Ceilidh Trail

This year, our Ceilidh Trail, a paid summer job for four weeks, will run from 8th July to 10th August 2024. Following an intensive training week from July 8th–12th, the successful applicants will then tour the country, from the Highlands to the Borders. For more info on the Ceilidh Trail, see tabs across the top of this page.

Gigs are listed in the order of:

  • Highlands
  • Scottish Borders
  • Angus, Dundee, and Fife
  • Glasgow and New Lanark
  • Dumfries and Galloway

Highlands

Monday 15th July – An Talla Solais, Ullapool; 1pm-2pm. Free entry; donations welcome. Informal Performance

Monday 15th July – Ceilidh Place, Ullapool; 9pm. Free entry; donations welcome. Informal Performance.

Tuesday 16th July – Inverewe Garden, 12-2pm. Free entry; donations welcome. Informal Performance.

Tuesday 16th July – The Torridon, 8.30-11pm. Free entry; donations welcome. Informal Performance.

Wednesday 17th July – Gairloch Museum, 12-2pm. Free entry; donations welcome. Informal Performance.

Wednesday 17th July – Macphail Theatre, Ullapool. 7pm. Tickets £10/£8 Concession (Over 65/Unwaged). Ceilidh Dance. Ticket Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ceilidh-dance-at-macphail-theatre-ullapool-tickets-929074194927?aff=oddtdtcreator

Thursday 18th July – Storehouse of Foulis, 1-3pm. Free entry; donations welcome. Informal Performance.

Thursday 18th July – Foulis Castle, 7pm (Doors at 6.30pm). £12/£10 Concession (Over 65 or Unwaged). Concert. Tickets available at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/feis-rois-ceilidh-trail-at-foulis-castle-tickets-929158477017?aff=oddtdtcreator or on the door.

Friday 19th July – Rosemarkie Beach Café, 12-2pm. Free entry; donations welcome. Informal Performance.

Friday 19th July – Contin Church, 7.30pm. Tickets £10; Concert.

Saturday 20th July – Evanton Woods, 3.30pm. Free entry; donations welcome. Informal Performance. In the Wood @ The Mag’s Wood Shelter

Saturday 20th July – The Stables, Cromarty; 8pm. Tickets: £10 (£5 under 16s). Ceilidh Dance

Tuesday 23rd July – Estate of Ord, Muir of Ord’ 12-2pm. Free entry; donations welcome. Informal Performance

Wednesday 24th July – Abertaff House, Inverness. 12-2pm. Free entry; donations welcome. Informal Performance.

Wednesday 24th July – Loch Torridon Community Centre. 7.30pm. Tickets: £10/£5 for under 16s. Ceilidh Dance. Tickets available at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ceilidh-dance-at-loch-torridon-community-centre-with-feis-rois-tickets-925255473027

Thursday 25th July – Gille Brighde, Diabaig; 12-2pm. Free entry; donations welcome. Informal Performance.

Thursday 25th July – Applecross Village Hall, 8pm. Ceilidh Dance. Tickets: £10/Pay What You Can/U16 Free.

Friday 26th July – Conon Hotel, 1-3pm. Free entry; donations welcome. Informal Performance.

Saturday 27th July – Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Grassroots Stage.

Tuesday 30th July – Simpsons Garden Centre, Inverness. 12-2pm. Free entry; donations welcome. Informal Performance.

Tuesday 30th July – Invershin Hotel, 7,30pm. Concert. Free entry; donations welcome.

Wednesday 31st July – Highland Museum of Childhood, Strathpeffer. 2-4pm. Free entry; donations welcome. Informal Performance.

Wednesday 31st July – Duthac Centre, Tain. Doors at 7pm, ceilidh from 7.30pm until 10pm.
Tickets: £10 full price, £8 concession and a family ticket (2 adults and 2 kids) for £25. Ceilidh Dance. Ticket Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ceilidh-dance-at-duthac-centre-tain-tickets-929164505047?aff=oddtdtcreator

Thursday 1st August – Haven Centre, Inverness, 7:30pm start. Free entry; donations welcome. Informal Ceilidh.

Friday 2nd August – Rosebank Playing Fields in Wick, 7.30pm. Lyth Arts Centre Summer Sessions, Free entry; donations welcome.

Saturday 3rd August – OneTouch Theatre, Eden Court, Inverness, 7:30pm. Final Concert. Tickets: https://eden-court.co.uk/event/f%C3%A8is-rois-ceilidh-trail-final-concert


Scottish Borders

Monday 15th July – Cross Keys Hotel, Kelso; 8-10pm. Free; donations welcome. Informal Concert

Tuesday 16th July – St Cuthbert’s Church, Norham. 7pm (Doors at 6.30pm). £7, U16 Free; Concert.

