Some thoughts from Jenny…
I think it was agreed by ourselves and the team that it was one of the best Perthshire Amber Festivals ever! The autumn colours held on gloriously and despite the occasional rain and misty fog, the mood throughout the weekend was somehow joyous and the atmosphere at Murthly Castle, in Perth Concert Hall, by the banks of the Tay at Dunkeld House and in the streets of Dunkeld and Birnam was somehow very special.
Dougie was in great form throughout the weekend…no coughs or colds or even sniffles!!…and his solo Saturday night concert to over a thousand people in the concert hall was truly memorable again. Other very special guests Ross Ainslie and Tim Edey earned once again their reputations for being among the finest instrumentalists and entertainers, and along with Buddy MacDonald, Hannah Fisher and Sorren Maclean turned Butterstone Village Hall on the Saturday into a magical experience for a rapt capacity audience. Gina Macleod and Alan Jordan were again talented compere/performers and other Cabaret Amber performers (Dowally, Lewis McLaughlin & Friends, Mairi Sutherland, Tumbling Souls with Willie Campbell, The Coaltown Daisie and the ShireTones) provided brilliant, varied music for all three sold our concerts. The Open Mic was a great success again with wonderful performances by over 25 acts with Katee Kross and Ross as relaxing, impressive hosts and Gordon Maclean looking after the sound.
The quality of the lighting and sound and general decoration was commented on really favourably throughout the weekend, as was the general 'family' feel and the warm welcome felt by visitors at all the venues as well as the cafes, pubs and shops throughout the town. We had visitors from at least 24 different countries and many stayed for a week or more in the town which is great for business.
We were especially pleased with the reports about the wonderful sessions that were happening (often in 2 or 3 pubs simultaneously!) throughout most of the weekend. Tunes, songs and even stories were shared and the festival musicians and visitors and locals all got involved …there was even a song or tune happening a couple of times on the stairs at The Royal and in the Big Knit lounge. This brings me to mention with great pride that as well as a really good quantity of food collected in our Amber Harvest baskets, the sale of knitted goods in the Big Knit Lounge and the Big Knit Raffle (organised by Dolly Maclean) raised an amazing £1,547 for the Cyrenians (a wonderful charity that the festival supports that helps the homeless and others in oft-times desperate need).
The Farewell Bash on Sunday was the best ever with a great concert line-up of all the festival musicians and team, a great session in the marquee bar during the break and a beautifully presented and tasty afternoon tea in the stunning River Room at Dunkeld House!
A huge thanks to all our organising team as well as the musicians, to the owners and staff at all our venues and to the PALS and sponsors …. we really couldn’t do it without the support of you all!!
And finally thanks to our wonderful audience from near and far….come back again to Perthshire for more autumnal musical magic from Friday 6th - Sunday 8th November 2020.