Florida’s Tampa Bay area hosts the Dunedin Celtic Festival this Saturday, November 22, at the Highlander Park on the Gulf Coast. Transceltic contacted Alan McHale, President of the Organizing Committee, who shared the following: “We have expanded the show this year to a second and third stage, the second stage will feature local folk and Celtic folk performers as well as the Middle and High School Pipe Bands. The third and smaller stage will be used as filler between the main bands and will feature the Tampa Bay Highland Dancers. And finally, for the first time, we are introducing a whisky tasting, where, for the purchase of a ticket (available on line) you can taste 4 of the finest single malt whiskies available in the Tampa bay Area. This year, because of Albannach, I am hoping to increase attendance by 25%.”
Indeed Albannach have proven to be a sure bet to boost attendance at North American Celtic festivals with their unique sound of Pipes and drums. This year’s expected growth in attendance at Dunedin reflects the Celtic Renaissance that has taken a firm hold in North America with festivals of this type multiplying and growing throughout the States and Canadian Provinces.
Albannach are electrifying performers with a combustible combination of Pipes and Drums and, reflecting Mr. Hale’s comments, have become a dominant presence on the Celtic Festival entertainment circuit who tour extensively in North America. This band has a growing and loyal fan base. Albannach's leader, Jamesie Johnston, views the band as Ambassadors of Celtic Culture and sees the growth of Celtic festivals in America as important in keeping the culture alive. The band is based in Glasgow and all members were born in Scotland. In a March 23, 2013 Transceltic article, "Albannach: Scottish-CelticCulture Warriors", Johnston in response to the question, “Do you consider Albannach to be ambassadors of Celtic culture", stated: “Yes – When people watch us perform they are experiencing Celtic culture and I see that as the takeaway from our performance, that the audience is experiencing Celtic culture when they attend our performance.”
Appearing with Albannach is the Celtic band Brother who bring their unique Celtic Stamp on indigenous Australian music. Brother has been described as fusing signature vocals and the deep pulse of the didgeridoo with the soaring highs of bagpipes and tribal percussion. Brother’s lead singer Angus Richardson is a steady hand that guides this energetic performance. The bands Piper makes it seem the most natural thing in the world to have the Pipes soaring into the air whilst being dogged by the didgeridoo, a wind instrument developed by indigenous Australians about 1500 years ago. Filling the bill with Albannach and Brother are the Tennessee Celtic Rock band Cutthroat Shamrock and local Dunedin Celtic Rock performers Lucid Druid.
Festival details can be found on the website linked below.