Ewan McLennan, Nuala Kennedy and Martin Simpson are among the names lighting up this year’s TradFest, the celebration of traditional arts and culture that has come to be a well-loved fixture on Scotland’s festival calendar each spring.
Centred on the Scottish Storytelling Centre, but with 90 events sprawling out across 25 different venues, it takes an expansive view of traditional culture, bringing all sorts of activities under its umbrella.
With that outlook, Tradfest manages to incorporate both the wild, pagan celebrations of Beltane Fire Festival on Calton Hill on Sat 30 Apr and a more sober, civilised hill climb in the company of storyteller Donald Smith for Dawn Rising the next day on Sun 1 May.
It also explores the full breadth of Gaelic musical culture, from the traditional, such as folk supergroup Daimh, to the unexpectedly modern, such as hip-hop artist Griogair Labhruidh.
And while Scottish acts take centre stage, including Mike Vass reprising his show In The Wake of Neil Gunn (given by us at last year’s Fringe) and Mairi Campbell’s Pulse, which has also received rave notices, the Scottish talent is also supplemented with performers from around the world, including those from Norway, Sweden, France and the USA.
A full programme for the festival is available on the Scottish Storytelling Centre website with reviews by The Wee Review to follow shortly…