As someone who is incredibly passionate about our traditional/folk music scene in Scotland I can't describe how overjoyed and excited I am about the current success rate and room for potential within our wee thriving community. There are so many reasons for us to be especially excited about the future...
The breakout of fresh talent over the past year and a bit has been quite simply outstanding with debut recordings from the likes of The Elephant Sessions, FARA and Scott Wood Band along with impressive follow up releases from RURA, Treacherous Orchestra, and of course returning old favourites such as Blazin' Fiddles and Peatbog Faeries have made it a great time to be involved in music.
Funding and Opportunities
Funding is the all important factor in many things and especially in music. Creative Scotland now more than ever are willing to fund the expansion of traditional music and gaelic culture. Fèis Rois and Fèisean nan Gàidheal received over four hundred afifty-thousandand pounds for the year 2014/2015 to use for the instruction and tuition of traditional music. Celtic Connections were granted with one hundred and seventy-thousand pounds to help with the funding of the three-week festival. The National Piping Centre in Glasgow received one hundred and fifty-thousand pounds to continue their good work and Hands up for Trad received a generous sum of one hundred and six thousand pounds to continue promoting traditional culture throughout Scotland.
There is now, more than ever so many different opportunities for people both young and old to get involved in Scottish Music. The Feis movement keeps growing and increasing in numbers all over the country, Workshops such as Blazin' in Beauly, The Alasdair Fraser Fiddle Camp at Sabhal Mor Ostaig and The Black Isle Fiddle Weekend among others provides the extra opportunity to learn from the very best. And then to take it a step further with courses available at Lews Castle College UHI in Applied Music, Scottish Music at The Royal Conservatoire and Music Business at Perth College UHI (I'm maybe a bit biased towards that one).
Live Music is now predominantly the main way in which artists make a living. Sales of recorded music are at an all time low and traditional music is suffering along with the rest of the music industry. Luckily enough for us there are endless possibilities to perform live. Scotland's live music scene is as bustling as ever with traditional acts performing in tandem with indie and rock bands. The possibilities for performing outwith organising your own tour are incredible with festivals such as Celtic Connections, Brew at the Bog, Shetland Folk Festival and many others. During the summer months Scotland comes alive with festivals happening every weekend up and down the country. The Scots are even are taking over internationally performing at Tonder Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival and Sidmouth Folk Festival (maybe not so International).