Scotland is full of stories to tell in a packed lineup of 2022 events


OFTEN overlooked as an essential part of a nation’s well-being, culture has more than proven its worth during the pandemic.

Although it is one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus restrictions, musicians, artists, poets, dancers, actors and other directors have tried to adapt as much as possible in order to remain solvent, as well as providing much needed distractions. for a highly stressed population.

Never has the maxim ‘the show must go on’ has been more appropriate, and although most of us are only able, like Burns, to ‘guess and be afraid’ as we look to the future, the industry culture seems poised to demonstrate its resilience throughout 2022.

If Covid restrictions allow, here are some of the highlights already in the pipeline.


The year begins with Celtic Connections, which since its inception 29 years ago has become a renowned cultural phenomenon, brightening up the dark days of January.

This year the UK’s first celebration of roots music takes place from January 20 to February 6 with thousands of musicians, spanning traditional folk, roots, Americana, jazz, soul, indie and world music, performing in venues across Glasgow during the 18 day event.

To celebrate Scotland’s Story Year 2022, there will be a number of special events under the Shetland: The Hidden Tales strand marking five and a half centuries since the Shetlands became part of Scotland.

This includes the addition of a new show called A Peerie Foy, a contemporary concert version of a traditional house ceilidh – or “peerie foy” in the Shetland dialect – which will incorporate music, stories and poetry. of some of the island’s most revered cultural talents. , including poets Christie Williamson and Christine De Luca, fiddlers Maurice Henderson, Margaret Robertson, Catriona Macdonald and Chris Stout (below), young jazz saxophonist Norman Willmore and harp innovator Catriona McKay, renowned Fiddlers’ Bid.

This component will feature Sgeulachdan: Tales of the Gaels, a special concert where the stories, myths and reflections of the rich Gaelic culture will come to life through the music and songs of Allan Henderson, Margaret Stewart and special guests at the Mitchell Theater. February 4. .

Celtic Connections 2022 will also pay tribute to some big names in Scottish culture during its 18 days. Beyond the Swelkie, a collection of poetry and prose in English, Scottish and Gaelic celebrating the centenary of Orcadian poet, author and playwright George Mackay Brown (below), will come to life through poet Jim Mackintosh’s readings, visuals and music by Duncan Chisholm and Hamish Napier on January 27.

The National: Writer George MacKay Brown in Kirkwall ... 2/12 / 88..pic: Jim Galloway, Newsquest Media Group..E9103.

Two days later in Ã’ran Mór, Leventime: A Tribute to Jackie Leven will commemorate 10 years since the death of the influential Scottish songwriter and folk musician. Jackie’s partner, Deborah Greenwood, and her friend and colleague Ian Rankin will lead friends and admirers including Boo Hewerdine, Rab Noakes, Jinder, Michael Weston King, Malcolm Lindsay, Doghouse Roses and Dumb Instrument through a selection from his extensive catalog of songs.


BURNS Night remains a cultural highlight in January in Scotland but unfortunately the pandemic has again hit the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries and Galloway which has been postponed to June 2022 amid rising Covid-19 cases .

However, a free Burns Night show featuring Eddi Reader (below) and special guests will still be live on January 25 at 7 p.m. on Big Burns Supper’s Facebook and YouTube channels. A summer edition of the festival will take place from June 10 to 26 and the majority of shows will be rescheduled, where possible.

The National: Eddi Reader performs on stage during Rewind Scotland 2019 at Scone Palace on July 20, 2019 in Perth.  (Photo by Lorne Thomson / Redferns).

There’s also a Burns Big Night In broadcast live from Bard’s Alloway Cottage on January 22, presented by Edith Bowman and featuring music, song and poetry. It is hosted by the National Trust for Scotland following the success of its first Virtual Burns Supper last year and all proceeds will go to the organization’s conservation work.

Members of the public are invited to participate in a performance for Burns Big Night In by submitting videos of themselves reciting To A Mouse, one of Burns’ most famous poems. A selection of recordings will then be edited together into a video that will be shown overnight to an audience of Burns fans around the world. Submit them as landscape videos saved as MP4 files by January 12th to [email protected]

Also on January 25, The Ghosting of Rabbie Burns will be staged at the Macrobert Arts Center in Stirling which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year despite very difficult operating conditions during the pandemic. Starring Burns’ stunning songs and poems, The Ghosting of Rabbie Burns aims to prove that love and relationships haven’t changed much in 200 years after all.

The Macrobert 2022 program also includes A Mother’s Song – In Concert, where some of Scotland’s best folk musicians will come together for an evening of songs from the daring and uplifting new musical A Mother’s Song, which chronicles the incredible journey of music. Scottish folk. across the Atlantic.


Light up the skies in February, Spectra, Scotland’s festival of lights, returning to Aberdeen. This year’s four-day event is inspired by Scotland’s Story Year 2022. From February 10-13, Spectra will use interactive light sculptures, architectural projections and films to create new ways to explore the city. It will also celebrate the humor, seriousness and daring of Scotland’s best contemporary storytellers by diffusing their prose and poetry in large-scale projections and neon lights on buildings.

The Festival of Lights is part of a national program of over 60 events unveiled to celebrate Scotland’s Year of Stories. These include StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, March 7-13 in St Andrews. Since the festival was founded by three local poets in 1998, StAnza has gained an international reputation and last year won the Saboteur Award for the best literary festival in the UK.

He has decided to continue to expand his reach by hosting events online and in person, while Scotland’s Young Makars program aims to empower more people to engage in what is often seen as difficult.

This year, more than 100 poets will bring their languages, cultures, challenges, meditations, experiences and passions to the festival.

An Lanntair from Stornoway is also participating in the Year of Stories and will feature Seanchas – a series of events, films and special commissions celebrating tales from the Hebrides, real and imagined, modern and ancient.

In Skye, SEALL and Gaelic singer Anne Martin will lead An Tinne, a collection of songs, stories and artifacts from across the centuries exploring the deep and fascinating connection between Scotland and Australia, while Findhorn Bay Moray Festival will offer a journey of exploration and discovery. , celebrating the heritage, the landscape and the people of the region.

OTHER events include the Borders Book Festival in Melrose and the Wigtown Book Festival which will feature two new commissions – Into the Nicht, an immersive Dark Skies tour, and Walter in Wonderland, a whirlwind theatrical tour through the history of national literature. .

Celebrating its 75th anniversary in June, the Edinburgh International Film Festival will bring Scotland’s stories to screen in famous places and spaces, while the Dundee Summer (Bash) street festival in July will highlight the city ​​as the homeland of comics, celebrating its characters, stories, history and upcoming talents. Dundee will be renamed Beanotown for the duration, with a pop-up comic book museum, workshops, lectures, film screenings and street entertainment.

In August, the world-renowned Edinburgh International Book Festival will present Scotland’s Stories Now to prove that everyone has a story to tell, with stories collected from across the country and then shared at the flagship event.

In the fall, the Northern Stories Festival run by Lyth Arts Center in Caithness will host a celebration of stories from the Far North.

There are also a number of events that will take place throughout the year, some of which will tour the country.

Approximately 100 events will be supported by the Community Stories Fund, including Weaving with Words: the Magic of Highland Storytelling at Hugh Miller’s Birthplace Museum, which will feature a series of guided walks around Cromarty from April to October, inspired by life and works. of the 19th century geologist, folklorist and social justice activist.

The fonds also supports the telling of the distinctive history of Easterhouse by the Glasgow East Arts Company in collaboration with local residents of Mining Seams and Drawing Wells.


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