Almost 70 events will take place in and around Inverness next month as The Royal National Mòd brings its biggest fringe in the event’s 122 year history to the Highland Capital.
Taking place in Inverness from Friday 10th to Saturday 18th October alongside the competition based events, the Mod’s own fringe programme begins with a torchlight procession from Inverness Castle to Eden Court on the Friday.
Over the next week there will be concerts by artists including Skipinnish, Cruinn and Skerryvore, street theatre, the Shinty Mod Cup, meet the author events, pub music nights, a children’s disco, come and try sessions and a ceilidh.
Highlights include the Saturday night Fiddlers’ Rally at Eden Court Theatre.
Hosted in association with Blazin’ in Beauly and under the musical direction of Bruce Macgregor of Blazin’ Fiddles, the concert will feature over 100 fiddlers, including stars of the fiddle world, plus local groups, adding up to what organisers believe will be the most spectacular fiddle event in Scotland.
A special concert to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I will take place on Wednesday 15th October, with musician Erik Spence creating a piece of music to accompany the poem Bantrach Cogaidh, written by the late Rev. John Macleod. Dingwall Gaelic Choir and Lochardil Primary School Choir will also contribute.
Other highlights include musical performances at Urquhart Castle, Culloden Battlefield and Fort George, while the Massed Choirs, with pipe bands, will bring the week’s musical festivities to a close with hundreds of choristers taking part on the Saturday morning.
Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, the Mòd itself will feature more than 200 competitions in Highland dancing, Gaelic music and song, sport, literature and drama, bringing thousands of competitors and spectators from throughout Scotland and the UK and overseas competitors from the USA, Australia and Canada.
John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said that the variety of venues available in Inverness had made it possible to host the Mod’s biggest ever fringe.
"It’s a great way to celebrate being in the city for the first time since 1997," he continued.
"Having a fringe event keeps the atmosphere going all week and allows Gaels and non-Gaels to experience the fun of the Mod."
Inverness Provost, Councillor Alex Graham, said the combination of the formal Royal National Mòd competitions and the fringe would give Inverness the world’s premier Gaelic festival.
"I am delighted that the fringe programme includes both traditional and contemporary events in venues and places of historic interest," he added.
"All these have Gaelic at their core and are aimed at attracting residents, competitors and visitors.
"The Mod fringe events will complement the increasing use of Gaelic in the area, create a unique atmosphere, and generate an economic boost to the City and inner Moray Firth area in the middle of October during this special Year of Homecoming Scotland."
The Royal National Mòd is supported by Highland Council, HIE, Creative Scotland, Caledonian MacBrayne, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, EventScotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland, SQA, BBC ALBA, the Scottish Government and Royal Mail.
Paul Bush, chief operating officer for EventScotland said: "The Royal National Mòd is a key part of our annual cultural events portfolio and in 2014 is one of the centrepieces of the Highland Homecoming programme.
"Scotland is the perfect stage for events and in the extensive fringe programme at this year’s Mòd will showcase our rich Gaelic heritage through the week of the event."
For full event programme and details, visit www.ancomunn.co.uk or for fringe events visit www.modinbhirnis.co.uk