The 15th Annual Niel Gow Festival


from BIRNAM ARTS +44 (0)1350 727674


The annual Niel Gow Festival is a celebration in music of the life of local hero Niel Gow (1727-1807), regarded by many as the patriarch of the Scottish fiddle tradition.  With concerts, workshops, informal sessions and guided walks, it attracts visitors from all over the world.

This year, the first performance is a special Friday afternoon show for the pupils of the Royal School of Dunkeld.

Friday evening will see a solo fiddle concert at the Royal Dunkeld Hotel, featuring Hannah Fisher, Roo Geddes, Charlie Walden and Pete Clark.

At Little Dunkeld church, a Saturday morning recital featuring fiddlers Pete Clark and Alastair Savage will undoubtedly prove popular.  (Pete will be playing the fiddle which was once Niel Gow's favourite.)

A concert on Saturday afternoon features Hannah Fisher with Sorren Maclean (guitar), Alastair Savage with Euan Drysdale (guitar/keyboards), Archie McAllister with Sileas Sinclair (accordion & keyboards), and highly original fiddler Roo Geddes accompanied by Neil Sutcliffe (accordion).

Playing in Saturday night's concert are Paul Anderson, exponent of the north-east fiddle style, followed by the youthful and energetic "Routes Quartet" led by Tricia Mullan.

On Sunday morning there will be a showing of "The Groove is not Trivial", a biographical film documentary about Alasdair Fraser and his fiddle philosophy.

Final concert of the weekend on Sunday afternoon will be kicked off by Dunkeld & District Strathspey & Reel SocietyPatsy Reid will then be taking the stage to showcase her latest recording.

Many of the weekend performers also give masterclasses.  (And not just fiddle.  Other instrumental workshops this year included accordion, guitar, keyboard, plus a couple of sessions on groupwork.)

The guided walks give visitors an insight into this bonnie corner of highland Perthshire which inspired Niel Gow almost three centuries ago.  THE 15th ANNUAL NIEL GOW FESTIVAL

16th-18th MARCH 2018

The ultimate goal of the Festival is to create a conspicuous memorial to Niel Gow in Dunkeld, situated in a prominent position for all to see!

Archie McAllister at the NGF 2017
The Fair Maid sculpture in Perth - maybe something along these lines in Dunkeld, but featuring Niel Gow??
Roddy Matthews at the NGF 2017
Niel Gow portrait by Sir Henry Raeburn


was a weekend of superb musicianship, great craic and, although the weather on Friday and Saturday was a bit dreich, the sun was shining for the Niel Gow walk on Sunday (when 55 people + 6 dogs strolled along the banks of the Tay and the Braan for soup and a dram in Niel Gow's garden!  Thanks again to Jim & Linda.)

Mysterious new plaque on Niel Gow's cottage wall!
Niel Gow's fiddle at Blair Castle