With less than two weeks to go till the opening concert of Perthshire Amber – The Dougie MacLean Festival at Pitlochry Festival Theatre on Friday 29 October, organisers are heartened by record ticket sales.
Festival Director, Jenny MacLean, explains: “We were braced for a downturn in sales this year. We had a phenomenally successful last year, in no small part because of the Homecoming celebrations and Dougie’s song Caledonia being showcased as the theme song for Homecoming. So we expected that things might be a little slower this year especially with the global financial crisis.”
But the anticipated downturn has not materialised with ticket sales for the festival, now in its sixth year, actually up on sales at the same time last year. It is now hoped that last year’s unprecedented numbers of more than 6,000 visitors from over 17 countries could be exceeded, with a number of the concerts already sold out and sales going well for the remaining concerts.
The Festival, which opens with Dougie sharing the bill with silken-voiced Gaelic songstress Julie Fowlis, features international bands Crooked Still from the USA and Grada from Ireland who are both doing exclusive Scottish appearances at Perthshire Amber as part of their UK tours. Eliza Lynn and Will Straughan from the Nashville, USA are also appearing as well as heaps of home-grown talent like lightning-fingered piper Fred Morrison and other well-known names such as Aly Bain, Michael McGoldrick and Karen Matheson. Venues across the whole of Perthshire include Dunkeld Cathedral, Blair Castle, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Perth Concert Hall, Blairgowrie Town Hall, Castle Menzies and Edradour Distillery.
With more than 6000 visitors expected over the ten days of the festival, the local economy is set for an unseasonal boost of more than £650,000 reinforcing Perthshire’s image as an ideal pre-Christmas tourist destination.