Across the Grain Festival to celebrate NE culture

Live Life Aberdeenshire’s Across the Grain festival will return for its third year in the first weekend of October.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 9:14 am
Councillor Anne Stirling, Saskia Gibbon from Aberdeenshire Council, and fiddler Tom Spiers launch Across the Grain at Macduff.
Councillor Anne Stirling, Saskia Gibbon from Aberdeenshire Council, and fiddler Tom Spiers launch Across the Grain at Macduff.

This year the festival, which celebrates Doric and the traditional music of the north east, will take place predominantly online on October 3 and 4.

There will also be some outdoor events operating within social distancing guidelines.

An inspiring mix of activities, performances, film and workshops will be available for all ages, most of which is free.

An exciting programme will dive into the cultural life, heritage, language, music and stories of the north east. It’s a chance to celebrate collectively, and for people to share their love of local landscape and language, despite difficult times.

Short Aberdeenshire-based films made around the theme of ‘Poetry of the Landscape’ have been commissioned and created especially for this year’s festival; the results are both intriguing and beautiful.

There will be music and singing workshops, opportunities to hear authors and specialist speakers, a range of fun challenges for all the family at Aberdeenshire Farming Museum and campfire walks at Aden Country Park and Bennachie.

The weekend will also see the premier of a winning musical composition, ‘Gaither’, by Aberdeenshire loon James Lindsay, inspired by Forvie National Nature Reserve.

Led by Scottish Natural Heritage in association with Feis Rois, this new score is complemented by a short film shot on location.

There is a return of the popular Doric Call My Bluff event, this year presented online so you can sit back with a cuppa in front of your computer and dig out your Doric.

Warming up to the October weekend, pre-festival activities are available on the council’s website now, or book into an upcoming event.

Put your name down for a pennywhistle workshop and they will post one out for you to play on.

Take yourself off for a soundmap walk across northern Aberdeenshire, hunker down and join in with online singing workshops, or just cosy up with a few locally themed jigsaws.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Communities Committee, Anne Stirling, said: “I am delighted to see the Across the Grain festival once again providing an opportunity to explore and celebrate the wealth of traditional and contemporary culture throughout Aberdeenshire.

“Though people can’t come together in celebration as they would have previously, I hope people take the chance to celebrate and enjoy the richness of our local heritage.”

Committee vice-chair, Doreen Mair, said: “We may be in lockdown but it’s great to see that we can still come together around a shared love of our Doric culture and language, and our north east’s musical roots.”

Look out for further programme detail and information on how to take part on the website at:

You can also follow Live Life Aberdeenshire on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates. The festival is a partnership jointly funded by Live Life Aberdeenshire and Creative Scotland.