The launch of the Keith TMSA Festival 2021 has gone off with a bang thanks to some help from a Scottish folk industry veteran.
Award-winning actress and celebrated folk musician Barbara Dickson officially launched the festival this week on the event’s Facebook page.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Keith Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA) Festival organisers have taken the difficult decision to cancel their in-person festival once again this year – only the second time it has ever been cancelled since beginning in 1976.
But the show must go on, and after the success of last year’s virtual event, the 2021 edition will also be taking place online.
In a video, chart-topping singer Barbara, who had hits with “I Know Him So Well” and “January February”, said that this year there would be concerts, a virtual dance, music sessions and sing-a-rounds as well as a suite of virtual competitions.
Some of the guest artists appearing over the course of the weekend include 7-time bothy ballad champion of champions Joe Aitken, BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year finalists Iona Fyfe, Calum McIlroy and Ellie Beaton, champion accordionist Leonard Brown and singing duo Jim and Susie Malcolm with more still to be confirmed.
Chairman of the committee, Kathleen Anderson, said: “We are so disappointed that once again we’ve had to cancel our in-person festival.
“However, we are determined that the show will go on so we are trying to build on last year’s successful virtual festival and provide audiences with even more opportunities to enjoy the very best of traditional music, song, dance and verse.”