Perthshire Amber 2008 was again a great success and exceeded all expectations.
"A festival with vision and imagination...and great momentum!" (Press & Journal)
The 4th annual Perthshire Amber Festival was hailed as a triumph "enticing an impressive list of guest musicians to Highland Perthshire" (Perthshire Advertiser). It was described as "small but perfectly formed" when it attained No.1 as Best Small Music Festival in the Scotsman where it was written "Internationally renowned songwriter and composer Dougie MacLean has developed a unique festival which shares his inspiring music, celebrates the history and culture of Perthshire and showcases beautiful scenery. The concerts, which welcome high calibre musical guests from Scotland and abroad, are staged in a variety of wonderful venues, from theatre and castles to an Iron Age crannog on Loch Tay to the atmospheric Dunkeld Cathedral".
As well as Dougie MacLean performing solo, with his band and with a string ensemble, the 2008 festival welcomed the strikingly contemporary Celtic band Solas (USA), wonderful songwriter Benny Gallagher and Scotland's favourite Deaf Shepherd.
The opening concert was a wonderful performance of The Search, MacLean's atmospheric instrumental album which includes the fiddle tune The Gael which is known all over the world as featuring largely in the film The Last of the Mohicans. Writer's of fiddle tunes were interested in an addition to the Perthshire Amber Festival programme‚ the very first Niel Gow International Fiddle Composition Award! There was a prize of £1000 awarded to Mike Vass for the winning tune, which he performed during the Blair Castle concert.
Perthshire Amber 2008 brought together over 120 musicians at venues across Highland Perthshire and provided high quality music from World, Celtic and Scottish artists to record audiences. Over 4000 attended the concerts, walks and free events. The Perthshire audiences were boosted by hundreds watching the finale concert across the globe via live Internet streaming. Over the ten days, Perthshire Amber's comprehensive concert programme was supported by a host of daytime events including workshops, walks, talks open mic sessions and pub music sessions ensuring that visitors had plenty to keep them involved throughout the festival.
Perthshire Amber 2008 concerts concluded on Saturday 31st October with a standing ovation from a full house at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre. A delighted Dougie MacLean shared the stage with multi-million selling Benny Gallagher, Juno winner David Francey, Nashville's Eliza Lynn, Sheena Wellington, the Sorren MacLean Band and many of the musicians and helpers who had made the 2008 Festival the biggest and best to date. He had headlined 9 concerts over 10 days at a variety of venues from theatre to castles, a cathedral and... to a crannog!
Dougie told us "We've had a great 10 days of music and friendship with visitors joining us from 15 countries around the world. I have been delighted with the quality of the music from the fantastic professionals who joined me on stage and the wonderful singers and instrumentalists who played at the open mic and Cabaret Amber Sessions."