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Scottish Musicians Return to In-Person Playing

As lockdown regulations are gradually eased in Scotland, musicians have taken the opportunity to start performing outside

By Olivia Mackenzie Smith

Guitar Cased by Number Six (6) is licensed under CC BY 2.0

According to new regulations set out by the Scottish Government, groups from four to fifteen people from two to fifteen households, depending on what level their residential area is, can now meet outdoors. Many musicians and performers have taken advantage of these new rules to start performing again.

The National Youth Choir of Scotland gave its first public event since 2019 on 17th May at Calton Hill, Edinburgh. All participants were singing together while maintaining a two-metre distance, broadcasting live to BBC breakfast. They have since continued to have open, socially distanced rehearsals in locations such as Aberdeen, Glasgow and Dunfermline.

Local Aberdeen musicians have also been keen to return to in-person performing. The Elphinstone Fiddlers (a folk and trad band based in the University of Aberdeen) recently played in the Bon Accord shopping centre. Music student Abaigh McMenaman has also resumed busking at Trinity Centre. When asked what being able to busk again means to her she said

"The last time I played a concert was in the angus youth orchestra before Covid - as a percussionist. if it weren’t for Covid I’d be playing in the university percussion ensemble in performances! I’ve been going out busking because if allows me to still see the happy and smiling reaction people give when they hear my songs and it feels good because they’re my own creation."

Aberdeen City is currently in Level One. As lockdown regulations continue to change, musicians may get more freedom to busk, have rehearsals and put on concerts.


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