The Findhorn Bay Arts Festival

Forres and Findhorn To Take Centre Stage in September

As I love nothing more than being a tourist in my own country, I am thrilled that there are so many fantastic events being rolled out this year in celebration of Homecoming 2014.  Right at the top of my list for up-coming events is the first Findhorn Bay Arts Festival, taking place in and around the historic town of Forres and the scenic village of Findhorn.  For me, it’s an ideal combination: the picturesque setting of my home town and the coastal village that I love; the glorious backdrop of autumn’s amber displays; and events centred around music, art and photography, history and outdoor theatre.  The festival will paint a town I know well in a completely different light.

The area around Forres and Findhorn is wonderful to visit at any time of year, but there will be something extra special about visiting at the end of September when you can experience this unique line up of events as well as the area’s sights, attractions, and its autumn palette.

Whether you’re a frequent visitor or seeing the area for the first time, the programme of events is sure to give you a truly memorable experience of its beauty, history and inspiring landscapes. The festival also ‘brings Macbeth home to Moray’ and features a number of Macbeth-themed events in celebration of the real King and Shakespeare’s creation.

To give you an idea of what’s in store, I have picked out five fabulous festival events.

Culture Day

Saturday 27th September is Culture Day in Forres town centre, a fantastic free event from 11am to 4pm. In carnival style, the streets of Forres will be packed with performers, drummers, dancers, storytellers, piped and brass bands, art installations and much more – great fun for all the family.

Walking Tour of Forres

I couldn’t think of a better, or more unique, way to see Forres than by joining the Walking Theatre Company while they perform an adaptation of ‘Macbeth’.  The engaging and entertaining tour lasts an hour and a half, taking you on a journey around the streets of Forres and into a past of intrigue, magic and murder.

Macbeth Remix at Brodie Castle

Another brilliant reworking of this famous play, the Macbeth Remix is an hour long creative production in the stunning grounds of Brodie Castle featuring live music, video projections and fire sculptures. There is also a themed market beforehand, with stalls and street performance.

Pedal and Picnic Tour of Macbeth’s Hillock

If you’re a keen cyclist, why not join BBC Radio Scotland presenter Mark Stephen on a bike ride from Forres to Macbeth’s Hillock via Dyke and the Brodie Castle Gardens? This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about places connected to King Macbeth, as well as take in some lovely Moray scenery in good company.

Live Music

In addition to the festival’s toe-tapping line up of concerts, there will also be free live music sessions taking place in a number of cafes and bars in both Forres and Findhorn, from 5 to 7pm on the week nights and 9pm till late at the weekend. The evening atmosphere will be lit up by musicians such as Shoogelnifty, members of the Fochabers Fiddlers, the McCaskill Brothers and Charlie McKerron.

The Findhorn Bay Arts Festival will take place between 24th and 28th September. For more information and to view the full festival programme visit www.findhornbayartsfestival.com.

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