Media Release: Scottish Musicians confirmed for top folk and World Music festivals


Rura to perform at WOMEX, World Music Expo, Spain in October

Lau, Shooglenifty and Kaela Rowan to perform at
Woodford Folk Festival, Australia in December

SCOTTISH musicians are confirmed to perform at two of the world’s leading music festivals – WOMEX 14 World Music Expo in Spain and Woodford Folk Festival in Australia – during October and December this year.

Rura will perform at the influential WOMEX 14 World Music Expo, in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain, from Wednesday 22 – Sunday 26 October, 2014.  Rura’s set takes place late on Thursday night, into Friday morning, at 12:45am, Salón Teatro.

The annual five-day event comprises the Showcase Festival, a bustling trade fair, conferences and a film programme, and is described by UNESCO as the most important international professional market of world music of every kind.

Creative Scotland with British Council are partnering with the other UK nations England, Ireland and Wales, to present Horizons at the WOMEX International Trade Fair. Horizons celebrates and promotes the UK’s wealth of music traditions and cultures within a world music market.

In December, Lau, Shooglenifty and Kaela Rowan will be playing at the Woodford Folk Festival in Brisbane, Australia from Saturday 27 December, 2014 – Thursday 1 January, 2015. The festival will also feature a special ‘remote’ appearance from Dougie MacLean in partnership with the Perthshire Amber, The Dougie McLean Festival and performances from street theatre act Big Rory.

More than 2,000 performers and 438 events are programmed featuring local, national and international guests. The festival programme features concerts, performance art, writers’ panels, comedy sessions, debates, talks and workshops, an environmental programme and includes a film and children’s festival across thirty five venues in Brisbane.

Ian Smith, Portfolio manager for Music, Creative Scotland, said:

“WOMEX is the most important international professional market for world music whilst Woodford is Australasia’s premiere folk festival and an event of global standing and influence.

“Both events attract world music executives, leading music managers, festival and venue programmers and recording company executives from across the globe.

“These showcases provide an opportunity for our top musicians to develop contacts, secure international tours, recording deals and potential management contracts.”

Whilst in Santiago Rura will be spending time with the legendary Galician Piper Carlos Nunez and Argentinian musicians ahead of their commissioned collaboration, entitled ‘The Atlantic Corridor’, which will premiere at Glasgow’s forthcoming Celtic Connections.

British Council are working to make connections and build opportunities for Scottish musicians in Latin America.  Recently in Brazil piper James Duncan MacKenzie was invited to play at the MIMO Festival in Olinda near Recife and the band LAU performed in Paraty last week, supported by Creative Scotland and British Council’s partnership programme with Brazil.

Dana MacLeod, senior arts advisor, British Council (Scotland), said:

“We are pleased to be able to support Rura to perform at such a prolific showcase as WOMEX, they are a talented band who are ready for international exposure. The strength of Scotland’s traditional music scene is of great interest internationally and we hope, via showcases like WOMEX and Showcase Scotland, to be able to develop opportunities and new audiences for Scottish music overseas.”

Artist biographies


Adam Holmes (Guitar & Vocals), Adam Brown (Guitar), David Foley (Bodhran & Flute), Jack Smedley (Fiddle) and Steven Blake (Bagpipes & Whistle) make up the multi award winning internationally renowned Scottish quintet Rura. Since bursting on to the scene in 2010, as award winners at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival, Rura have firmly established themselves as a major force. The release of their heralded first album, Break It Up, in 2012 (produced by Lau and Kan fiddler, Aidan O’Rourke, no less) was accompanied by multiple award wins and nominations – including the running for the BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award 2013 – and now the five-piece’s second release is just around the corner. Due for release in spring 2015, it is one of the most hotly-anticipated, feverishly requested albums in recent years – and from a band of the very same.


Commenting on their forthcoming gig at WOMEX, Rura said:

“We’re really looking forward to performing at Womex, and especially in the rich cultural surrounds of Santiago de Compostela and Galicia.

“Having seen what the showcase has done for those who have taken part in previous years, we hugely value the opportunity that lies ahead – and thank both Creative Scotland and the British Council for their support. The chance to not only reach out to the world’s promoters, bookers and directors, but have them see us perform – especially with our new album due for release in the spring – is invaluable, and one that we look forward to fully seizing.”


Kris Drever (guitar, vocals), Martin Green (accordion, piano) and Aidan O’Rourke (fiddle) come together to form Lau, named after an Orcadian word meaning ‘natural light’.  Lau’s burgeoning CV now encompasses EPs with the exceptional singer songwriter Karine Polwart and electronica innovator Adem; concerts with everyone from Cream rock legend Jack Bruce to Northern Sinfonia; and an open-minded approach to recording that ranges from their own complex but eminently accessible tune-making to the startling re-working of Dear Prudence included on an all-star re-make of The Beatles’ classic White Album (and the De-Luxe edition of Arc Light).


