About Edinburgh Tradfest

The past, present and future of traditional music


Edinburgh Tradfest has a rich story. With its longer tap roots in the Edinburgh Folk Festival, it was launched by Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland (TRACS) in 2013 to provide a distinctive platform for folk arts in the capital city. Edinburgh is a hot house of talent, home grown and visiting, and Tradfest is an opportunity to see it all in play.

In 2016, TRACS asked us at the Soundhouse Organisation to programme a series of concerts for them. With many years of concert promoting, beginning at our house in 2002, and then our regular Monday nights at The Traverse Bar (gathering appreciative audiences since 2014), we were well placed to select a dynamic line up of musical stars from home and abroad.

Last year, however, TRACS had its funding reduced (as part of wider cut backs in government funding) but they honoured their commitment with a very strong Tradfest programme in 2018. When it came to appraise the situation for 2019 the good folks at TRACS decided they couldn’t continue without funding. We thought it was a shame to lose the festival particularly at a time when Scotland’s traditional music scene is so strong and vibrant, so they agreed to pass it on to us. We are indebted to TRACS for their generous spirit and assistance in putting on this year’s Tradfest.

We also thank Creative Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Tattoo Culture Fund for their support, and our partners at The Queen’s Hall, The Traverse, the Scottish Storytelling Centre and Edinburgh Folk Club for lending us their spaces and giving us the benefit of their considerable expertise.

All the musicians performing at this year’s festival have been carefully selected from the very best tradition-bearers in Scotland and around the world. They are putting their faith in us as rookie festival organisers, and to all of them we offer heartfelt thanks.

Finally, to you the audience, we would like to share Soundhouse’s raison d’être:

“Our aim is to attract everyone who listens to and appreciates music; to entice people from their homes to enjoy music at its source, and to engage existing audiences for live music; to promote a memorable experience for audiences and musicians alike through a more positive attitude to live music, and a feeling of community.

“The Soundhouse encourages audiences to make live music a regular part of their lives.”

We hope to see you soon!

Douglas Robertson and Jane-Ann Purdy (pictured above with Colin, the Nifty Terrier)
The Soundhouse Organisation
January 2019