Thursday, 10 September 2009

Slainte Blas

News release
Immediate release

Highlands and Islands SNP MSP has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament praising the latest Blas Festival which will end this weekend.

Mr Gibson's motion comes on the back of strong ticket sales for the festival which has also seen around 4,000 school children attend concerts.

The festival takes place the length and breath of the Highlands. The opening weekend saw the premier of Blair Douglas's Gaelic Mass in St Andrew's Cathedral and a host of other gigs from Caithness & Sutherland to Skye and Lochaber. Artists from Nova Scotia and the rest of the UK and Ireland also played during the festival

Mr Gibson who attended a gig in Resolis village hall last Saturday said...

"Blas festival is truly orientated towards the grassroots and community. The way in which it makes uses of village hall as well as bigger venues and other spaces makes it perfect for the Highlands."

"The emphasis on Gaelic and local participation, as was evident with the Kilteran fiddlers at the Michael Marra gig on the Black Isle, is great. The local connection offers a taste of traditional Highland culture as well as show casing music from throughout Scotland and beyond."

"The organisers and participants deserve huge credit for the festival. The inclusion of 4,000 tickets for school children is a master stroke it will help them engage with great quality music both local and beyond, as well as getting them involved with community events. It is to the next generation to carry on the terrific musical culture of the Highlands and Scotland so early exposure to some of the best is a great way to make sure it happens."

"The strong ticket sales shows that there is an appetite for music in the Highlands and that should be recognised and promoted more by our tourism bodies. Blas is great taste of what we have on our door step. That rich culture is something that resonates around the world. It is up to Visitscotland to recognise this and promote it more vigorously than it does at the moment as genuine attraction which is integral to Scotland's and the Highland's identity."

"Similarly the strong sales indicate that this festival is not adversely affected by the recession as well as bringing communities closer together. Funding for this excellent event has to continue to satisfy audiences across the region and beyond."


Note copy of motion lodged in parliament.

S3M-04809 Rob Gibson (Highlands and Islands) (Scottish National Party): Slainte Blas— That the Parliament applauds the start of the fifth Blas Festival, taking place throughout the Highlands from 4 to 12 September 2009; notes the contribution that the festival makes to cultural and community life in the region and the emphasis placed on the Gaelic language; recognises the variety of venues used, ranging from Eilean Donan Castle to community venues such as village halls the length and breadth of the Highlands, making it a truly local and grassroots festival that offers a unique taste of Highland and traditional culture; congratulates the organisers and participants, including artists from Nova Scotia, for an excellent opening weekend, which saw the premier of Blair Douglas’s Gaelic mass at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Inverness, as well as a host of concerts in a range of venues across the region; recognises the importance of this festival in the annual cultural patchwork of Scotland, and encourages further support from funders and satisfied audiences for the future of Blas.
Lodged on Tuesday, September 08, 2009; Current

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