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Portsoy festival to return this year with all but one headliners aged 80 plus

Bella Legge Piping In haggis during the Burns Night celebration
Bella Legge Piping In haggis during the Burns Night celebration

A popular folk festival will return to the north-east this year – with a line-up of octogenarians.

All but one of the performers at Portsoy’s 11th annual Haal are in their 80s, and organisers are performing a weekend to remember.

Bob Philips started Haal to fulfil a dream of bringing together performances from across the world – using contacts in Ireland, America and locally to pull together a varied programme.

He named it the Haal as fishermen would historically haul in fish and their nets in for repair. It has now grown into a celebration of tradition and culture.

Headliners for the June 5-7 at the Salmon Bothy event will include Martin Carthy, Eliza Carthy, Peggy Seeger, Calum MacColl, Archie Fisher and Arthur Watson, who will perform songs, poetry and dance.

Mr Philips said: “The headline acts are, with the exception of Eliza Carthy, octogenarians but having seen them all in the last few months I am convinced their performances are every bit as strong as they were 20 or 40 years ago.

“Eliza is the daughter of Martin and a massive force in the folk scene in her own right.”

There will also be workshops, free sessions, competitions and sing-arounds.

The full programme and ticket information can be found at www.bothyfolk.org or call Mr Philips on 07968 872217 or e-mail bobphilips25@live.co.uk

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