Scotland’s arts of tradition now have their own home in the Edinburgh festival calendar, with the launch of the first ever TradFest this month.
Billed as a “feast of culture in the festival city”, TradFest embraces all the folk arts over 12 days in late April and early May, with music, song, storytelling, dance, crafts, folk drama and environmental celebrations for Mayday and Beltane.
Leading lights of Scotland’s folk scene, including Karine Polwart, Alasdair Roberts, Shooglenifty and Tom Paxton are among the performers, and there are special location-based events at Arthur’s Seat, Calton Hill and Portobello Promenade.
Inspired by previous festivals including the Edinburgh People’s Festival and the Edinburgh International Folk Festival, TradFest brings Scotland’s arts of tradition into the heart of the capital city, with something for residents and visitors, old and young, artists and audiences, professionals and community activists – and all of them together.
It has also taken under its wing the former Ceilidh Culture promotion.
TradFest runs from April 24 to May 6.
• Browse the full programme of events (PDF format)
What TradFest means to Edinburgh and Scotland
Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festival and Events Champion, City of Edinburgh Council:
“This is an extremely welcome development and will go a long way to ensuring that Edinburgh’s Festivals offering is diverse, entertaining and of excellent quality. Scottish cultural traditions will have a new platform and reach new audiences. It is an exciting prospect.”
David Taylor, Portfolio Manager Special Projects, Creative Scotland:
“We are pleased to support this festival which demonstrates good collaboration accords the various traditional arts, and across Scotland’s diverse traditions. We look forward to a feast of quality performances for everyone to enjoy.”
Gary West, Chair of TRACS and Senior Lecturer in Scottish Ethnology, University of Edinburgh:
“The traditional arts in Scotland are all about building on the artistic inheritance of the past while looking imaginatively towards the future. That philosophy of innovation as well as emulation lies at the heart of TradFest Edinburgh · Dùn Èideann. We are delighted at the breadth and depth of the arts of tradition on offer, and I, for one, can’t wait to sample their delights. Bring it on!”
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