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Top Scots Trad, Folk and Gaelic Musicians bringing in a Scottish New Year in Australia

Published: 19 Dec 2019

A band stands on an overpass in bright sunshine with their instruments

Celebrations mark the beginning of the Year of Scotland in Australia 2020 - the largest ever showcase of traditional Scottish music and heritage in Australia.

@YOSA2020 #YOSA2020 #ScotlandIsNow

The Year of Scotland in Australia 2020 will kick off in style as Woodford Folk Festival celebrates the New Year with a traditional Scottish Hogmanay party on 31 December 2019.

Hosted at the festival’s largest venue The Amphitheatre, Queensland, festival-goers will bring in the New Year celebrating with the very best contemporary trad musicians from Scotland including multi-award winning Scottish artists Elephant Sessions, Siobhan Miller and Brighde Chaimbeul, who will take to the stage with Australian artists including Yarrabah Dancers, Jinibara Emerging Dance Troupe, the Traditional Women Healers of North East Arnhem Land, Rick Roser, and more secret ‘pop up’ guests.

In a unique twist, Elephant Sessions will see themselves bringing in the New Year on opposite sides of the world as they kick off the Year of Scotland in Australia 2020 celebrations at Woodford Folk Festival, at the same time as celebrating with audiences back home as they broadcast into homes across the country with a performance on BBC Scotland’s Hogmanay Show.

Elephant Sessions commented: “We’re buzzing at the fact that we’ll be playing a Hogmanay show in two hemispheres! The warmth of the Scottish welcome is what Hogmanay is known across the world for and it’s great to share this with friends, in the warmth of the Australian sun. We hope some of our Australian audiences might join us in Scotland next year!”

Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “The Year of Scotland in Australia is a phenomenal opportunity to further Scotland’s enduring relationship with Australia, with musicians from both sides of the globe sharing our dynamic traditional music scene.

“My hope is that new working partnerships will be forged, creating demand for continued Scottish performances beyond 2020, and encouraging our friends Down Under to come to Scotland and experience all we have to offer.”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said:

“All the way through the calendar year we’ll be opening the eyes and ears of Australian audiences to the very best of Scotland’s folk and trad music. Our tradition bearers are respected the world over and have already established a strong presence for Scottish music in the Australian market. Many of them have passed our centuries-old culture on to a new generation of musicians who are creating their own vibrant forms of folk and trad for the 21st century.

This irrepressible wave of talent has been nurtured for decades – in schools and feisan, conservatoires and clubs – and it is primed and ready to take Australia by storm. There’s a natural interest in Scottish culture in a country whose diaspora has family roots that go deep into Scottish soil, but the Year of Scotland in Australia is a celebration that will strike a chord with anyone who enjoys good music played brilliantly by world-class artists.”

Elsewhere in the festival, Scottish food and drink will be prevalent with celebrity chef Matt Golinski cooking up a twist on a Scottish Feast, and whisky tastings from The Glenturret in the new whisky bar, offering the chance for a wee dram.

Now in its 34th year, the Woodford Folk Festival is the largest gathering of artists and musicians in Australia. Located in between the Brisbane Valley and Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast Hinterland, the festival takes place in a rural valley surrounded by natural bushland with plenty of native wildlife and a superb view of the Glass House Mountains. The festival site, a former dairy farm, has been lovingly regenerated with over 120,000 subtropical rain forest trees, orchids, and ferns, planted to create a habitat for butterflies and wildlife.

From the Noosa and District Pipe Band piping in the ritual welcoming of Scottish artists by Indigenous Australian artists, and a magical lead in to the solemn moments prior to the 3 Minutes of Silence, sitewide, at 11:30pm, it’s expected that Hogmanay will provoke happy reminiscences for those who’ve already travelled to Scotland, and inspire those who haven’t yet visited.

The celebrations mark the beginning of the Year of Scotland in Australia 2020 - a programme of events running until 31 December 2020 which will see hundreds of Scotland’s finest Traditional, Gaelic and Celtic musicians take to the stage in festivals, towns and cities across Australia.

Produced and curated by Showcase Scotland Expo and Woodfordia Inc in partnership with Australia’s key festivals and event organisers, The Year of Scotland in Australia 2020 is backed by Creative Scotland, The Scottish Government, The Glenturret whisky, and VisitScotland.

