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Fèis Rois chief executive 'overwhelmed by response' to virtual event


By Margaret Chrystall

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THOUGH Covid-19 lockdown cancelled the planned 30th anniversary Adult Fèis planned for Ullapool this weekend – Fèis Rois celebrated thousands enjoying the virtual festival online and donating £10,000.

Fiona Dalgetty, Fèis Rois chief executive, 'we created an opportunity for people to come together and enjoy the music online instead'.
Fiona Dalgetty, Fèis Rois chief executive, 'we created an opportunity for people to come together and enjoy the music online instead'.

Fèis Rois chief executive Fiona Dalgetty revealed on Facebook in a post at the weekend that normally live workshops would have been limited to 250.

But this weekend 2,600 took part and watched the concerts, with almost 25,000 people viewing the workshops later.

On Monday, Fiona said: “We are overwhelmed by the response we received for our first ever Virtual Fèis Rois weekend.

“We were really disappointed we couldn’t be in Ullapool at the weekend for our 30th Adult Fèis, but we wanted to ensure we could still celebrate, so we created an opportunity for people to come together and enjoy the music online instead, from the safety of their homes.

Karen Matheson and Donald Shaw.
Karen Matheson and Donald Shaw.

“We are very grateful to all the musicians who participated and the calibre of the line-up of musicians really reflects the thriving traditional music scene we have in Scotland.

Gillian Frame and Findlay Napier.
Gillian Frame and Findlay Napier.

“This is such a difficult time for artists and arts organisations and I am so grateful to everyone who made a donation over the weekend.

“Our donations are now sitting at just over £10,000 and we will pay fees of £7,500 to 34 musicians and creative practitioners.

“Fortrose fiddle player, Lauren MacColl, very kindly wrote a tune to be auctioned off to help raise some funds for Fèis Rois and it sold for the tremendous sum of £700 which will be a great help at this time.

For anyone who didn’t get a chance to visit the virtual festival online, the good news is that you can still catch up.

Sunday’s Tutors Concert is being shown in a highlights show tonight (Monday) on BBC ALBA from 9pm.

Fiona Dalgetty introduced the musicians.
Fiona Dalgetty introduced the musicians.

And all the workshops and concerts are available to watch online for two weeks to allow even more people to enjoy the music.

Fiona said: “We are delighted to have had the backing of BBC ALBA who will be showcasing some of the incredible musical talent from last night’s concert in the special programme tonight.”

The Tutors Concert will be available to view again on theFèis Rois Facebook page, YouTube channel and website from Tuesday following Monday’s BBC broadcast.

The content from the whole event from the weekend will be up on the Fèis Rois website for a fortnight until Friday, May 15, so people have time to master all of the tunes and songs taught in the workshops.

“Remember that YouTube allows you to play along at half speed if you need to!” the Fèis Rois team reminds people.

https://www.feisrois.org/classes-cour…/virtual-feis-weekend/


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