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Strichen Festival is held annually on the weekend following the
third Wednesday in May


May 19th, 20th and 21st


Click here to open a Festival Entry Form to print and post


Click here to open Festival Programme


Click here to open Festival Poster


Click Here to open Writing poster


Click here for Doric /Scots Writing entry form



The Buchan Heritage Festival at Strichen is one of the finest places to
appreciate our rich tradition of music, song, verse, drama and story, and, at the same time, enjoy listening to, or using, the broad 'Doric' language which is still very much alive here in the North East, and enjoy a friendly family atmosphere where contestants have come from a' the airt's and pairt's o' Scotland and sometimes beyond.


On the Friday evening a pre festival dance is held when we really get into the festival 'youmer'.
By eight o' clock you'll find the Ritchie Hall full of keen dancers, local and visiting, who come along every year from far and wide to enjoy an evening of traditional dancing. By break time, at around ten o' clock, you will find -
ties in pouches, sark sleeves rolled up, and a fair pucklie o gie het fairlies, ready for a fly cup.
The music is supplied each year by one of our many fine Scottish dance bands who come from as far away as Dumfries and Ayr or as near as Inverurie and Huntly. They usually stay on until Saturday when they take part in the prize winners concert early on Saturday evening and also entertain at the Ceilidh later on the same night
The weekend's visitors and contestants, arrive throughout the evening congregating in the Redwood Lounge where they catch up with latest festival news and get into the spirit - in more ways than one - of the following days competitions.


Saturday is the main day of the festival weekend. Competitions begin at 9.30am and continue throughout the day in a very professional and friendly manner. As a rule, musical instruments, Doric verse and story telling, as well as any schools competitions, take up most of the time during the morning. This leaves a very full afternoon of singing at the ballads and bothy ballad competitions, where we have found in recent years that the quality and quantity of performers has happily continued to grow, so much so that we often have a very fine line between finishing the singing competitions and getting things in order for the prize winners concert at 6.30

At the prize winners concert, Robbie Shepherd, of BBC Scotland, a Trustee and faithful friend, supporter and guiding hand of the Society, comperes two hours of the best traditional entertainment you could wish for. Here we feature the winners in most of the competition sections: the young and the not so young together as a team. To a packed audience, with the restriction of competition nerves usually forgotten, we can savour the true traditions in music, song and verse, - wi a shakie o North East humour thrown in and applaud the talented folk who make Buchan and this small part of Scotland unique.

Then it's all hands on deck to get the hall cleared and reset for the Ceilidh which begins at 9.00.

For those who have not managed to be at the dance on Friday or the prizewinners concert earlier in the evening, the Ceilidh is an ideal opportunity to get a little taste of everything. For those who have been there, in the thick of competing or organising all weekend, it is now a chance to relax for a couple of hours and enjoy the company and talent of everyone concerned in a successful festival. Two guests usually share the job of compere and along with the band and anyone who will volunteer or be volunteered we have an enjoyable evening of song, dance and good humour.


After a very busy and successful weekend the Royal British Legion Hall is the setting for the finale at 2.00pm on Sunday afternoon. The band is no longer with us but there is no shortage of talented musicians to play, and after a full afternoon of song, music, verse and good humour old friends part with the promise of the next meeting, whether it be next week or the same time next year.

All the festival formalities are carried out in the Ritchie Hall.

Refreshments are available throughout the day in the Ritchie Hall.

An open-air concert is held at 12.00 noon outside the Ritchie Hall.
- Weather permitting-

The competitions are held in various venues around Strichen
The Ritchie Hall - Strichen School - The Royal British Legion Hall
are the most usual places.

All entries should be sent to the festival organiser prior to the day or the appropriate forms completed and handed to the steward dealing with entries thirty minutes before each contest.


  • Fiddle

  • Piano

  • Keyboard

  • Accordion

  • Mouth Organ

  • Melodeon

  • Tin Whistle

  • Jew's Harp

  • Diddling

  • Verse and Song (Traditional / Doric / Scots)

  • Doric Verse

  • Doric Story Telling

  • Doric Story Writing

  • Doric Verse Writing

  • Ballad and Bothy Ballad Singing

  • Groups


All Classes : Junior - Intermediate - Senior - Ladies - Men - Open


  • In each section competitors may enter one class only
  • Trophies awarded in each case should be kept for one year.
  • Trophies should be signed for, taken home, engraved and returned one month prior to the next yearís festival.
  • Trophy winners will be asked to, and should be prepared to, perform at the Prize Winnersí Concert.
  • No responsibility will be taken for loss or damage of personal items.
  • All music must be traditionally Scottish.
  • Verse and Song in local dialect.
  • Singing is unaccompanied.
  • If you do not wish photographs taken to appear on the web site or in the Society Magazine, please advise a committee member.
  • Written Doric poetry or story should be previously unpublished and in the open section, should not have the name of the author on the piece but on a separate sheet.
  • All entries should be sent to festival secretary or made at the festival office at least 30 minutes before the competition


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