A traditional music celebration in Moray is back on song after financial concerns have eased.
Organisers warned Speyfest may fall a year short of its 25th anniversary after previous festivals lost money – despite audiences packing concerts in Fochabers.
However, now it has been revealed that this year’s three-day extravaganza brought the event back in the black to pave the way for it to reach its silver jubilee.
Committee member Colin Mackay explained that organisers had been forced to take a more “commercial” mindset towards organising the bash.
The Aberdeen-based musician, who is originally from Buckie, said: “It wasn’t a huge profit that we made this year but it was enough to pull it back into the black again, which was going to be the deal breaker about it going ahead again.
“The costs to actually stage and organise the festival have been spiralling in recent years. We’ve been trying to keep the ticket prices at the same level but things have kind of overtaken us.
“It’s good we’re at this stage now because it would have been a shame not to have reached Speyfest 25.”
Speyfest was formed in 1994 following a chance conversation between local musician James Alexander and Davie Stewart, a member of the Fochabers Gala committee – with festivals traditionally held in July ever since.
Last year’s concerts in the village playing fields included packed audiences to see Eddi Reader, Iona Fyfe and Blazin’ Fiddles.
Organisers also hope Speyfest will give aspiring performers the chance to share the stage with some of the biggest names in Celtic music.
Mr Mackay said that while last year’s event turned a profit the festival still relies on the support of the public.
He said: “Cash flow is something we’ve looked at, so we’re asking people to buy tickets earlier this year just so that we have a bit of money in the bank. Things like people buying tickets at Christmas as gifts could really help us.
“We’re also looking at fundraising and sponsorship, which is looking better now with a few big local companies getting involved.”