Northern Roots Events are the sixteenth recipients of Hands Up for Trad’s Business Limelight Award. The “Limelight’s” are a monthly initiative (launched in October 2012) that recognises the outstanding contributions made by businesses and organisations who contribute, shape and influence the arts and cultural sector in Scotland today. Northern Roots Events are a rapidly expanding company promoting Scottish culture in the Highlands with exciting events and festivals.
We asked Bruce MacGregor and Yvonne Murray of Northern Roots Events the following questions.
What is your principle company activity?
Organising festivals and events as well as weddings at our base Bogbain farm.
- Inverness Whisky festival – a day of talks, tastings, music and comedy all incelebration of the Highland’s best distilleries. First weekend in April
- Brew at the Bog during the first weekend in May with over 40 up-and-coming indie bands over 4 stages alongside craft brewers Brewdog.
- Northern Roots Festival Inverness,a celebration of folk, roots and acoustic music throughout a multitude of city centre venues, held in first weekend of June. Working alongside local businesses, musicians, promoters and venues.
- Blazin in Beauly, the Blazin Fiddles music school/experience every October
- Scottish Showtime – a full-on interactive experience for visitors featuring food, whisky and great music, song and dance. Held at Bogbain farm and highlighting some of the best young talent we have in the Highlands
When and where did the company first start trading?
NRE started in November 2011 from Bogbain farm in Inverness
What made you want to work in Scottish culture?
We’re both (Yvonne Murray and myself) completely immersed in Scottish music and culture but from quite different angles. I gave up my job at the BBC about 15 years ago to make a go from playing music with Blazin Fiddles and I found a scene that was full of talent and offered amazing opportunity. I think many musicians and artists are more switched onto the business side of things these days but there is still enormous scope for development particularly in regards to cultural tourism. I just can’t imagine going back to work for someone else every again. I still see vast opportunity out there for Scottish music and culture both in global and local terms.
Yvonne’s Lewis upbringing gives her that certain island view on life and culture but in addition to that she has a truly inquisitive mind which leads her to a lot of very different music from me. She is also very internet savvy which means she is right on top of trends and what people are looking for. Quite a skill!
Can you tell us of any particular company highlights?
Brew at the Bog this year was an absolute cracker of an experience for our wee team. Over two thousand folk at it and the feedback has been tremendous. Bogbain as a venue won “Best Unusual venue” in Scotland at the Scottish Event Awards in 2012 and that really was amazing as we were up against multi-million pound venues. Yvonne winning “Highland Young Ambassador of the year” at the Highland Tourism Awards was a major achievement by her as she was so new to the industry, but in my (slightly biased opinion! ) you’d be hard pressed to find someone so dynamic and willing to give things a go.
What are your company’s plans for the future?
Make Northern Roots Festival a ten day event throughout Inverness, using even more venues and widening our musical remit. Develop Brew at Bog to a 5000 attendance with a two day event. Making Scottish showtime a national success and finding other venues we might be able to develop our projects with.
How will you celebrate receiving Hands Up for Trad’s Business Limelight award?
Probably take our wee team out to Little Italy Tapas in Inverness and go through the last remaining dishes on the menu that we haven’t tried (not many it has to be said!)
Contact Northern Roots Events
Read more about Hands Up for Trad’s Business Limelight Award.