Media Release: New home for Nordic festival in Edinburgh

The Grassmarket Centre

THE opportunity to experience different cultures from Scandinavia and Britain is in a new home this year.

Now in its second decade, Northern Streams is bringing together artists from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Shetland and north England to the new Grassmarket Centre in Edinburgh.

Fiona Campbell, festival co-organiser, said: “We are very pleased to be holding the festival at the new Grassmarket Centre — supporting the Grassmarket Community Project which is a social enterprise that helps many people in the Edinburgh gain new skills and confidence, and their profits are used to create new opportunities and activities.

“This is the first of many music events we are planning to host in the Grassmarket Centre and it’s very rewarding to work with volunteer led TMSA to facilitate this.”

Said Grassmarket Community Project enterprise manager, Alexander Glen-Bott, about the Northern Streams Festival: “Folk music has a big place in Scottish culture and the folk scene has really exploded over the past few years – it feels great to support that! We are encouraging all of our members to go along to the Northern Streams festival, our music group has shown particular excitement at the various workshops being held.”

Guests this year are Norway’s dynamic ‘rock and roll’ Storm Weather Shanty Choir, award-winning Kevin Lees, Dave Wood and Noa Shamir (Denmark/Britain), Shetland’s ‘premier duo’ – Maggie Adamson and Brian Nicholson – and innovative Swedish musicians, Kristin Borgehed and Nathan Bissette.

The Northern Streams programme is generally suitable for adults and young people, including workshops on Sea Shanties, Shetland Music, Swedish songs, Scandinavian folk dancing, a Children’s Workshop, a sharing session and two evening concerts – all at its new festival venue – the Grassmarket Centre.

It is organised by the Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA) Edinburgh & Lothians Branch and supported by the Enterprise Music Scotland Traditional Arts Small Grants Programme (distributing funds from Creative Scotland), the Royal Norwegian Consulate, the Swedish Embassy, Hope Scott and the Nancie Massey Charitable Trusts.

Details about the Branch are at: and TMSA

For more details and to book: visit; email:; tel: 0795 191 8366 / 0786 661 1954 or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Notes to editors and listing details

  • Publicity photos of all the performers are available electronically please tel: 07951 918366 (Fiona) or 0786 661 1954 (Clare) or email: for them or any other queries.
  • Further details on the events taking place and performers (including weblinks) are at or on Twitter: @northernstream1 and Facebook:
  • Throughout the years Northern Streams has showcased performers often new to Scottish audiences, offering opportunities to learn about different cultures around the North Sea through a mix of concerts and workshops.
  • Our new festival venue – the Grassmarket Centre is the home of the Grassmarket Community Project — a social enterprise helping many people in the city gain new skills and confidence and their profits are used to create new opportunities and activities. A café is available at venue plus plenty of other options available locally.
  • The TMSA is registered as a Scottish Charity SCO03819 & a company limited by guarantee No: 199976. Registered Office: 54 Manor Place, Edinburgh EH3 7EH.

Festival listing information (if required)

All events take place at the Grassmarket Centre, 86 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QA

Friday 25 April: Evening Concert @ 7.30pm. Tickets: £10/8

Kevin (Kev) Lees and Dave Wood (Britain/Denmark)

Kevin (fiddle) part of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award-winning band, ‘Last Orders’, is now, studying a Master in Folk Music in Denmark, and winning awards there. He also has many years of traditional dance – Scottish and north of England. Dave (guitar) has performed with many groups and artists including Malinky, Catriona MacDonald and Claire Mann, teaches at Sage Gateshead and co-directs the Folkworks adult Summer School.

Kristin Borgehed and Nathan Bissette (Sweden)

Kristin is a singer, bass player and dancer and teaches folk music at colleges, music schools and festivals throughout Scandinavia, Estonia and Poland. A member of the Nordic Network for Vocal Folk Music Research and International Council of Traditional Music, she has won many prizes for her studies and practice. Multi-instrumentalist, Nathan Bissette, accompanies Kristin in their performances drawing from the Scandinavian ballad and mouth music traditions.

Sat 26 April: Northern Streams Workshops Tickets: £7/5 per workshop


1. Accompaniment – with two great guitarists (Brian Nicholson and Nathan Bissette) OR

2. Sea Shanties (Haakon Vatle from Storm Weather Shanty Choir)


1. Shetland Music (Maggie Adamson and Brian Nicholson) OR

2. Scandinavian songs and vocal music – no Scandinavian language knowledge required! (Kristin Borgehed)


1. Scandinavian and Scottish folk dancing (Noa Shamir and Kevin Lees)


NEW Sharing session with all invited guest performers for people to get a chance to share what they have learnt from the workshops and performances. (Free with any workshop or concert ticket)

Children’s Workshop 10.30-11.45am Tickets £5 per child attending – accompanying adult free.

Scandinavian Dancing with Noa Shamir – a traditional and contemporary folk dancer and amateur folk musician from Denmark, who’s been dancing since the age of ten and gained a vast knowledge and experience of Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish traditions. Most recently she has been a participant in a project ‘Nordic Dance’, involving young talents from the four Nordic countries. Suitable for five years+. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Sat 26 April: Evening Concert @ 7.30pm Tickets: £10/8

Maggie Adamson and Brian Nicholson (Shetland)

Maggie and Brian have been playing as a duo for around five years, at many festivals including Celtic Connections, Gosport, Stonehaven, Shetland, Orkney folk festivals and as far afield as Australia, Norway and America. Brian (guitar) is an original member of the folk band Hom Bru and Da Fustra Scottish dance band and Maggie (fiddle) is currently studying in Glasgow.

Storm Weather Shanty Choir (Norway)

Finishing off the Festival in rock ‘n’ roll style, this six man-strong Shanty Choir from the island of Stord off the west coast of Norway, led by former tallship sailor, Haakon Vatle, has been wowing audiences across the United States, Japan and Europe and have released five CDs to date.  They have to be seen live to be best enjoyed!

Weekend ticket £27/£21 (two concerts and three workshops – save up to £14!)

(Usual concessions plus TMSA members and Young Scot cardholders).

For booking and more details visit; or email: or tel: 0795 191 8366 / 0786 661 1954. Tickets are not available at the venue except during the Northern Streams Festival (25 and 26 April).

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Contact: Fiona Campbell
Phone: 07951918366