Speaking about performing at Woodford Folk Festival Lau, said:

“Lau are really looking forward to playing Woodford. The festival have been trying to bring us over for this one for several years but our diaries haven’t aligned. It’s so great it’s finally happening and we are excited to experience as much as we can of Woodford whilst we are there.”


Shooglenifty are an Edinburgh-based six-piece Celtic fusion band made up of Malcolm Crosbie (acoustic & electric guitars), Angus R. Grant (fiddle), Garry Finlayson (five-string banjo, fretless banjo, samples, banjax, slide guitar), Quee MacArthur (bass guitar, double bass, pandeiro), James MacIntosh (drums, percussion)and Luke Plumb (mandolin, bouzoukie, tenor banjo). Shooglenifty began life with a residency at the La Belle Angele pub and quickly drew a strong fan base for their energised, contemporary roots material which soon became one of Scotland’s most unique musical exports. The band blends Scottish traditional music with influences ranging from electronica to alternative rock. They contributed to Afro Celt Sound System’s 1996 album.


Kaela Rowan

Once heard, never forgotten, Kaela Rowan’s voice has come a long way since her teens singing in folk bands and playing sessions and festivals around her native Highlands. Citing an eclectic range of early influences, John Martyn, Planxty and Joni Mitchell, amongst others, Kaela has since forged her own unique path throughout the Scottish music scene. Moving to Edinburgh in her 20s, her passion for traditional song and dance led her to her training in community arts and ultimately becoming a dance and traditional music tutor for various organisations, including Dance Base & Feisean Nan Gaidheal. Currently Kaela holds the post of the Scottish Borders Traditional Song Development Worker. As lead singer with influential Scottish group “Mouth Music” Kaela recorded three albums and toured globally playing prestigious headline slots at Womad, Glastonbury, and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations amongst others.


Big Rory

Since 1981 the company that has become ‘Surreal McCoy’ has performed live to over three million people, in six continents, 35 countries and hundreds of cities. Big Rory is a nine foot giant, he loves to work, harassing his audience, playing the bagpipes and causing a happy riot. He has performed in 35 countries round the world, delighting literally millions of people.



  1. The Woodford Folk Festival is produced by the Queensland Folk Federation Inc, a not for profit incorporated association. The mission statement of the QFF is to: stimulate, facilitate and foster the preservation and promotion of folk culture for the common good.
  2. WOMEX is an international networking platform for the world music industry. The annual five-day event comprises a bustling Trade Fair, Showcase Festival, Conference, and Film programme, as well as festive Opening and Award ceremonies. The WOMEX Showcase Festival programme is created based on an annual call for proposals inviting artists to apply to take part. The Showcase Festival (and Conference) selection is made each year by a new group of seven handpicked Jury members.  WOMEX rounds up the widest variety of artists, with a special emphasis on helping newcomers break into the international touring mainstream.
  3. Horizons members are Arts Council England, Arts Council Northern Ireland, Arts Council Ireland, Cerdd Cymru: Music Wales, Creative Scotland and Culture Ireland and the partnership is supported by British Council. Scotland, Ireland and England each have two Showcase slots on the Horizons stage, whilst Wales, as host nation for this year’s WOMEX has three Showcase slots to fill. Biographies of all the artists can be found at
  4. Lau’s appearance at Womex is part of an on-going project in association with the British Council and Celtic Connections exploring ‘The Atlantic Corridor’ – the extraordinary journey of traditional music from the Celtic nations of the UK to Galicia and on to South America. British Council will be facilitating the visits of leading figures from the Latin American music industry at WOMEX and also during Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections in January where delegates from Colombia, Brazil and Argentina will be coming to Scotland to explore the wealth of Scotland’s contemporary traditional music.
  5. The British Council is the UK’s cultural relations agency with offices in 110 countries, providing an active international network for sharing knowledge and experience. Since 1946 British Council Scotland has been promoting the best of Scottish culture to the rest of the world. The British Council Scotland’s Arts team works specifically on negotiating cultural partnerships for Scotland, internationalising major Scottish events and helping to manage Scotland’s contribution at major international events. The British Council also has a dedicated music team which works with the global network to plan, resource, deliver high-impact arts projects involving professional artists and organisations from the UK.
  6. Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and

Media Contact
Sophie Bambrough
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Contact: Sophie Bambrough
Phone: 0131 523 0015