MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards opens public vote for nominees

Published: 03 Nov 2021

The logo for the Scottish Traditional Music Awards is a glittering blue disco ball set against a sparkling starry night sky and reads BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Awards 2021

The MG Alba Scottish Traditional Music Awards 2021

The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards annual Gala rocks the scene by championing top Scottish traditional musicians of all genres, recognising, and celebrating the wealth of talent via phenomenal performances, which this year will be live at Glasgow’s Engine Works, and on BBC ALBA at 9.00pm on 4 December 2021.

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said: “For many people, music is the heart and soul of their daily lives. During lockdown we lost not only concert-hall performances but also face-to-face lessons, fireside sessions, and community get-togethers. This year’s MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards ceremony is therefore a perfectly timed opportunity to celebrate both the return of our live music scene and the wonders that artists delivered online to keep the spirit of Na Trads alive during the darkest of days.

“Scotland’s traditional music continues to thrive because our heritage, which draws from rich indigenous languages, is passed on from generation to generation. That’s why Creative Scotland is particularly proud to sponsor the Janet Paisley Services to Scots Language Award and, through the Youth Music Initiative, the Music Tutor of the Year Award. We’re also delighted to support Hands Up For Trad and the vital work it does year-round.”

Featuring live performances from Ímar, Dàimh, Hannah Rarity, The Canny Band and more to come, the highly regarded annual Awards give recognition to excellence within Scotland's thriving traditional musical culture.

Encompassing all aspects of making and playing music from composing, Gaelic song, folk and Scottish dance music to pipe bands and a host of others in between, each year sees a lively and enthusiastic crowd enjoying some of the biggest names as the industry and audiences join to honour singers, instrumentalists, composers, and songwriters, including the prestigious Gaelic Singer of the Year, and Musician of the Year, awards.

This year the annual Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame is sponsored by Fèisean nan Gàidheal and will be a special feature within the main Awards.

Arthur Cormack, Chief Executive of Fèisean nan Gàidheal said: Fèisean nan Gàidheal believes in recognising the significant contribution to our culture of some of our most celebrated performers and we are delighted to once again support the Traditional Music Hall of Fame. The main focus of our work is supporting community Fèisean to pass on aspects of Gaelic cultureand traditional music to young people. Gaelic and Scots culture relies on oral transmission, learning from the carriers of our songs, tunes, dances and stories. Over the past 18 months traditional musicians and singers have brought pleasure to people as never before so our thanks go to this year’s inductees with congratulations to them and their families.”

With live music and event restrictions in place since lockdown began, Hands Up for Trad has been working hard since March 2020 to support artists and provide alternative platforms for musicians to reach their audiences, fundraise and sell tickets online, and following a successful Scots Language Awards in Dundee on 25 September 2021, the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards in November marks their second live event since restrictions began, and a renewed partnership with MG ALBA to broadcast the Awards live.

Public nominations ran from 4 to 17 October for the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards annual event organised by Hands Up for Trad.

Within the Awards and the programme, three further pillars of the Scots Trad Music community will be recognised through special awards; the ‘Janet Paisley Services to Scots Language Award sponsored by Creative Scotland’, the ‘Services to Gaelic Award sponsored by Bòrd na Gàidhlig’, and the ‘Hamish Henderson Award for Services to Traditional Music’.

Organising body, Hands Up for Trad funded by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, was formed in 2002 and exists to increase the profile and visibility of Scottish traditional music through information, advocacy and education to artists, participants and audiences.

Hands Up for Trad’s Creative Director Simon Thoumire said: “Since lockdown it’s been a huge team effort to process the change needed, to provide musicians and crews with support due to cancelled gigs, and provide audiences with much needed entertainment and culture, so I am thankful and delighted with everyone who’s nominated and cannot wait to see live performances again this year, and work with MG ALBA to bring the atmosphere and the Trad Awards into living rooms.”

To view the full list of nominees visit