Wednesday 17th July – The Abbey Kirk, Abbey St Bathans; 7.30pm. £10/£8; Concert.
Reserve tickets by emailing abbeystbkirk@gmail.com. You can pay in cash at the door or via BACS. Light refreshments are included in the ticket price.

Thursday 18th July – Floors Castle, Kelso; 12-2pm. Free on admission. Informal Performance

Friday 19th July – Eastgate Theatre, Peebles; 2-4pm. Free entry; donations welcome. Informal Performance.

Friday 19th July – Heiton Hall, Kelso; 7:30pm, Doors at 7pm. Tickets £8. Concert.
Tickets available at https://heitonhall.co.uk/whats-on/feis-rois-2024/

Saturday 20th July – Mellerstain House 12-2pm. Free; donations welcome. Informal Performance

Saturday 20th July – House Concert, Jedburgh; 7.30pm Entry by donation (£10 suggested)
Reserve tickets at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/feis-rois-ceilidh-trail-concert-2024-tickets-926802048877


Angus, Dundee, and Fife

Tuesday 23rd July – Wighton Centre, Dundee. 1-2pm. Free; donations welcome. Informal Concert

Tuesday 23rd July – Dreel Halls – Gaelic Song Workshop. FREE ENTRY. 4-5pm. Registration Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gaelic-song-workshop-by-the-feis-rois-ceilidh-trail-tickets-939460580887?aff=oddtdtcreator

Tuesday 23rd July – Dreel Halls, Anstruther. 7.30pm (doors 7pm); £10 Full Price; £8 concession (Over 65 or Unwaged); £5 for Under 18. Concert. Tickets available at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/feis-rois-ceilidh-trail-at-dreel-halls-tickets-929173201057?aff=oddtdtcreator

Wednesday 24th July – Arbroath Signal Tower Museum; 12-2pm. Free; donations welcome. Informal Performance

Wednesday 24th July – HMS Unicorn, Dundee; 7.30pm. £10/£8 (Concession – Over 65/Unwaged). Ceilidh Dance. Tickets available at: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/hms-unicorn/t-rpyayra


Glasgow & New Lanark

Friday 2nd August – Scottish Music Centre, Glasgow. 12pm. Concert. Tickets £10/£5 Concession (Students, Unwaged, Over 65). Tickets available at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/feis-rois-ceilidh-trail-at-scottish-music-centre-glasgow-tickets-929175909157?aff=oddtdtcreator

Friday 2nd August – Falls of Clyde Visitor Centre, 7.30pm. Concert. Tickets for £15/£12 concession (under 16 or unwaged). Tickets available at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/feis-rois-ceilidh-trail-at-falls-of-clyde-tickets-929191425567?aff=oddtdtcreator


Dumfries and Galloway

Wednesday 31st July – Craigdarroch Arms, Moniaive, 8pm. Session. Free entry, anyone welcome to join in.

Thursday 1st August – Kirkcudbright Scottish Nights, Variety Performance, 7pm. Free entry.

** Ceilidh Trail applications for 2024 have now closed and we are delighted to announce tour dates for this year’s Ceilidh Trail – check out the tabs above for tour dates **


Background to the Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail

Fèis Rois established its successful Ceilidh Trail programme, a four-week paid summer job, in Ross-shire in 2000. Following the success of the Ross-shire Ceilidh Trail, Fèis Rois started a National Ceilidh Trail for Scotland in 2012. This project has since gone from strength-to-strength and provides opportunities for young musicians from across Scotland to perform in locations across the country, not covered by the smaller community Ceilidh Trails. 

As well as covering a significant area of the Highlands, Fèis Rois’ Ceilidh Trails visit perform in venues across the whole of Scotland and further afield.

Many previous participants of the Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail have gone on to carve out successful careers in the Scottish music industry. These include Fraya Thomsen, Mairearad Green, Matheu Watson, Mischa Macpherson, and Rachel Newton, and many more!

Check out an introduction to the Ceilidh Trail project filmed in 2018!

Info for participants

The Ceilidh Trail is open to young traditional musicians aged between 16 and 25, who will spend the summer playing music, travelling throughout Scotland and beyond, and gain experience playing for just about every kind of gig you may encounter as a professional musician!   

To apply, you are expected to play an instrument or sing to an advanced level, and we would expect you to have some performance experience. As well as performing, you are also going to introduce sets, call ceilidh dances, and work with your group to set up PA system and do your own sound, so some experience or the willingness to learn is essential.

