Dougie MacLean to headline Braemar Folk Festival

Dougie MacLean — the man who penned Scotland’s alternative national anthem ‘Caledonia’ —will headline opening night of the 2022 Braemar Folk Festival on 30th September.

The legendary singer will headline opening night of the 2022 Braemar Folk Festival. (Photo: RobMcDougall)
The legendary singer will headline opening night of the 2022 Braemar Folk Festival. (Photo: RobMcDougall)

The legendary Dunkeld songwriter is joined on the Friday night billing by trad supergroup Doyle, McCusker and McGoldrick. John Doyle (Dublin — vocals, guitar, bouzouki, mandola) is an Irish music linchpin who has worked with Joan Baez, Linda Thompson and Mary Chapin Carpenter. John McCusker (Glasgow — filddle, whistle, harmonium) has played with Mark Knopfler, Bob Dylan and recorded with Paul Weller. Mike McGoldrick (Manchester — flute, whistles, Uileann pipes) is a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner and current member of Capercaillie.

The community festival returns for its second year, with three days of concerts at St Margaret’s Braemar, informal pub sessions throughout the Deeside village and come-and-try workshops for learners young and old.

In an expanded programme on last year, the afternoon of Saturday 1st October will feature an album launch by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduate and Braemar local Ellie McLaren, accompanied by some of the country’s top young trad talent.

Saturday night’s concert puts the spotlight on emerging talent from Scotland and Ulster, with Northern Irish Music Prize ‘Best Album’ award-winner Joshua Burnside and BBC Scotland Young Trad Musician of the Year Eryn Rae in concert.

Tickets are on sale now, with full weekend tickets on offer at £50 each, workshops from £5 and all pub sessions free to attend.

Braemar Folk Festival is hosted by St Margaret’s Braemar, a unique performance, arts and heritage venue in the heart of the Cairngorms. Last year’s inaugural festival drew sell-out crowds, with mainstage headliners Peggy Seeger and Project Smok delighting audiences.


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Braemar Folk Festival is committed to using local suppliers, supporting local businesses and minimising its carbon footprint wherever possible.

Unveiling the programme for the 2022 Braemar Folk Festival, organiser Fergus Mutch said: “We’re back with a bang for our second year of the Braemar Folk Festival with a stellar line-up.

“Dougie MacLean is a songwriter who needs no introduction — a Scottish treasure, brilliant composer and mesmerising performer. If you’ve never seen him play, then there is nowhere better than the mainstage of St Margaret’s Braemar. It’s an intimate setting, with acoustics to die for.

“John Doyle, John McCusker and Mike McGoldrick are three of the most accomplished artists on the planet, and they’ve played alongside everyone from Paul Weller to Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. As a trio, they’re a peerless grouping in innovative musicianship.

“Besides these legendary acts, we’re committed to shining a spotlight on new and emerging talent. Powerful Northern Irish vocalist Joshua Burnside is amassing a huge global following and newly-crowned BBC Scotland Young Trad Musican Eryn Rae is proving herself as one of the best fiddle players in the country. They’re a formidable pairing for our Saturday night concert.

“Local Braemar lass Ellie McLaren will be launching her first EP at the festival, with some of the best young trad talent from across Scotland leading sessions and workshops.


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“With this lineup there’s no way you’ll be disappointed — unless you don’t book your ticket soon!”

The Braemar Folk Festival takes place from 30th September — 2nd October 2022.

Further details about all the artists, tickets and the full programme can be found at