The Reeling puts bagpipes and Scottish musicians on a sunny stage

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The Reeling festival was held last weekend, June 10 and 11, in Rouken Glen Park on the fringes on Glasgow, and the photos show a spectacular start in its inaugural year.

The Highland pipes were well represented throughout the festival, and another positive aspect is how many Scottish traditional music bands and musicians were involved.

Scotland has never had this type of big stage, rural setting for a traditional music weekend festival, and the festival setting looked perfect – idyllic perhaps. Many folkies would have made the journey to find a similar festival experience in England’s green and pleasant land over the years. One can only hope the festival goes from strength to strength, and keeps bagpipes and Scottish traditional music to the fore.

The official press release is below the photo gallery, giving you more detail of what the festival offered in its first year.

•Conal McDonagh and Calum MacCrimmon of Breabach. Photo Tim Craig

•Peter Morrison of the Peatbog Faeries. Photo: Tim Craig

Martin Gillespie of Skerryvore. Photo: Ryan Buchanan
•Martin Gillespie, Cameron Barnes and Scott Wood. Photo Tim Craig


The Reeling, Scotland’s newest traditional music festival, enjoyed a resounding success this weekend, with around 8,000 Scottish music fans making their way to sunny Rouken Glen Park for the inaugural event.

The highly anticipated celebration of culture, creativity and community delivered on all fronts, with over 30 performances from some of Scotland’s most exciting musical talent and a family-friendly programme of activities delighting crowds over Saturday and Sunday.

Scotland’s major new summertime festival welcomed music fans of all ages for an inclusive celebration, creating a happy, welcoming vibe in stunning surroundings, with an eye on community, sustainability and customer experience.

The Reeling Festival Director Michael Pellegrotti said: “We couldn’t have asked for more from the first ever edition of The Reeling. It’s been absolutely incredible to see so many people joining us across the weekend. We wanted to create an event that shone a light on the diversity and richness of the Scottish music scene, while filling the trad music festival shaped gap in Glasgow’s summer calendar. It’s been amazing to see the event go down so well with those who attended and to see so many happy faces in the crowd. The glorious sunshine was just the icing on the cake!

“Putting on an event that gives back to the planet and treats its musicians, suppliers and audiences with the utmost respect is central to our ethos here and the team has worked round the clock to make our inaugural event a resounding success. I’m incredibly excited to say we will now begin planning for 2024, and to build on what we have achieved at Rouken Glen Park this weekend. We’re also looking forward to presenting the Royal National Mòd’s closing concert this October which will see the mighty Niteworks play Paisley Town Hall.

“Thank you so much to everyone who worked, performed, catered, crafted and supported us over the weekend, and of course to all those who bought tickets; we hope to see you all next year for round two!”

Music lovers travelled from far and wide for the inaugural event, from New York to New Zealand and Newton Mearns, to enjoy the wide variety of musical talent and entertainment on offer in Glasgow’s south side.

Anthony Marcella, 29, travelled all the way from New York just to attend the festival for the weekend. Anthony said: “I’ve travelled across the pond just to come to The Reeling. I’ve fallen in love with the trad music scene and it was a great excuse to come to Scotland. It’s my first time in Glasgow and the people and crowd are just amazing. My friends think it’s wild I would come all this way for a Scottish festival but I just couldn’t miss it and would love another chance to come back.”

Electro-trad duo Valtos put on a dynamic set from the festival’s main stage on the first day of the festival, alongside Folk Band of the Year Breabach, Gaelic supergroup Dàimh and highly sought-after folk act RURA. 

Genre-defying Talisk thrilled crowds with their unrivalled energy and enthusiasm as the sun set across the park, before inimitable party starters Peatbog Faeries brought things to a sensational close.

Sunday saw The Reeling continue to live up to its name with audiences dancing, stomping and clapping along to Scotland’s most celebrated fiddle band Blazin’ Fiddles, along with Stornoway sensations Face The West, festival favourites Hò-Rò and many more.

Hot off the back of their number one Scottish album, festival favourites Skerryvore evoked tumultuous cheers as the sun set on the first, but not the last, Reeling.

The Reeling’s second stage, A’ Choille, was nestled in a wooded area of the park, offering a stunning setting for intimate sets. The natural amphitheatre welcomed secrets sets from none other than Britain’s Got Talent’s Cammy Barnes, in his first appearance since the show, as well as Celtic powerhouse Ìmar.

Highly-lauded folk musician Rachel Sermanni, inimitable Lochaber artist Megan Henderson, Isle of Lewis songstress Josie Duncan, composer and bagpiper Malin Makes Music, Isle of Skye Gaelic vocalist Deirdre Graham, indie folk duo CLR Theory, emerging singer songwriter Hector Shaw, songstress Katie Macfarlane, and others also graced the stage across the weekend. Daily performances from Fèis Phàislig (Paisley) opened the A’ Choille programme, providing a fantastic platform for young local musicians.

The Reeling teamed up with Skye’s incredible Café Cùil to bring a unique taste of the Highlands to Rouken Glen Park with a unique pop-up festival restaurant. Event-goers jumped at the chance to sit down for a delicious meal in amongst the lively and vibrant atmosphere of the park, as the Café Cùil team served up a menu of dishes inspired by their Hebridean roots, including Skye langoustines and tattie scone tacos.

A dynamic programme of activities for all the family kept kids entertained with face painting, story telling, arts and crafts and an eventful sports day. Musical instrument charity Music Broth also ran jam sessions and workshops across the weekend, which delighted crowds of all ages. 

Sign up to The Reeling newsletter at https://thereeling.com/ to be first to hear about plans for 2024.

The Reeling will also co-host the Royal National Mòd’s closing concert as it returns to Renfrewshire this autumn. The two events have teamed to champion Scotland’s culture and indigenous language. Folk-electronica powerhouse Niteworks will bring the country’s biggest celebration of Gaelic language and culture to a close at Paisley Town Hall on Saturday, October 21. Tickets available at www.niteworksband.com.