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Three day festival in Keith gets ready to go online

By Chris Saunderson

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The annual three-day festival of music, song, dance and verse which is normally held in various venues throughout Keith will go online next weekend.

Country Quines
Country Quines

The Keith TMSA Virtual Festival takes place on Facebook and YouTube on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 11-13 and was launched by chart topping singer and TMSA Patron, Barbara Dickson last month.

Over 30 musicians, singers and entertainers will be performing over the course of the weekend and the results of the festival's first ever virtual competitions will be revealed.

The festival will kick off on Friday evening with a virtual dance which will see 14 band leaders from all over the country provide the music for a programme of easy old-time dances.

This will be followed by a live sing-a-round featuring top traditional singers such as Joe Aitken, Jim and Kate Taylor and Margaret Bennett.

On Saturday morning festival goers will be able to see the competition entries when they are published at 9.30am before the results are announced at the prizewinners' concert at 6pm later that evening. This will be followed by the Saturday Concert at 7.30pm.

Sunday will see the bairns ceilidh in the morning, the chorus quaich competition results in the afternoon and the Farewell Concert at night.

Throughout the weekend there will also be live sessions, panel discussions and a series of stories for bairns and bairns at hert.

Joe Aitken.
Joe Aitken.

Amongst the guests performing over the weekend are 7-time bothy ballad champion of champions Joe Aitken, former BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year finalists Iona Fyfe, Calum McIlroy and Ellie Beaton, champion fiddler Maggie Adamson from Shetland, local music group The Country Quines, Keith ex-pat Mo Rutherford and entertainer Craig Pike who is a member of doric comedy group The Flying Pigs.

Iona Fyfe
Iona Fyfe

The entire festival will be broadcast on Facebook and YouTube free of charge with an opportunity for participants to donate towards the entertainers or the festival itself.

Chairman of the Keith TMSA Festival, Kathleen Anderson, said: "A huge amount of work has been put in by the over 30 artists involved who are providing us with special performances and are all giving their time for nothing but the love of traditional music, song and verse.

"We also had a very successful competitions with around 180 performance and written entries across the classes and we are looking forward to the winners being announced over the weekend.

We've managed to attract some of the top Scottish dance bands, traditional and bothy singers, musicians and entertainers in the country and we are very excited to share their performances with our global audience.

"Nothing comes close to an in-person festival where we are able to meet friends old and new and to share a song or a tune. However, we're trying to replicate the Keith experience as best we can and we hope folk join us to enjoy the wonderful music and song that Keith Festival has to offer."

Keith TMSA Virtual Festival will be broadcast free of charge on www.facebook.com/keithfestival and www.youtube.com/c/KeithTMSAFestival. More information can be found at www.keithfestival.com

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