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Scots to Nominate Top Trad Heroes for 21st Scots Trad Music Awards

Oct 3, 2023

Folk and traditional music fans are being encouraged to have their say on the best in the business, as nominations for the MG ALBA* Scots Trad Music Awards opened yesterday. 

Celebrating its 21st edition in 2023, the awards have grown each year to reflect the burgeoning traditional music scene. A true coming of age celebration, this year’s ceremony offers a chance to reflect on the successes of the past two decades.

The public have the chance to nominate their musical heroes across a range of categories, from clubs, projects and events, to bands, singers and composers.

The nominees will be unveiled on Monday 6th November, before voting opens to allow fans to pick their winners, which will be announced at the Caird Hall in Dundee on Saturday 2nd December.

There will be a total of 22 award categories celebrated over the course of the evening, with the nominees representing the past, present and future of Scotland’s traditional music scene. The categories which are open to the public vote are:

Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year

Club of the Year

Community Project of the Year

Composer of the Year, sponsored by PRS for Music

Event of the Year

Gaelic Singer of the Year, sponsored by The Highland Society of London

Live Act of the Year

Music Tutor of the Year, sponsored by Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative

Musician of the Year, sponsored by The University of The Highlands and Islands

Original Work of the Year

Scottish Dance Band of the Year

Scottish Folk Band of the Year, sponsored by Threads of Sound

Scottish Pipe Band of the Year

Trad Music in the Media, sponsored by Glasgow Caledonian University

Trad Video of the Year

Up and Coming Artist of the Year, sponsored by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 

Venue of the Year

Elsewhere, the Album of the Year Award, sponsored by Birnam CD, will be taken from a longlist of submissions for the category. 

A number of other special awards are also awarded on the evening selected by a panel of esteemed industry judges to recognise individuals who have made a lasting impact on the scene. These are the Services to Gaelic Award, The Hamish Henderson Services to Traditional Music Award and The Janet Paisley Services to Scots Award, sponsored by Creative Scotland and the Scottish Traditional Hall of Fame, sponsored by Feisean nan Gaidheal.

A raft of industry awards are also up for grabs which recognise individuals and organisations which support the creative pipeline of the sector. These include categories to honour graphic designers, video producers, stage technicians and others.

The ceremony is set to celebrate and showcase Scotland’s flourishing traditional music scene in style, with a host of incredible performances on the night from legendary Skye folk-fusion group Peatbog Faeries, acclaimed Gaelic songstress Joy Dunlop and her band, and Celtic party-starters Mànran. Fresh from her Young Traditional Musician of the Year win, the Amy Laurenson Trio will also take to the Caird Hall stage, as well as the inimitable fiddle genius Duncan Chisholm.

Multi-award-winning Scottish folk singer, songwriter and storyteller Karine Polwart and pianist and composer Dave Milligan will also perform over the course of the evening, while the next generation will showcase their talents when SC&T Youth, an organisation providing exciting and inclusive Scottish traditional music opportunities for young people in the North East of Scotland, step up to play. The evening will also include a fitting musical tribute to the cherished radio host and advocate for traditional music, Robbie Shepherd who presented BBC Radio Scotland’s Take the Floor for 35 years.

Scotland’s traditional culture, music and arts organisation Hands Up For Trad organise the annual event. Organiser Simon Thoumire said: “It is with great excitement that we open up the nominations for this year’s MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards. We can’t wait to see all the nominees who represent the many different facets of our fantastic traditional music scene here in Scotland, from venues and clubs to tutors, events, artists and more. 

We hope everyone takes this chance to shine a light on people making waves in the scene – you have just under two weeks to get your nominations in, and voting will commence in November. We can’t wait to welcome all of our nominees to our milestone 21st celebrations in Dundee’s stunning Caird Hall this December, to mark the successes of the past years as well as the rising stars of today with some outstanding performances and award presentations.”

Margaret Cameron, Director of Content at MG ALBA said: “The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards is renowned for recognising and celebrating the excellence within Scotland’s thriving traditional music scene. It’s always encouraging to see so many talented individuals being nominated for these prestigious awards and we look forward to seeing who makes the list this year. MG ALBA is extremely proud to be the headline sponsor of this much-loved event, and we cannot wait to attend to find out who will be picking up a coveted award in Dundee’s Caird Hall this December.”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland, said: “Scotland’s traditional music continues to thrive because our heritage, which draws from rich indigenous languages, is passed on from generation to generation. That’s why Creative Scotland is particularly proud to sponsor the Janet Paisley Services to Scots Language Award and, through the Youth Music Initiative, the Music Tutor of the Year Award. This is the music that pulses through Scotland’s lifeblood, from community halls to international stages. As the nominations are unveiled for this year’s awards, it’s time to cast your vote for the music that matters to you.”

This year’s MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards are taking place with thanks to funding from The Northwood Trust and Dundee City Council.

The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards will take place at the Caird Hall, Dundee on Saturday 2nd December. Nominations close on Sunday 15th October 2023 and tickets for the event are on sale now.

To nominate someone for an MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Award, visit:

For more information visit or follow on Twitter @handsupfortrad, Instagram @handsupfortrad, Facebook @handsupfortrad, TikTok @handsupfortrad

Tickets are available here:


The longlist of nominees for Album of the Year are: 

Air An Turas by An Dannsa Dub

Arche by The Routes Quartet

Awakening by Ìmar

Black Cuillin by Duncan Chisholm

Caoir by Joy Dunlop

Dancing Feet by Blair Douglas

Decemberwell Decade by Mike Vass

DIAD by Tim Edey & Ross Ainslie

Dusk Moon by Rura

Fàs by Breabach

Flight Paths by Siskin Quartet

Flow Country by Westward the Light

From The River by Cala

Haar by Lauren MacColl

Hert by Catriona Price

I See A World by Peatbog Faeries

Kōterana by Iain Fraser

Land of Eden by Lucie Hendry

Lullabies from Scotland by Claire Hastings

ONE DAY by Jenna Reid and Harris Playfair

Portraits by Simon Thoumire and Dave Milligan

Riverwoods by Salt House

Seed by Fiona Rutherford

Shepherds and Tea Tables: Songs of Allan Ramsay by Concerto Caledonia

Small Voyages by Chloe Matheu

Soaring by Juliette Lemoine

Sølvstrøk by Sarah-Jane Summers & Juhani Silvola

Speak of the Devil by Dallahan

Stretching Skyward by Gnoss

Sula by Dàimh

Thawcrook by Rebecca Hill and Charlie Stewart

The Dawning by Graham Mackenzie

The Madeleine Stewart Trio by The Madeleine Stewart Trio

Thig mi gad iarraidh by Muriel Urquhart

Trapdoor to Hell by Arthur Coates

Where From Here by Assynt

Where I Belong by James Bauld

Tempus by Skerryvore

*MG ALBA is the operating name of Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig (Gaelic Media Service). MG ALBA works in partnership with the BBC to deliver BBC ALBA and oversees other initiatives, including SpeakGaelic, LearnGaelic and FilmG. Find out more about MG ALBA at

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at

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