Scottish showcase heads to Cambridge Folk Festival

Cambridge Folk Festival - photo by Rich Etteridge

Cambridge Folk Festival is one of the most established folk festivals in the world. It champions musicians and supports both renowned artists as well as emerging talent.

Each year, there is a dedicated showcase Scotland at Cambridge which aims to raise the profile of Scottish artists both nationally and internationally.

This year a range of traditional music acts will be performing at the festival: Ìmar, Brian McNeill, Gaorsach Rapper and Step, Songs of Separation, John McCusker Band, Breabach, Brighde Chaimbeul, Blazin’ Fiddles, Funbox, Duncan Chisholm and Fèis Rois.

Here's a taste of what festivalgoers can expect from this wonderful line-up of talent...


Glasgow-based five-piece band Ìmar brings together current and former members of Mànran, RURA, Talisk, Barrule, Cara, Mabon and The Lowground. Between them, Ìmar have won a host of awards, including a BBC Young Folk Award and several All Britain / All Ireland titles. Drawing on the cultural heritage of Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man, the band bring their diverse backgrounds and influences to their exciting new collaboration.

Brian McNeill

Multi-instrumentalist Brian McNeill has made an impressive contribution to Scottish music throughout his career spanning 45 years. He has performed around the world, both as soloist and with bands, and continues to perform and teach at international festivals.

Gaorsach Rapper & Step

A step, clog and rapper dance team from Aberdeen, Gaorsach Rapper and Step were founded in 2002 by Claire Buckley, formerly of Pengwyn, and Sarah Dalrymple, of Black Adder. The team combines the talent of both groups creating an exciting style that has captivated audiences.

Scottish folk music is admired and adored by our festivalgoers, and has been an important part of the event for more than fifty years.- Steve Bagnall, Cambridge Live

Fèis Rois

At the forefront of high quality traditional arts education, Fèis Rois provides an extensive programme of music tuition to over 200 schools in Scotland. They also support young musicians to tour Scotland, the UK and internationally, and offer a range of music activities including ceilidh trails, after-school classes, residential music courses and online learning.

Songs of Separation

Songs of Separation is a project featuring ten female folk musicians from Scotland and England. Together they created a recording which reflected on the issue of ‘separation’ through traditional song, celebrating similarities and differences in their musical, linguistic and cultural heritage.

John McCusker Band

The Band brings together some of the UK’s finest traditional musicians and singers, including Andy Cutting, Adam Holmes, Innes White and Toby Shaer. Joining them is award-winning musicians and composer John McCusker, who has made a huge contribution to traditional music over his 25-year career.


Voted Best Live Act at the 2013 Scots Trad awards and twice nominated for best band at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014, Breabach are a stunning act. The band combine Gaelic and English vocals with highland pipes, banjo, flute, bouzouki, guitar, bass and step dance. This young five-piece are mature beyond their years with breathtaking arrangements and production.

Brìghde Chaimbeul

17 year old Brìghde Chaimbeul is a piper from the Isle of Skye and winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards 2016. She is a Gaelic speaker and has been immersed in Scottish and Gaelic music from a young age. Her accolades also include winning the National Piping Centre Under 18s.

Listen to Brìghde over on the BBC Music website.

Brigdhe at the Radio 2 Young Folk Awards

Blazin’ Fiddles

The award-winning Blazin’ Fiddles brings together Scotland’s best contemporary fiddle players with imaginative piano and guitar arrangements. Fiddlers Jenna Reid, Bruce MacGregor, Rua Macmillan and Kristan Harvey are joined by Anna Massie on guitar/fiddle and Angus Lyon on piano to capture the variety, energy and sensitivity of Scottish fiddle music. Their solo and ensemble sets showcase the rich musical influences of the Highlands and Islands and have impressed audiences with their passion and excitement.

Duncan Chisholm

Highly accomplished fiddle player and composer Duncan Chisholm has toured through the UK, Europe and the USA both as a soloist and with collaborators. He performs regularly with acclaimed Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis and is also winner of ‘Album of the Year’ at the Scots Trad Music Awards 2014. He continues to impress audiences and peers with his interpretation of Highland fiddle music.

Cambridge Folk Festival runs from 28 - 31 July 2016 and brings an eclectic mix of outstanding artists from around the world to Cambridge. Attracting over 14,000 people, it is sold out for the 23rd year running.

Cambridge Folk Festival photo by Rich Etteridge

Photos from Cambridge Folk Festival 2015 by Rich Etteridge.