You will be paid a stipend of £1,000 and meals, accommodation, and travel will be provided. We expect you to be available for the entire tour and training week (usually a total of four weeks), and the schedule includes days off from touring where you would go home. On the tour, you will always be supported by a Ceilidh Trail supervisor who acts as driver and mentor, as well as by the project coordinator.

The Ceilidh Trail is open to musicians from across Scotland. As an organisation based in Ross-Shire and committed to providing opportunities for the young people of our region, we do hold a majority of places for musicians who live in, or are from, Ross-Shire.

While we offer a new Inclusive Ceilidh Trail which provides a bespoke level of support for young adults with learning disabilities, we continue to welcome applications from other disabled musicians for our original Ceilidh Trail too.

Inclusive Ceilidh Trail

After a successful pilot project in 2023, we will have an Inclusive Ceilidh Trail this year for young adults aged 16 – 25 with learning disabilities who are passionate about folk and traditional music.

Musicians on this Ceilidh Trail will be supported by music tutors and pastoral care staff to come up with a number of sets for their performances. We are looking for musicians with a passion for traditional music and who this project would help in their musical and personal development. The Ceilidh Trail is open to musicians from across Scotland.

If selected to take part, you will participate in the training week in Cromarty and you will perform at five or six performances including the final concert. During these performances, you will join some of the other Ceilidh Trails and will be supported by professional musicians.

Rather than being out on tour for the entire three weeks of the Ceilidh Trail, you will perform for one or two performances a week and travel home again. Assistance with travel planning will be provided, and expenses will be covered by Fèis Rois. We will pay a stipend of £400 to each musician taking part in the project.

If you have any questions about the Ceilidh Trail or if you want to have a confidential chat about any support you might need during the Ceilidh Trail, please get in touch with Christian Gamauf at christian.gamauf@feisrois.org. Please note that applications for 2024 have now closed.

2020 marked the 21st anniversary the Ceilidh Trail and despite not being able to mark the occasion in the usual style with a summer of musical performances, Fèis Rois released a double album featuring music from former Ceilidh Trail participants. You can order the 21 Years of the Ceilidh Trail CD here

Fèis Rois was set for a fantastic summer of concerts and cèilidhs throughout Scotland, England, France and Australia to mark the milestone, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisation had to cancel 2020’s programme. Although we were not able to have musicians out on the road, we were delighted to bring you this very special online concert on 15 August, 2020, showcasing some of the 150+ alumni of this project.

List of performer

Mairearad

Mairearad Green

Ceilidh Trail 2000-2003
Renowned for her deft and lyrical accordion style, as well as her dextrous piping, Mairearad is in great demand not only as a performer, but also as a composer.
Often seen on stage alongside multi-instrumentalist Anna Massie, composer, Mike Vass, piping supergroup, Tryst and singer-songwriter, King Creosote. 

http://www.mairearadgreen.co.uk/

Rachel Newton

Ceilidh Trail 2000-2003
Singer and harpist Rachel Newton interprets traditional English and Gaelic songs and texts alongside her own compositions. In addition to her solo work, Rachel is a skilled collaborator and founder member of The Shee, The Furrow Collective and The Lost Words: Spell Songs. Her 5th album is due later this year.

www.rachelnewtonmusic.com/

Ali Levack

Bellows blown pipes / Whistle

BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year for 2020, Ali specialises in piping and whistles and has been immersed in Scottish traditional music since the age of nine when a family friend started teaching him the pipes. Ali spent 4 years at the National Centre of Excellence for Traditional Music in Plockton before attending the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Throughout all of this he maintained close links with the Fèis. He has recently released an album with his trio, Project Smok. 

Chloë Bryce

Ceilidh Trail 2015-2016
Originally from Easter Ross, Chloë Bryce developed her grasp of traditional music through her involvement in the Fèis movement. She went on to study fiddle and Gaelic song at the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music in Plockton. Her music is informed by a deep regard for the old tunes and songs embedded in Highland culture, while also driven by the need to explore her own innate creativity. She has gained repute as a composer and a number of her tunes have come into circulation in the Glasgow session scene.    

Chloë has toured extensively across the UK, with notable appearances at Celtic Connections, Cambridge Folk Festival and Sidmouth Folk Festival. She has also performed internationally at Festival Interceltique de Lorient, Celtic Colours International Festival and the National Celtic Festival of Australia.

