFU Mutual)
  • Concert Ceilidh 3, 8pm, the Plough Inn (sponsored by Clark Thomson and Strathdee Properties).

Sunday 12 June

  • Bairns Ceilidh, 1pm (sponsored by Seafield Vets) in the Bowling Club where kids can attend to enjoy music and song.
  • Open Air Concert, 2pm (sponsored by Alex Grant & Co and Keith Royal British Legion) takes place in Reidhaven Square. (In the event of bad weather the concert will take place in the Royal Hotel). Free to attend.
  • The Chorus Quaich Competition, 3.30pm, takes place in the Plough Inn lounge. Anyone can enter this free competition providing that the song they choose contains a chorus.
  • Farewell Concert in the Royal Hotel, 7.30pm (sponsored by Alex Grant & Co and E W Simmers). A chance for people to say cheerio to new and old friends and marks the official end of the 41st Keith Festival.

Plus a festival ‘encore’ with the Plough Inn hosting the Orange Juice Ceilidh on Monday 13 June afternoon.

Notes to editors:

Contact: Gary Coull – press officer – Tel: 07834 690410.


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