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Scottish and world folk music industry join forces in support of Australian bushfires

Published: 10 Jan 2020

Five musicians stand in front of a shop store front with yellow cheerful writing on - they hold a guitar

Image: Elephant Sessions

Leading music festivals, events and artists have rallied together to raise funds in support of those affected by the unprecedented Australian bushfires, currently destroying parts of the country.

In just 48 hours, thousands of pounds worth of prizes have been donated towards a major prize draw, with all proceeds split between the Australian Red Cross and World Wildlife Federation. Festival tickets, VIP passes, travel and accommodation for leading events - including the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Edinburgh International Fringe, the Hebridean Celtic Festival and The Cambridge Folk Festival amongst many more - have been generously gifted to the fundraising effort.

The campaign has been organised by the team behind the Year of Scotland in Australia 2020 - the largest ever programme of Scottish music and culture to be presented in the country. Produced and curated by Showcase Scotland Expo and Woodfordia Inc, in partnership with over 30 of Australia’s festivals and event organisers, the year-long programme is backed by Creative Scotland, VisitScotland, The Scottish Government and The Glenturret whisky.

The prize draw will take place during a live streaming from Showcase Scotland 2020 in Glasgow, on February 1.

Tickets can be bought from https://yosa2020fireappeal.eventbrite.co.uk/ with all attendees’ tickets entered into the draw. A full list of prizes is also available through the purchasing link.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“On behalf of Scotland, I’d like to send a message of solidarity and friendship to Australia at this difficult time.

“The Year of Scotland in Australia 2020 celebrates the strong links between our countries and I am pleased that participating bands are supporting this fundraising appeal.

“I would encourage everyone to take part in this prize draw as a way of helping those affected by these devastating wildfires.”

Scottish Producer of the Year of Scotland in Australia, Lisa Whytock said:

Australia has been so generous and welcoming to Scotland and our artists and we are devastated to see the destruction being caused by the fires. We simply had to do something! We contacted our stakeholders two days ago to ask for donations and support and have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the world’s music sector. Donations have come from all corners of the UK as well as Europe, the USA and Canada. I think this illustrates how deeply affected the world is by what is happening in Australia and the live streaming means that in addition to raising funds, people from across the globe can come together for one small  moment in time to show support for the people of Australia.

Caroline Maclennan, Director of the Hebridean Celtic Festival added:

Everyone who has seen or read about the devastating effects of the bush fires will have been deeply moved by the trauma being experienced.

While we are geographically remote from Australia, we have close family and cultural ties with the country and its people. The HebCelt board had no hesitation in offering our support to this international appeal and the response from the wider festival family across the world will provide much needed funds to help towards the massive recovery effort.

Scottish artists currently on tour in Australia, as part of the year-long programme, have also thrown their support behind the campaign. Siobhan Miller and Brighde Chaimbeul are both offering collections on their respective tours, which run throughout January, whilst five-piece Elephant Sessions are auctioning a signed guitar - which has currently raised over $1,300 AUD for the recovery efforts.

Siobhan Miller said:

“My thoughts go out to everyone in Australia affects by the bushfires - the loss of lives, wildlife and homes is heartbreaking. My band has been welcomed so warmly to this wonderful country, and I hope we can help in a small way by fundraising to support the Red Cross and the World Wildlife Foundation whilst touring with the Festival of Small Halls.’

Mark Bruce of Elephant Sessions said:

“The Australian people have been so kind to us and it’s truly heartbreaking to see this beautiful country being so horrifically damaged by these fires. We hope that this small gesture can go towards helping in some way.”

One of the flagship events within the Year of Scotland in Australia 2020 is The Glenturret Burns Supper, in the Sydney Opera House on January 25, with music from leading Scottish group Breabach alongside artists Eric Avery and many others. In celebration of their 15th year on the road, and in collaboration with The Glenturret, the band have released a limited -edition single malt whisky - with the first bottle distilled also set to be auctioned off, in aid of the bushfire campaign. A donation of $50 from each ticket purchased will also be made towards the campaign.

Ewan Robertson of Breabach said:

It is truly heart wrenching to witness the devastation wrought by these fires. As a former volunteer firefighter myself I feel particularly helpless but hope that our small contribution can help support the relief effort in some way. Our thoughts and love are with all those affected.

Notes to Editors

Full list of prizes, correct at time of going to press:

2 x tickets to Janie Godley comedy show at Lochwinnoch Arts Festival, 29th March 2020

2 x VIP tickets for AmericanaFest UK 2021

2 x weekend tickets to Cambridge Folk Festival 2020

2 x tickets to Fire in the Mountain Festival 2020

2 x weekend tickets to Wickham Festival 2020 with VIP access and camping

2 x tickets to Knockengorroch Festival 2020

2 x festival passes for Skye Festival | Fèis an Eilein 2020

2 x festival passes for Festival of Small Halls 2020 on Skye

2 x full week tickets for Sidmouth Folk Festival 2020

1 x full year subscription to Songlines Magazine

2 x tickets to Alina Bzhezhinska Quartet featuring Tony Kofi, Larry Bartley & Joel Prime at The Sugar Club, Dublin on 5th February 2020

1 night's dinner, bed & breakfast at The Fleece Inn, Evesham

2 x tickets a Fleecey Folk gig at The Fleece Inn, Evesham in 2020/21

2 x vouchers for Glasgow Music City Tours

2 x weekend tickets to Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival 2020

4 x tickets to Party at the Palace 2020, Linlithgow or Party at the Park 2020, Perth

2 x vouchers for Glasgow International Jazz Festival 2020

1 x family weekend ticket for FolkEast 2020 incl camping/motorhome pass

1 x free registration for WOMEX 2020 in Budapest

£100 of vouchers for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2020

2 x tickets to Skerryvore XV @ Inveraray Castle , 6 June 2020

2 x tickets to Còig at the Old King's Head, Belper, 15th Feb 2020

2 x tickets to Ross Ainslie & Ali Hutton's Symbiosis at The Old King's Head, Belper, 29th Feb 2020

2 x tickets for a concert at Tolbooth, Stirling in 2020

2 x tickets for a concert at Albert Halls, Stirling in 2020

1 x full size piano bag with wheels donated by Alan Reid

One of a variety of CDs from Greentrax Recordings

One of a variety of CDs and DVDs from Birnam CD

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 opportunities for Scottish musicians.

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 Creative Scotland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CreativeScots

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

Instagram: www.instagram.com/creativescots

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 to www.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 Distillery | www.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