Preview concert as world leading fiddle festival returns home

A taster of one of the world's leading traditional fiddle music and dance festivals, boasting local, national and international talent will be held in Aberdeen this week.

The launch concert for the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention (NAFCo) will provide a sneak preview of the feast of music, dance, concerts, workshops and talks that lie in store when the full NAFCo festival returns ‘home’ to the city for the first time in eight years this July.

Thursday’s Lemon Tree teaser will feature celebrated Tarland fiddler Paul Anderson as well as multi-instrumentalist and composer Patsy Reid and two Hungarian Roma musicians among many more.

Organised by the University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone Institute, NAFCo has become one of the largest and most respected events in the world of traditional fiddle music and dance since its inception in 2001.

The unique international festival blends performance from some of the world’s finest musicians and dancers and academic discussion in a celebration of the many styles of fiddle playing and associated dance traditions that exist around the North Atlantic.

Last time Aberdeen hosted the event, it attracted around 15,000 visitors and the convention has since been held with great success in Ireland & Northern Ireland and in Canada.

In 2018, supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils, the programme will include more than 150 events, featuring over 60 artists from as far afield as Scandinavia, Spain and North America. Events will be held across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, including HMT, The Lemon Tree, Woodend Barn and Haddo House.

“This is just a wee sneak preview of the fantastic line-up we will have at NAFCo 2018,” explains Festival Director, Carley Williams.

“We’re delighted to welcome a host of musicians to perform tonight and hopefully it will whet the audience’s appetite for when the full festival comes back home to the North-East of Scotland in July.

“When the Elphinstone Institute started the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention 17 years ago, there was nothing else quite like it and I think that has contributed to its international success.

“The variety and the accessibility of the events really makes it stand out – emerging performers will share the stage and equal billing at concerts with internationally renowned artists. There are workshops for novices and expert masterclasses, as well as a variety of free performances, films, exhibitions, dances and talks.

“If you come out to this taster concert, or attend one of the events during NAFCo in July you are absolutely guaranteed a great day or night out, a chance to experience some fantastic music and insight into a wide range of cultures, and the opportunity to get involved yourself.”

The concert will take place at the Lemon Tree on Thursday April 19 as part of the inaugural Other Music Festival. Tickets are £15 and £10 concessions available from Aberdeen Box Office, call 01224 641122 or visit The first performer will be on stage at 7.30pm.