Disney singer to open Moray festival

Julie Fowlis, pictured at Kinloss Abbey, will be the opening act for this years Findhorn Bay Arts festival. Picture: Paul Campbell.

A Gaelic songstress who performed the theme to an acclaimed children’s film will launch a Moray arts festival later this year.

Singer Julie Fowlis will mark the beginning of the six-day Findhorn Bay Festival on Wednesday, September 21 with a show at the St Laurence Church in Forres.

The North Uist native is best-known for singing the theme song in Disney Pixar’s 2012 release, Brave, and she has also been nominated for several leading national folk singer awards.

She will play alongside Moray flautist, Uilleann piper and composer Calum Stewart and the Nairn Gaelic Choir during the musical evening.

The 36-year-old said: “I’m delighted to be coming to the festival, and especially to be collaborating with local musicians and singers.

“I love the idea of performing in the beautiful setting of St Laurence Church in Forres.”

The singer has appeared on the BBC’s Jools Holland Show and counts comedian Ricky Gervais and pop star Bjork among her famous fans.

The first Findhorn Bay Festival, staged in 2014, attracted almost 13,000 visitors across its 65 different events.

Organisers are hoping to replicate that success by scheduling an eclectic mix of attractions.

The programme will place a special focus on conservation and environmental projects, as well as celebrating Moray’s architecture by lighting up town centres in various vibrant hues.

Festival director, Kresanna Aigner assured prospective guests of a “spectacular six-day celebration of arts and culture” across the biennial extravaganza.

She added: “It will showcase artists of national and international renown, and our opening concert demonstrates the quality of our programme.

“There is a range of creative talent from near and far participating in this second edition of the Festival – there will be something to inspire everyone.”

The full programme will be revealed next month, and more information is available at www.findhornbayfestival.com.