Witch trials, folk music and a tall ship – all part of 100-strong arts and culture line-up for Findhorn Bay Festival

A vibrant mix of outstanding Scottish art, theatre and performance, storytelling and live music will arrive in the area once again on the area for the fourth Findhorn Bay Bay Festival.

Ten shows have been announced which include a humanising tribute to the 16th and 17th century Scottish Witch Trials, a triple bill of folk acts, and a tall ship dropping anchor in the Moray Firth for the first time in 50 years.

With over 100 shows planned over 10 days from 23 September to 2 October, Findhorn Bay Arts have previewed the festival programme with ten shows to whet audience’s appetites for more to come.

Folk trio

The events include opening night triple whammy of folk troubadours Martin Simpson, Findlay Napier and Malcolm MacWatt, and Yoyo & The Little Auk, a new Scottish adventure from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Visible Fictions, commissioned in celebration of the  Year of Stories.

Witch trials

Other acts confirmed include Rachel Newton and Lauren MacColl presenting Heal and Harrow, a humanising tribute to the 16th and 17th Century Scottish Witch Trials, and  singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Siobhan Wilson in a special double bill with award-winning Dean Owens and his band The Sinners.

Lost in music

Constellation Points will present Rocket Post, a joyful mix of songs, storytelling and exciting visuals for everyone aged six and over, while Magnetic North will bring to Moray Lost in Music, a gig-theatre show inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.

Tall ship

And for the first time in half a century, a tall ship will set anchor in the waters of Moray. The Lady of Avenel, a spectacular 102ft Brigantine square-rigged ship, will arrive at Buckie Harbour for the Festival, bringing the story of our local coastal and maritime heritage and culture to life through music and storytelling.

Set in unexpected spaces and scenic locations, the festival will bring together family-friendly shows and a whole host of open, free and accessible creative activities and events.

The full programme will be announced and tickets go on sale on Friday 29 July 2022.

Kresanna Aigner, Festival Director at Findhorn Bay Arts, said “We are thrilled to be back with our biennial festival, the first in four years because of Covid, and we are very grateful for our funders, local partners and community for their encouragement and support in our return.

Full festival line-up

“With our funding now in place we are putting the finishing touches to our programme and look forward to announcing the full festival line up later in July. In the meantime we hope that these events provide a feel and flavour of the celebration to come.”

A spokesman for the Berry Burn Community Fund said, “The £10,000 funding will go towards the cost of local venue hire in and around Forres and for the printing costs of programmes/ leaflets and posters. They have a wide variety of acts going out to various venues and locations incorporating village and town halls, community centres, art galleries, cafes, bars, parks, and a range of locations in and around the bay of Findhorn, allowing access to the performing arts in rural areas.  In turn this also supports local venues and organisations, generating an economic impact on the area.”

David Jackson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “Findhorn Bay Festival’s celebratory programme of events, as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, will showcase the region and its stories to locals and visitors alike. From icons of literature to local tales, Scotland’s Year of Stories encourages everyone to experience a diversity of voices, take part in events and explore the places, people and cultures connected to all forms of our stories, past and present.”

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