Dougie MacLean’s music festival is set to make a comeback

Dougie MacLean - Scotland's pre-eminent singer-songwriter. PIC - ROB MCDOUGALL
Dougie MacLean - Scotland's pre-eminent singer-songwriter. PIC - ROB MCDOUGALL
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Singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean is to revive the annual music festival which has drawn fans from around the world to his native Perthshire.

The Caledonia singer has announced that Perthshire Amber will be making a comeback in a “scale-back, simplified” form this autumn.

MacLean had axed the festival after 12 years in 2017 due to the amount of work involved in staging the event.

It had been organised by MacLean, his wife Jenny and their family from its inception in 2005, when it started as a two-day event.

Perthshire Amber was gradually extended to become a ten-day event attracting upwards of 10,000 fans. The festival, which has been staged across Perthshire, was estimated to be worth £1 million to the economy. Its cancellation last year was a major blow to Perthshire, which also suffered from the demise of the 
T in the Park festival.

MacLean has traditionally performed on every day of the Perthshire, alongside a hand-picked line-up of leading Scottish musicians and singers.

Among the acts to appear at the event over the years have been Duncan Chishol, Rachel Sermanni, Martin Carthy, Julie Fowlis, Eddi Reader, Emily Smith and Karine Polwart.

The new festival is expected to be largely focused on Dunkeld, near MacLean’s home ­village of Butterstone, with a gala at Perth Concert Hall.

A statement on the Perthshire Amber website from Jenny MacLean, the director of the festival, said: “It has definitely been good for us to have a break from organising the festival in 2017.

“As a result Dougie and I had a truly creative year with more time for our wonderful grandchildren and the rest of our family … and watercolours, mountain biking, gardening, cooking up storms, songwriting and recording.

“At the same time you must all realise that Dougie and I genuinely love getting together with our team and bringing together folk from all over the world to enjoy Perthshire in the autumn, as well as sharing the music of course.

“So our plan is to distill Perthshire Amber right back to a weekend in 2018. For the festival to carry on for years to come (as we would all like it to) it must be something that we all look forward to. A scaled-back, simplified festival will give more time for our organising team to enjoy each other’s company and the music.”