Nae games shouldn’t mean nae fun… so St Margaret’s Braemar will host a packed weekend of music, piping and highland dancing instead of the world-famous Braemar Gathering, cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic.
Under normal circumstances, more than 10,000 spectators, including the Queen, descend upon the Aberdeenshire village in the first weekend of September to cheer on competitors from across the globe in athletic events and traditional arts.
This year, the Nae Games Weekend will take place the same weekend – from Friday September 3 to Sunday September 5.
With the Gathering cancelled for the second year in face of the Covid-19 pandemic, visitors to Deeside will still get the chance to witness the best of Scottish culture at St Margaret’s — a unique performance venue in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park.
Fiddlers and folk singers to perform
Fiddle player Charlie Mckerron of Scottish folk band Capercaillie will perform on Friday. The talented musician will be joined by other gifted artists from the contemporary trad music scene.
Saturday will see Braemar-born Peter Grant of The Highlanders take centre stage to talk about his life as an Army Pipe Major and perform some music on the bagpipes. Mr Grant was in the international spotlight earlier this year, piping the lament at the funeral of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.
A performance of highland dancing will also take place at St Margaret’s on Saturday afternoon, giving visitors to Braemar the authentic Highland Games experience.
Showcasing the very best of Scottish music and dance
North-east folk singing sensation Iona Fyfe and current BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Michael Biggins will headline Saturday night, and composer and conductor Paul Mealor is set to return to Braemar on Sunday with his world-class Caritas Choir.
St Margaret’s trustee, singer and broadcaster Fiona Kennedy OBE said: “Few events can beat the atmosphere of the Braemar Gathering. But this year, we have the chance to do something a wee bit different at St Margaret’s – showcasing the very best of Scottish music and dance over ‘Nae Games Weekend’.
“From footstompin’ fiddle music to piping, highland dancing and a truly world-class choir — there is a packed programme to look forward to. Despite continuing challenges, nae games shouldn’t mean nae fun. So be sure to book your tickets today and come over the hills to Braemar this September.”