To keep up to date with YOSA 2020’s year-long programme of events, detailed information and ticket links, visit: www.yearofscotlandaustralia2020.com and follow @YOSA2020 #YOSA2020 #ScotlandIsNow

Notes to Editors:

The Year of Scotland in Australia 2020 is the largest showcase of traditional Scottish music and heritage in Australia, ever. Produced and curated by Showcase Scotland Expo and Woodfordia Inc in partnership with Australia’s festivals and event organisers, The Year of Scotland in Australia 2020 is backed by Creative Scotland, VisitScotland, The Scottish Government and The Glenturret whisky.

The Australian Scottish diaspora, over two million of whom claim Scottish ancestry, are also running events, many of which are regular meetings and celebrations. Over 36 community groups are running multiple events and over 200 are presenting Scottish themed concerts.

Programme Highlights from Dec 31 2019 – March 2020

Three flagship events designed to celebrate Scottish culture are taking place in the first part of 2020 with support from The Glenturret (Scotland’s oldest distillery):

  • Sydney Opera House will pay homage to Scotland’s national bard Robert Burns on Saturday 25 January, when multi-award winning Scottish band Breabach will fly out to perform alongside renowned Indigenous Australian performer, Eric Avery at The Glenturret Burns Supper. Both cultures will be celebrated through these musical collaborations and a dinner menu that offers Australian and Scottish flavours as well as the a ‘wee dram’ courtesy of the fine single malt whisky, The Glenturret.
  • In April and May, the world-renowned Capercaillie will head out to Australia to take part in the first ever tour of Australian Scottish Towns and Grand Houses.  With over 400 places in Australia named after Scottish towns and cities including Campbeltown in New South Wales, New Beith in Queensland and Bannockburn in Victoria, Woodfordia Inc is partnering with National Trust houses as well as private and council owned properties which are either in a “Scottish” town or have a heritage that connects with Scottish culture in Australia, to schedule a 27 date tour featuring some of Scotland’s top musicians.

About Showcase Scotland Expo http://www.showcasescotlandexpo.com

Showcase Scotland Expo is dedicated to opening new markets for the presentation of artists working in the genres of folk, Gaelic and Scots language, traditional, world, acoustic and roots music. Through the work presented, they seek to strengthen professional networks, promote the outstanding quality of traditional and folk music produced in Scotland and encourage international bookings for Scottish musicians across Australia in 2020 and beyond.

Woodfordia Inc. | https://woodfordfolkfestival.com

The mission statement of Woodfordia Inc. is to stimulate, facilitate and foster the preservation and promotion of folk culture for the common good. It does this primarily through the annual Woodford Folk Festival, The Planting Festival, and the Festival of Small Halls, Australia.

Creative Scotland | www.creativescotland.com

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.

Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

VisitScotland is Scotland tourism agency l www.visitscotland.com

In April 2018 VisitScotland launched a brand-new global campaign, Scotland is Now. To find out more go towww.scotlandisnow.com or join the conversation by using #ScotlandIsNow VisitScotland’s Community site was set up for the Scottish public to help, engage and enthuse potential visitors about the country. To get involved go to: www.visitscotland.com/community.

For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com. To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way. For VisitScotland’s press releases go to www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, for tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to www.visitscotland.org

About Scottish Government | www.scotland.org

Scotland is a bold and creative country, rich in history and heritage but forging forward in a way that is progressive, pioneering and inclusive. A country that is challenging new thinking, inviting new investment, creating new opportunities and supporting new industries, Scotland is driving technological advances that embrace humanity across the world.

We pride ourselves on being one of the most open countries in the world with a strong desire to be good global citizens, contributing to world issues. Our door is always open, and we put forward a positive voice, opening our arms to new people to build a strong economy and culture. The Scottish Government works in partnership with our national agencies to deliver a unified global brand marketing campaign ‘Scotland is Now’ which aims to promote and celebrate our culture, our values, our innovations and economic strengths to continue to attract people to come live, work, visit, study, invest and do business in Scotland, right now.

The Glenturret Distillerywww.theglenturret.com

Located in the spectacular Strathearn countryside, The Glenturret Distillery in Crieff is the oldest working distillery in Scotland and five-star visitor attraction that offers a truly unique and authentic experience to guests from all over the world.

Continuing the tradition of making whisky by hand and by heart, the distillery offers visitors, from novices to whisky enthusiasts, a unique opportunity to experience the traditional handmade distilling processes that have been used to craft the whiskies at Glenturret Distillery for generations. www.theglenturret.com

For further information, interviews, images, please contact:

Claire Thomson, Media Relations & PR Officer

claire.thomson@creativescotland.com

+44(0)141 302 1708 | +44(0)7747 606 146