Follow VisitScotland

Fiddle festival secures funding

Press release   •   Apr 24, 2018 14:16 BST

Celebrated Tarland fiddle player and NAFCo ambassador, Paul Anderson

An international family-friendly festival which celebrates the many styles of fiddle playing and associated dance traditions that exist around the North Atlantic, is amongst 12 events across the country benefiting from a share of almost £100,000 in the latest awards round of EventScotland’s National Programme Fund.

The North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, which also received funding in 2006 and 2010, has been given £10,500 to expand its programming around Aberdeenshire, which includes the ‘Days Oot’ programme as well as other events.

The event, which was founded by the Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen, in 2001, has become one of the largest and most respected events in the world of fiddle music and dance and has previously been held in Nova Scotia, Ireland and Newfoundland. The last time it was held in Aberdeen, it attracted 15,000 visitors.

It returns to the Granite City from 11-15 July with a programme of more than 150 concerts, workshops, ceilidhs, busking trails, sessions, dances, tours, exhibitions, films and other public events and combines a festival with an academic symposium, with events taking place throughout Aberdeen city centre and at the University of Aberdeen, as well as cultural and community venues throughout Aberdeenshire, including Woodend Barn and Haddo House.

A launch concert for the festival was held in Aberdeen last week, featuring celebrated Tarland fiddler Paul Anderson as well as multi-instrumentalist and composer Patsy Reid and two Hungarian Roma musicians, among many more.

The festival itself boasts a line-up of celebrated artists who are leading representatives of their traditions from Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales, Scandinavia, Spain, Canada, the USA and beyond.

EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. The National Programme Fund plays an integral role in developing domestic tourism across Scotland by helping to grow the country’s diverse events portfolio.

Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “I am delighted that the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention has been granted this funding, as it is a popular event which attracts musicians, dancer and academics from across the world. It is important for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire’s cultural identity that we host events such as this and that we offer our support to help make it as successful as it can be.

“There are a number of exciting projects currently ongoing in Aberdeen, including the redevelopment of the Music Hall and Art Gallery, and the staging of the Convention here once again demonstrates that this city is the perfect stage for cultural events.

“I expect this event to attract a large number of visitors and drive economic impact in the local area.”

Carley Williams, Festival Director, North Atlantic Fiddle Convention 2018, said: “We are delighted to once again be working with EventScotland to bring the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention to the North-East of Scotland, famous for its long-standing traditions of fiddle playing, dance and composition.

“EventScotland’s historic support for NAFCo in 2006 and 2010 were integral to bringing international awareness to the event in Aberdeen, which resulted in subsequent conventions taking place across the world in Newfoundland, Derry/Donegal, and Nova Scotia.

“NAFCo are looking forward to another packed programme of concerts, workshops, sessions, ceilidhs, talks and films in a variety of venues and spaces, including His Majesty’s Theatre, The Lemon Tree, city centre open air locations, local village halls and utilising the charming medieval campus of the University of Aberdeen’s historic buildings and other community spaces of Aberdeenshire.

“Through this partnership with EventScotland we will have an opportunity to add new and exciting elements to the festival which will showcase the North East’s cultural assets and rich cultural landscape.”

The National Programme Fund plays an integral role in developing domestic tourism across Scotland by helping to grow the country’s diverse events portfolio.

For more information visit or

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to

2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
  • oEnterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
  • oCulture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.