In just two weeks’ time the world’s biggest celebration of Gaelic language and music, the Royal National Mòd, will return to the town of Paisley for the first time in a decade.
The premier Scottish cultural event will be held in the town between 13 – 21 October 2023, with thousands of visitors expected to soak up the packed programme.
Concerts, sessions, ceilidhs, competitions, talks and cultural events will take place at more than 20 venues across Paisley and its surrounding areas, including the newly refurbished Paisley Town Hall, Paisley Abbey and The Sneddon.
The Royal National Mòd celebrates Scotland’s linguistic and cultural heritage and takes place in a different town each year. 2023 marks the turn of Paisley once again, having first hosted the Gaelic festival in 2013 to great success.
Final preparations are now underway as everything from Gaelic singing and Highland dancing and piping to fiddle and accordion, shinty and Gaelic poetry and literature are showcased in the Renfrewshire town, alongside performances from some of the brightest stars on the Scottish traditional music scene.
James Graham, Chief Executive Officer of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “As we begin to feel the bite of autumn, that can only mean one thing for Gaels, Gaelic supporters and fans of Scottish culture and music – the return of the Royal National Mòd. The October break will see thousands of people of all ages enjoy all that the world’s premier Gaelic festival has to offer, including late-night pub sessions, concerts from esteemed musicians and competitions featuring singers and musicians of all ages.
“We expect there to be a real buzz around Paisley for this year’s event and with a newly refurbished Town Hall and such a warm and welcoming audience, the Renfrewshire town is the perfect place to bring the event this year. The Gaelic language continues to flourish and we would encourage people to embrace this year’s event and get involved in the many cultural goings on we have lined up across the nine days.”
Renfrewshire Provost, Lorraine Cameron, said: “The final countdown to The Royal National Mòd is here and I’m looking forward to welcoming locals, visitors and performers to the town to celebrate and experience the very best in Gaelic music and culture. The event will surely bring a great buzz and sense of excitement to the town centre and our venues and local businesses are ready to help make sure this is the best Mòd yet.”
Ealasaid MacDonald, Bòrd na Gàidhlig Ceannard (CEO), said: “Bòrd na Gàidhlig is delighted to support the Royal National Mòd as it returns to Paisley. Those who attended 10 years ago will have fond memories of a wonderful celebration of Gaelic that increased support and enthusiasm across the area. We are sure that this year will be no different, and we will see the impact of the Mòd on Gaelic development as competitors, participants and audiences gather in Renfrewshire to enjoy a week.”
There is something for everyone on the Mòd programme. MG ALBA Scots Trad Awards Folk Band of the Year Breabach will headline the Mòd 2023 Opening Concert at Paisley Town Hall, while young and local talent will be front and centre for Ar Cànan ‘s Ar Ceòl (Our Language Our Music) on Saturday 14th October. Fèis Phàislig musicians, the Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band, The Glasgow Gaelic Choir, Ainsley Hamill, Joy Dunlop, Kilbarchan Pipe Band, Jenna Reid and Harris Playfair will all make an appearance on the show’s fantastic bill.
A specially created show launching the reworked Gaelic song collection of Frances Tolmie: Gun Sireadh Gun Iarraidh, will also take place at Paisley Town Hall on Tuesday 17th October. Elsewhere on the programme is a Gaelic Nature Walk at Paisley’s Fountain Gardens led by Alasdair Whyte, a workshop and performance from Gaelic speaker and traditional musician Evie Waddell for Fàilte Gu British Sign Language (BSL) (Welcome to BSL) and a warm multi-cultural ceilidh for communities from all cultures called the Fàilte Cèilidh at The Tannahill Centre on Thursday 19th October.
The Mòd’s prestigious competition schedule will see the usual array of talent vying for the most coveted titles in Gaeldom. The Gold Medal, Traditional Gold Medal Final and Silver Pendant competitions, choirs competitions, Drama Final and Battle of the Bands will all take place throughout the week, alongside children’s and music competitions, which will all welcome competitors from across Scotland and the wider world to Paisley.
A fitting finale to the Paisley Mòd will come in the form of the much-loved Massed Choirs. Hundreds of singers in choirs across Scotland will join in solidarity when they congregate outside Paisley Town Hall on Saturday 21st October, before folk-electronica powerhouse Niteworks play to a sold-out crowd inside that night.
The Royal National Mòd is supported by EventScotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Renfrewshire Council, The Scottish Government, HIE, Creative Scotland, Caledonian MacBrayne, BBC ALBA, The Reeling and SQA.
Mòd Phàislig takes place from 13-21 October 2023 . To find out more and book tickets, visit www.modphaislig.com.