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Monday 24 January 2022

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Speyfest to Return Next Year for 25th Anniversary

Dec 16, 2021

Speyfest – the much-loved Moray folk festival – Bringing the best in traditional and contemporary Celtic music to Moray each July,  has announced it will return in 2022 as it gets set to celebrate 25 years at the heart of the Speyside community and the Scottish events calendar.

Hosted in the event’s pop-up Tented Village by the picturesque banks of the River Spey, Speyfest will transform Fochabers into a haven of music and culture between 22nd – 24th July.  With a limited number of early bird tickets on sale now, the Celtic music festival makes a welcome return after its plans for 2020 and 2021 editions were put on hold due to the pandemic.  Thousands are expected to flock to the Focahbers festival as it welcomes a host of Scottish talent and marks a quarter of a century showcasing the very best in traditional and Celtic music.

The festival was founded by James M Alexander in 1995. Having played with the Fochabers Fiddlers and a number of Scottish trad bands, James realised what a spectacular setting Fochabers would be for a summer event showcasing traditional music, dance and crafts.  The festival was founded on the premise that it would give keen young musicians a chance to meet and learn from the best known musicians on the scene while they were in town.  With help from the local Fochabers Gala Committee, some fellow musicians, the local headteacher and pupils of Milne’s High School and many others, Speyfest became a reality.

Over the last 25 years, it has grown from a local event with one small tent holding around 300 people, to a 1500-capacity tented village welcoming visitors and families of all ages, from pre-school children to senior citizens.

Headliners include contemporary bagpiping sensation Red Hot Chilli Pipers and multi-award-winning Scottish outfit Skerryvore, who will take to the Speyfest stage for the 25th anniversary celebrations.

Audiences will also be able to catch Highland folk favourites Elephant Sessions and enjoy the exquisitely rugged yet refined sounds of the mighty RURA, alongside performances from traditional music duo Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham, esteemed fiddler Duncan Chisholm and Anna Massie & Mairearad Green.

Speyfest Chairman James Alexander said: “We’re overjoyed to see the much-awaited return of Speyfest. We’ve been itching to get our 25th anniversary celebrations under way for some time and we’re so excited to be back in full voice for 2022, with a fantastic line up including some spectacular headliners on the menu.  Early bird tickets are on sale now for all three days of entertainment and activities. We can’t wait to welcome our loyal Speyfesters’  who normally attend year on year back to Fochabers for a festival to remember – it will be an emotional moment for us all.  Audiences and performers can rest assured their safety will be at the forefront of our planning for 2022. A big thank you also goes to the ongoing support of our sponsors for making the event possible.”

Kevin MacDonald of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, said: “Speyfest is a Scottish festival that holds a dear place in our hearts, having played it many times over the years. It’s brilliant to see it return and to be able to headline once again. Next year marks our 20th anniversary and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than at one of our favourite festivals who are marking their own special milestone. We are looking forward to giving the Fochabers crowd a festival to remember and make sure the 25th Speyfest celebrations go off in style – we’ll see you there!”

Folk singer Claire Hastings, the festival’s founder James Alexander, local favourites Tour Bus Fortune, singer songwriter Colin Campbell and beloved Inverness fiddler of Blazin’ Fiddles Bruce Macgregor, complete the ream of Scottish talent on display in Speyside next summer. 

Speyfest will also be back providing a fantastic platform for up and coming musicians from Moray and beyond to showcase their talents, welcoming Milne’s High School Fiddlers to the bill for 2022. Traditional music and singing workshops will also engage and inspire youngsters and adults alike throughout the weekend.

Alongside the lively mix of concerts, ceilidhs and stomps taking place across the event’s Bothy Stage and Whisky Stage, the final day will see the event’s non-denominational Celtic Kirk Service and Speyfest Family Sunday take place. The full programme, including more acts set to take to The Whisky Stage will be announced in spring 2022.

Speyfest stalwart Chris Wiles will get the crowd going once again when he returns as host and to close out the weekend, BBC Radio Scotland Travelling Folk broadcaster Bruce MacGregor will take on the MC mantle for much of Sunday.

Local producers and suppliers will also be showcased at Speyfest, with a bustling craft fair and a vibrant food and drink fair including tastings on offer.

First held in 1995, Speyfest has grown from a local event with one small tent holding around 300 people, to a 1500-capacity festival and much-loved jewel in the traditional music calendar in the north-east.

Early bird tickets for Speyfest 2022 are priced at £80 each and are on sale now at https://speyfest-ltd.ticketlight.co.uk/order/gateway/13360695.

For more information visit https://speyfest.com / Facebook @Speyfest / Twitter @Speyfest / Instagram @speyfest

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