The Trads – The 21st MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards: News

Folk and traditional music fans are being encouraged to have their own say on the best in the business as nominations for the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards are now open.


2023 sees a celebration of a 21st anniversary, the awards having grown year on year in line with the with the thriving Traditional music scene. The 2023 ceremony also gives a chance to reflect on the achievements of the past two decades. The public have the chance to nominate their musical heroes across a range of categories from clubs, projects and events to bands, singers and composers.

The ceremony is set to celebrate and showcase Scotland’s flourishing traditional music scene in style, with a host of incredible performances on the night from legendary Skye folk-fusion group Peatbog Faeries, acclaimed Gaelic songstress Joy Dunlop and her band, and Celtic party-starters Mànran. Fresh from her Young Traditional Musician of the Year win, the Amy Laurenson Trio will also take to the Caird Hall stage, as well as the inimitable fiddle genius Duncan Chisholm.

Multi-award-winning Scottish folk singer, songwriter and storyteller Karine Polwart and pianist and composer Dave Milligan will also perform over the course of the evening, while the next generation will showcase their talents when SC&T Youth, an organisation providing exciting and inclusive Scottish traditional music opportunities for young people in the North East of Scotland, step up to play. The evening will also include a fitting musical tribute to the cherished radio host and advocate for traditional music, Robbie Shepherd who presented BBC Radio Scotland’s Take the Floor for 35 years.

Scotland’s traditional culture, music and arts organisation Hands Up For Trad organise the annual event. Organiser Simon Thoumire says: “It is with great excitement that we open up the nominations for this year’s MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards. We can’t wait to see all the nominees who represent the many different facets of our fantastic traditional music scene here in Scotland, from venues and clubs to tutors, events, artists and more. “

The nominees in a number of categories will be unveiled on Monday 6th November, before voting opens to allow fans to pick their winners, which will be announced at the Caird Hall in Dundee on Saturday 2nd December.

  • Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year
  • Club of the Year
  • Community Project of the Year
  • Composer of the Year, sponsored by PRS for Music
  • Event of the Year
  • Gaelic Singer of the Year, sponsored by The Highland Society of London
  • Live Act of the Year
  • Music Tutor of the Year, sponsored by Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative
  • Musician of the Year, sponsored by The University of The Highlands and Islands
  • Original Work of the Year
  • Scottish Dance Band of the Year
  • Scottish Folk Band of the Year, sponsored by Threads of Sound
  • Scottish Pipe Band of the Year
  • Trad Music in the Media, sponsored by Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Trad Video of the Year
  • Up and Coming Artist of the Year, sponsored by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 
  • Venue of the Year

Elsewhere, the Album of the Year Award, sponsored by Birnam CD, will be taken from a longlist of submissions for the category. We’re particularly delighted to find that amongst the longlist of nominees for Album of the Year, we’ve featured fourteen on our pages, courtesy of our very own Scots aficionado, Seuras Og:

Air An Turas by An Dannsa Dub

Arche by The Routes Quartet

Awakening by Ìmar

Black Cuillin by Duncan Chisholm

Caoir by Joy Dunlop

Dancing Feet by Blair Douglas

Decemberwell Decade by Mike Vass

DIAD by Tim Edey & Ross Ainslie

Dusk Moon by Rura

Fàs by Breabach

Flight Paths by Siskin Quartet

Flow Country by Westward the Light

From The River by Cala

Haar by Lauren MacColl

Hert by Catriona Price

I See A World by Peatbog Faeries

Kōterana by Iain Fraser

Land of Eden by Lucie Hendry

Lullabies from Scotland by Claire Hastings

ONE DAY by Jenna Reid and Harris Playfair

Portraits by Simon Thoumire and Dave Milligan

Riverwoods by Salt House

Seed by Fiona Rutherford

Shepherds and Tea Tables: Songs of Allan Ramsay by Concerto Caledonia

Small Voyages by Chloe Matharu

Soaring by Juliette Lemoine

Sølvstrøk by Sarah-Jane Summers & Juhani Silvola

Speak of the Devil by Dallahan

Stretching Skyward by Gnoss

Sula by Dàimh

Thawcrook by Rebecca Hill and Charlie Stewart

The Dawning by Graham Mackenzie

The Madeleine Stewart Trio by The Madeleine Stewart Trio

Thig mi gad iarraidh by Muriel Urquhart

Trapdoor to Hell by Arthur Coates

Where From Here by Assynt

Where I Belong by James Bauld

Tempus by Skerryvore

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland, says: “Scotland’s traditional music continues to thrive because our heritage, which draws from rich indigenous languages, is passed on from generation to generation. That’s why Creative Scotland is particularly proud to sponsor the Janet Paisley Services to Scots Language Award and, through the Youth Music Initiative, the Music Tutor of the Year Award. This is the music that pulses through Scotland’s lifeblood, from community halls to international stages. As the nominations are unveiled for this year’s awards, it’s time to cast your vote for the music that matters to you.”

Margaret Cameron, Director of Content at MG ALBA adds: “The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards is renowned for recognising and celebrating the excellence within Scotland’s thriving traditional music scene. It’s always encouraging to see so many talented individuals being nominated for these prestigious awards and we look forward to seeing who makes the list this year. MG ALBA is extremely proud to be the headline sponsor of this much-loved event, and we cannot wait to attend to find out who will be picking up a coveted award in Dundee’s Caird Hall this December.”

This year’s MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards are taking place with thanks to funding from The Northwood Trust and Dundee City Council.

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