Get ready for festival season in Scotland

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky FestivalThe Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival
The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival
There is a festival of some sort taking place in Scotland pretty much every week of the year, but the schedule really starts to look packed from May onwards.

As well as the Shetland Folk Festival, the Darvel Music Festival and the Mayfesto programme of new political theatre, which all feature events this weekend, the Spirit of Speyside festival is also in full flow.

As the name implies, whisky is very much at the heart of it and visitors to the region will seldom be more than five minutes from a tutored tasting, distillery visit or whisky-flavoured menu. Dufftown Pipe Band will be giving their chanters a good workout at the eponymous town’s clocktower from 1pm this afternoon, while Whisky Galore! will be shown at The Square in Aberlour this evening.

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Potentially the most boisterous time will be had by those at the Celtic Spirit gig held in one of Glenfiddich’s warehouses this evening. Headliners are the Treacherous Orchestra, an 11-piece, who fuse traditional roots with everything from Latin to reggae via hard rock.

Those who prefer their rock straight up may wish to swing by the Bon Scott Fest in Kirriemuir. Born in Kirriemuir but later an Australian citizen, Mr Scott was the original lead singer of rock band AC/DC. He came to a premature end in 1980 just as AC/DC began to establish themselves as an international act. Two days of tribute acts will mean that he is not forgotten. Acres of double denim and, probably, too much patchouli oil will mean that this won’t appeal to the hipster community, but fans of hard-edged rock ’n’ roll will love it.

Stepping away from the moshpit, this is the opening weekend for a new Dundee Contemporary Arts exhibition from Aberdeenshire-based illustrator Johanna Basford. At the heart of this show is Wonderbeasts, an inky menagerie of animals, both real and mystical, which have been suggested by contributors to the Kickstarter crowd-funding platform.

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