Published: 21/05/2014 15:18 - Updated: 21/05/2014 12:24

Music, fun and friendship in Portsoy

Haal Folk Festival, Dave Swarbrick
Legendary act Dave Swarbrick will perform at next week's Portsoy 5th Haal Folk Festival.


ALL roads for music lovers will lead to Portsoy next weekend, when the town hosts the hugely popular three-day 5th Haal Folk Festival from Friday to Sunday (May 30-June 1).

Organised by the people behind Folk at the Salmon Bothy, the Haal Festival has grown year on year since its inception, thanks to its unique recipe, which mixes top UK and international performers with locally-bred talent.

Originally conceived as a small and friendly village festival, the annual Haal also offers locals and visitors the opportunity to learn from and perform with the festival's biggest names at a series of workshops.

"This year, we have a superbly high-quality and diverse range of performers lined up to entertain festival-goers," said Haal organiser Bob Philips.

"It's great to be able to welcome fiddle superstar, Dave Swarbrick, and his band of illustrious friends – Duncan, Cathal, Paul, Martin and Gary. They are sure to have The Station Hotel rocking on Saturday evening.

"Tommy Sands, widely recognised as one of Ireland's great songwriters, will surely delight everybody with his songs and stories, and his workshop on songs of peace is not to be missed.

"Siobhan Miller was deservedly named 2013 Scottish Traditional Singer of the Year at The Trad Music Awards, and along with her dad, Brian, she is certain to enthral the audience with her superb voice and bubbly personality.

"Also taking part in Friday evening's Jimmy McBeath Memorial Concert, we have Arthur Watson and Tom Spiers, who were entered into the Traditional Music Hall of Fame as members of the superb Gaugers, with the late Peter Hall.

"There is also Aberdonian Danny Couper and bothy ballad greats John Dickson, Allan Taylor and Jim Taylor, and on top of that we have a weekend packed with workshops, competitions and fantastic club singers and players.

"We have a fantastic weekend in store."

Tickets, which can also be bought on the door for individual concerts, workshops and sessions or as package deals for all Saturday and Sunday's events or for the whole weekend programme, are on sale from the Station Hotel (telephone 01261 8423270) or Bob Philips (telephone 01261 842571, email:

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