Hundreds of Dougie MacLean fans descend on Perthshire

Siobhan Wilson helped Dougie MacLean launch his annual Perthshire Amber festival.
Siobhan Wilson helped Dougie MacLean launch his annual Perthshire Amber festival.
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Singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean has launched his annual music festival in his native Perthshire.

Hundreds of fans from more than 25 countries have descended on the picturesque village of Dunkeld for the 12th annual Perthshire Amber event.

Dougie MacLean is staging his Perthshire Amber festival for the 12th time.

Dougie MacLean is staging his Perthshire Amber festival for the 12th time.

The singer, who was brought up in nearby Butterstone, and his wife Jenny have lined up gala concerts, live music sessions, guided walks, storytelling tours, a market, an open-air picnic and a decorated wheelbarrow parade.

Other events are being held in Perth, Blairgowrie, Kenmore, Murthly, Weem and Grandtully over the course of the four-day festival, which ends on Sunday.

The event was kicked off by Maclean and young Glasgow singer-songwriter Siobhan Wilson in a marquee in the grounds of the Dunkeld House Hotel, before the 62-year-old played before a sell-out crowd in the historic cathedral on the banks of the River Tay.

MacLean, who is best known for his "homesick anthem" Caledonia, has had his songs covered by the likes of Paolo Nutini, Amy Macdonald, Frankie Miller and Ronan Keating during a career which spans five decades.

Siobhan Wilson is one of the guest artists at Dougie MacLean's annual music festival in his native Perthshire.

Siobhan Wilson is one of the guest artists at Dougie MacLean's annual music festival in his native Perthshire.

Other special guests lined up by MacLean for this year's Perthshire Amber include Gaelic star Julie Fowlis, Singing Kettle founders Cilla and Artie Fisher, multi-instrumentalists Ross Ainslie and Tim Edey, fiddler Hannah Fisher and singer-songwriter Sorren MacLean.

Maclean and his wife decided last year to scale back the 2016 event from 10 to four days due to the huge commitment involved in running the event with a group of community volunteers.

He said: "We're thinking of it as the 'Four Big Days' as we're packing so much more into a shorter period of time and just hoping our team can cover it as well.

"The festival has come to mean so much to us and the community in Dunkeld, Birnam and other parts of Perthshire.

"We all look forward to the fact that the village becomes truly international for the duration of the festival.

"It's also wonderful for me to see so many people from across the world making the journey to visit and enjoy music and company in the village where I spent my time as a teenager, and later as Jenny and I developed my musical career and our family business.

"The area has been a huge inspiration for me and it's great to share the place with people who have come my shows over the 43 years since I became a professional musician."