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Culture Vulture :: Get Ready for 10 of Scotland’s Best Music Festivals this May

Thank Folk! It’s May, so get ready for a veritable feast of some of the best high-octane, toe-tapping music Festivals happening in Scotland this month.

Culture Vulture : Woody Pines, Shetland Folk Festival, 10 of Scotland's Best Music Festivals May 2013

Woody Pines, Shetland Folk Festival

1. Shetland Folk Festival :: 2 – 5 May

The internationally renowned Shetland Folk Festival is back for its 33rd year. The UK’s most northerly festival continues to impress with its eclectic mix of folk, blues, jazz and swing. This years ‘not to be missed’ line-up includes; Scotland’s nu-folk-rock band Skerryvore, Canadian fiddler, songwriter and step dancer April Verch, North Carolina singer-songwriter Woody Pines and his four piece band and London’s Son Yambu with their red hot sound of Cuban son. The Shetland Folk Festivals characteristically strong line-up is topped off by four times Grammy nominated Cedric Watson, one of the brightest young talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole and Zydeco music over the last decade. Expect a ‘four day spree of brilliant folk music, sessions and sleep deprivation.’

Culture Vulture : The Dirty Beggars, Orkney Folk Festival, 10 of Scotland's Best Music Festivals May 2013

The Dirty Beggars, Orkney Folk Festival

2. Orkney Folk Festival :: 23 – 26 May

Now in its 31st Year, the Orkney Folk Festival explodes into life with an assortment of traditional and modern folk music. Now a firm fixture in the folk festival calendar, over the years the event has had a stellar line-up of performers and this year’s programme won’t disappoint. Crowned Event of the Year at the 2011 Scots Trad Music Awards, the Orkney Folk Festival continues to be a veritable feast for the folky heart. With performances from the much-lauded The Dirty Beggars – with their unique brand of down and dirty bluegrass – and Blazin Fiddles, dubbed by The Scotsman as ‘the Led Zeppelin of the folk world,’ whether you’re after old or modern folk you won’t go away disappointed.

Culture Vulture : Toploader, Mo Fest, 10 of Scotland's Best Music Festivals May 2013

Toploader, Mo Fest

3. Mo Fest :: 24 – 26 May

Montrose Music Festival, affectionately known as Mo Fest, promises to be as diverse and varied as ever. Whatever your taste in music, you can be sure that Mo Fest will deliver something that will delight. With Britpop favourites Toploader announced as the Headline Act for 2013, supported by Edinburgh’s ‘make me feel good Rock ‘n’ Roll band’ the Holy Ghosts and upbeat pop/rock band Peyton Place, this little festival punches well above its weight. Evoking the hazy, feel-good vibe of the ’70s with their keyboard-driven white soul anthems Toploader are arguably most well known for their single ‘Dancing in the Moonlight.’ With over two million album sales worldwide, as well as a string of top 20 hits both at home and abroad, Toploader look set to light up the streets of Montrose with their headline performance on Friday the 24th of May.

Culture Vulture : Rob Heron and The Tea Pad Orchestra, 10 of Scotland's Best Music Festivals May 2013

Rob Heron and The Tea Pad Orchestra, Northern Roots Festival

4. Northern Roots Festival :: 31 May – 2 June

Located just three miles south of Inverness, Bogbain Farm is home to the Northern Roots Festival. Now in its 5th year, this unique, relaxed, genuinely family-friendly festival with a flavour all of its own offers a high quality live programme celebrating the best in folk, country, bluegrass and roots music from local, national and international artists. Festival Director Bruce MacGregor describes this year’s line-up as “one of the most dynamic and exciting we’ve had in the five years of this festival.” If your preference is for acoustic based acts then the early evening sessions are for you. The high-energy sounds of Rob Heron and The Tea Pad Orchestra, with their unique blend of Western Swing, Gypsy Jazz, Hokum Blues, Ragtime, Cajun and Roots-of-Country, can be heard after 10pm. Also performing late evening sessions are Elephant Sessions and Grousebeater Soundsystem. You can also catch some of the artists performing afternoon music sessions in four of the best local music pubs; The Market Bar, The Gellions, The Castle Tavern and Hootananny.

You might also want to check out;

5. Highlands & Islands Music & Dance Festival, Oban :: 3 – 5 May Details

6. Moniaive Folk Festival :: 10 – 12 May Details 

7. Knockengorroch World Ceilidh :: 23 – 26 May Details

8. Isle of Skye Accordian & Fiddle Festival :: 23 – 25 May Details 

9. The Islay Festival of Music & Malt :: 24 May – 1 June Details 

10. The Border Gaitherin :: 31 May – 2 June Details

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