Trad v Taylor: Scottish music aims for spotlight during Swift weekend

The Reeling will take place in Glasgow on June 8 and 9 - the same weekend Taylor Swift takes to the stage in Edinburgh.

Traditional Scottish music festival aims to steal spotlight as Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour heads to Edinburgh Story Shop via Supplied / Getty Images

A traditional Scottish music festival is aiming to steal the spotlight from global superstar Taylor Swift when she arrives in Edinburgh next month.

The Reeling, a traditional Scottish and roots music festival, will take place in Glasgow on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9 – the same weekend the American chart topper will take her Eras tour to a sold out Murrayfield Stadium.

Around 215,000 people are set to descend on the capital for the singer’s first appearance in Scotland since 2016.

Taking place at the same time, a festival described as “a celebration of Scottish culture”, will see some of the biggest names in the traditional scene take to the stage at Rouken Glen Park, in Glasgow’s Southside.

The Reeling organiser has said the 'Traddies' will be out in force. Story Shop via Supplied

Some of the acts to feature at the 5,000 capacity festival throughout the weekend will include Elephant Sessions, Niteworks and Mànran.

With new research finding that a third of Scots have listened to trad music in the last year, organisers have said they are confident that “Traddies” will be out in force – despite stiff competition from “Swifties”.

Organiser Michael Pellegrotti said: “Scotland is such a small country, so you do worry that the audience can get swallowed up when you’re up against someone as big as Taylor Swift with a capacity of 220k people.

“But traditional music has this strong, dedicated following and community around it – so I’m sure the Traddies will be out in force, just like the Swifties.”

The Reeling will take place on the weekend of June 8 and 9.Story Shop via Supplied

Mr Pellegrotti, who created The Reeling in 2023, said he has seen a new generation of music fans coming to watch live trad music – something which he describes as an “incredible experience”.

The festival site will also feature some “unique” dining experiences among many other activities.

He added: “I’ve ran Skye Live, a traditional music festival, since 2015 and we’ve had the privilege of watching a new wave of traditional musicians grow in stature – and that is ultimately what inspired The Reeling.

“In the last five to ten years, there has been a stream of new generation music fans coming to trad – a lot of eyes have been opened, and a big part of that is the quality of trad musicians around at the moment.

“Their performances are so energetic and captivating, it’s an incredible experience.”

You can purchase tickets for the festival here.

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