Scottish boat festival confirms 2020 event details

The 2020 Scottish Traditional Boat Festival will take place under new leadership.

Following a successful two day event in June earlier this year, plans for the next event in Portsoy, Aberdeenshire, are already underway with the appointment of Myles Murray and Vivien Rae as co-chairs of the festival’s organising committee.

They, along with a team of volunteers, will plan and deliver next year’s maritime focused event.

A recent call for additional volunteers to come forward to safeguard the future of the Festival resulted in a great response from the local community, with new members bringing diverse skillsets and a host of new ideas and enthusiasm to the team.

Vivien, who has coordinated the marketing and PR for the Festival since 2012, said: ‘I’m really looking forward to working with Myles, the volunteer team and many supporters to create a full and exciting programme which will celebrate Portsoy and the north east’s rich culture and heritage.

‘Without the dedication and hard work of the volunteer team, the festival simply would not take place, yet with thanks to the strong leadership and efforts of volunteers previously, the Boat Festival is now firmly on the international events calendar and brings a significant number of visitors and revenue to Portsoy annually.

‘It’s a progressive time for tourism in the north east and we want to ensure the Festival and Portsoy remain at the forefront and firmly on the tourist map.”

Myles Murray, who led the Viking programme at this year’s event, added: ‘I am delighted to be co-chair of the Festival and to be working alongside Vivien and the many volunteers who make the event a success.

‘Roger Goodyear was pivotal in me becoming involved in the event and I’m dedicated to contributing to its ongoing success. As a team we will work hard to continue to grow the event and to ensure that those who visit enjoy their experience.

‘With the support of the many tourism organisations in the North East and across Scotland, local companies and the local community, we look forward to the 2020 Boat Festival and to welcoming everyone to Portsoy.’

The co-chair appointments come following the untimely passing of Roger Goodyear MBE earlier this year, and the recent resignation of Keith Newton, who will now focus efforts on overseeing the Festival’s parent organisation, Portsoy Community Enterprise.

The committee already has elements of the event programme in place, confirming award winning Scottish band Skerryvore will headline the Friday Night Gig at the Green, and due to popular demand, the return of Shetland’s Jarl Squads and the torch-lit procession on Saturday evening.

Attracting up to 16,000 visitors, the Boat Festival celebrates the culture and heritage of the north east in a full and interactive programme showcasing traditional and small boats, craft demonstrations, the best of the region’s food and drink and a plethora of entertainment including music, dance and children’s activities.

The 2020 Festival takes place on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June 2020.

The event website can be found at