Tradfest, Edinburgh’s festival of traditional music and culture, is back this April with more than 100 artists and musicians performing over the course of its 11 days.
Tickets for the music programme are now on sale (see listings below), ahead of the launch of the full programme of live music, talks, and new commissions in mid-March.
As previously announced, Tradfest opens at the Assembly Rooms on Friday 28 April with two-time winner, and six-time Grammy nominee Rhiannon Giddens performing with multi-instrumentalist, pianist and composer Francesco Turrisi. Newcomers Roo Geddes and Neil Sutcliffe will be in support.
From Scotland the line-up includes well-known award-winning bands, and emerging new musicians, including Shetland pianist Amy Laurenson who was recently crowned BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Musician of the Year 2023.
The range of music covers everything from piping by Rona Lightfoot and Allan Macdonald to foot-stomping tunes and banter by Tim Edey in the festival finale; the stirring vocals of Kim Carnie (who appears in video above) to the freak folkery of Austria's Alicia Edelweiss; Swedish nyckelharpa playing from Fredy Clue to old-timey bluegrass and Cajun music from The Foghorn Stringband.
Premiering this year is the festival’s new commission Two For Joy composed and arranged by award-winning harpist Ailie Robertson, which explores the use of birdsong in music and folklore, and the positive impact that listening to birdsong has on our mental health. The mental health theme ties in with the festival's Rebellious Truth lecture/recital, which explores the pressures and the joy that traditional musicians experience. Led by Gaelic musician and broadcaster Mischa Macpherson, the lecture will be free (but ticketed) and live-streamed.
Gigs are at the Traverse, but the full Tradfest programme will include talks, adult and children’s music workshops, ceilidhs, and storytelling at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, and the Edinburgh Folk Club.
Edinburgh Tradfest 2023 Music Line-up
Friday 28 April
Saturday 29 April
Sunday 30 April
Monday 1 May
Tuesday 2 May
Wednesday 3 May
Thursday 4 May
Friday 5 May
Saturday 6 May
Sunday 7 May
Rebellious Truth 23: Mischa Macpherson | Traverse 14:00- 16:00 | Free but Ticketed | Live Streamed
Monday 8 May
Ross Ainslie & Tim Edey | Traverse 1 | Doors Open 20:00 | Starts 20:15 | £15/£12
Tickets available at the Edinburgh Tradfest web site.