New blow for Perthshire as Dougie MacLean cancels his own festival in 2017

Dougie MacLean has staged his own festival in his native Perthshire for the last 12 years.
Dougie MacLean has staged his own festival in his native Perthshire for the last 12 years.
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Perthshire has lost a second major festival in the space of a week after singer-songwriter Dougie Maclean confirmed he was shelving his annual event.

The cancellation of next year’s Perthshire Amber event has emerged just days after organisers of T in the Park confirmed the event would be “taking a break” in 2017.

The event, which has generated more than £1 million for the economy, has drawn fans from around the world to events across Perthshire.

However it was scaled back from 10 to four days this year due to growing time commitment needed to run the event by MacLean’s family and their team of local volunteers.

Now MacLean and his wife Jenny, his long-time manager and director of the Dunkeld-based festival, say they want to take “time to reflect” on its future.

It is understood the public funding for the festival, which had been supported by the likes of Creative Scotland and EventScotland in recent years, only made up a small fraction of the overall budget.

A statement on the festival website said: “After 12 very successful years, we’re having a break in year 13.

"During those years the festival has grown from being a small two-day event in Pitlochry to an event with its homebase in Dunkeld and concerts and music activities throughout Perthshire, which has had around 10,000 people from up to 26 countries attending.

"The concerts, which have featured high-calibre musical guests from Scotland and abroad, have been staged in a variety of wonderful venues, from village halls, town halls and a grand concert hall to historic castles.”

Jenny MacLean said: “It’s been a wonderful journey so far for Dougie and myself and many of our family and friends through the 12 years, full of wonderful music and musical friendships re-kindled, of discovering truly stunning venues all over Perthshire and welcoming so many enthusiasts for Dougie’s music to his beautiful home county.

“We’ve had disappointments and frustrations here and there, but we’ve never had any insurmountable problems.

“I just don’t want to organise a 13th year. I have a feeling something would go terribly wrong. It really is my gut-feeling that it’s the best thing to do. After a break in 2017, with time to reflect and project, the festival may blaze back with renewed vigour in the autumn of 2018 or beyond.”