Brìghde Chaimbeul

Ceilidh Trail 2015
Winner of the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, and 2017 Scots Trad Music Awards ‘Up and Coming’ nominee, Skye musician and piper Brìghde Chaimbeul is one of Scotland’s fastest rising stars. A native Gaelic speaker, her style is rooted in her indigenous language and culture but draws inspiration from a variety of piping traditions such as from Cape Breton, Eastern Europe and Ireland. 

www.brichaimbeul.com

Sally Simpson

Ceilidh Trail 2012
Sally’s love of folk music has taken her from the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music in Plockton, to studying Swedish Folk Music in Stockholm, to playing fiddle in Sting’s musical The Last Ship. At her first Fèis in Ullapool she knew she’d found her people, and has loved working for Fèis Rois in a range of bonkers and brilliant situations ever since partaking in Ceilidh Trail in 2012!

www.sallysimpsonmusic.co.uk

Josie Duncan

Ceilidh Trail 2014
Josie Duncan’s effortless, modern style of songwriting has ensnared audiences the world over, from festival stages in Australia to basements in Glasgow. Her songs have been showcased on Radio 2 and the Janice Forsyth show, and she has been enlisted as a composer and songwriter for a nationwide production developed by National Theatre of Scotland. 
Since being awarded a BBC Young Folk Award in 2017, Josie has toured the world continuously, making appearances at prestigious festivals such as Tønder and Celtic Connections.

www.josieduncanmusic.com

John Somerville

Ceilidh Trail 2000
John Somerville, from Abriachan in the Highlands is one of the most exciting instrumentalists on the Scottish music scene. His unique style of accordion playing along with a sense of innovation has seen him gain a reputation for retaining his traditional roots whilst pushing musical boundaries. John is a notable composer, arranger and teacher working with individuals and groups of all ages. He has worked with a host of bands and acts including Treacherous Orchestra, Croft No Five, Babelfish, Cask Strength Ceilidh Band and Lori Watson.  

Kim Carnie

Ceilidh Trail 2013
Kim’s solo career launched in 2017 with the release of her debut EP ‘In Her Company.’ Since then, Carnie, with her ‘velvet voiced authority’ (The Scotsman) has become a regular session vocalist, featuring in Netflix’s Outlaw King (2018) and the computer game soundtrack for Black Mirror (2017). Most recently, Kim has joined multi award-winning Scottish supergroup Mànran as part of their permanent line-up. 

www.kimcarnie.com

Conal McDonagh

Ceilidh Trail 2011-2013
Conal McDonagh is a piper from Poolewe in Wester Ross. Influenced by both his Scottish upbringing and Irish heritage, Conal plays the Irish Uilleann pipes as well as the Scottish Highland and Border pipes, whistles and flute. He studied at the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music in Plockton and graduated with First Class Honours from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Conal has performed all over the world with a variety of bands and shows, and he continues to work with both new and established artists, including Duncan Chisholm, Cara Dillon and The Paul McKenna Band. Conal writes and performs with the innovative new band, Inyal.

Iona Fyfe

Ceilidh Trail 2015
Aberdeenshire folksinger, Iona Fyfe, has become one of Scotland’s finest young ballad singers, rooted deeply in the singing traditions of the North East of Scotland. In 2018, Iona became the youngest ever winner of Scots Singer of the Year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards.

www.ionafyfe.com

Laura Wilkie

Ceilidh Trail 2008
Laura Wilkie is a Fiddle player from Tain in the Highlands of Scotland. She has a unique style which has roots in the Highland fiddle traditions but is influenced by an eclectic range of music from all genres. 
Laura has toured across the world in various different groups of the Contemporary Folk Music Scenes.Including Kinnaris Quintet, guitar-virtuoso Ian CarrRoss AinslieSalsa Celtica, NITEWORKSand with Scots Singers: Claire Hastings and Siobhan Miller. 
As a founding member of Glasgow-based Jazz/Funk/R&B/Synth/Folk Juggernaut, Fat-Suit,Laura has been inspired to play with elements of improvisation in different styles, making her a versatile influence on each project.Collaborations include performing, writing, arranging, Shooglenifty, Man of the Minch, Rachel SermanniThe Elephant Sessions, Paul Towndrow’s Keywork OrchestraFatherson, and the GRIT Orchestra.

www.laurawilkiemusic.com

Innes White

Ceilidh Trail 2011-2012
Growing up in the Highlands of Scotland, Innes White has been immersed in traditional music from a young age. As well as being a native Gaelic speaker, his early experiences of music through his strong family heritage and the Fèis movement provided the bedrock for his professional career to flourish. White is one of the most sought-after multi-instrumentalists in the UK, having recorded on over 30 albums and toured extensively throughout the UK and abroad playing guitar and mandolin, with occasional appearances on piano, bouzouki and vocals. ​

www.inneswhite.com

To top