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Get ready to book a place at Nairn Book and Arts Festival which will celebrate Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022


By Donald Wilson


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Musician Sean Lusk with authors Kenna Ross and Jennifer Morag Henderson. Picture: Marc Marnie.
Musician Sean Lusk with authors Kenna Ross and Jennifer Morag Henderson. Picture: Marc Marnie.

Local myths and legends provide the inspiration for the Nairn Book and Arts Festival which launches its programme this Friday.

The line-up is designed to celebrate the telling of tales old and new, as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022.

A diverse array of events is planned for the festival – which runs from August 27 to September 4 – including a storytelling flag parade, author events, live traditional and folk music, theatre performance, exhibitions, tours and a “Wandering Woodland” children’s’ procession.

The festival’s launch – a Creative Takeover of Nairn’s High Street – will feature a parade of silk flags featuring Stories of Nairn.

This will be the culmination of a collaboration

with international arts company Kinetika, Black Isle-based artist and storyteller Lizzie McDougall, and community groups in Nairn.

A host of critically-acclaimed and award-winning authors from Scotland and across the UK will make an appearance during festival week, including James Robertson discussing his seventh novel News of the Dead, and Sean Lusk with his debut novel The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley.

The festival’s final day will see events taking place at indoor and outdoor venues across the town, from author events to multilingual storytelling, a woodland-themed children’s’ procession with environmental artist Gordon Maclellan led by local samba band The Penguin’s Tuxedo, and live performances by local musicians at James’s on the putting green.

Tanera Bryden, the festival’s creative coordinator, said: “Modern myths and ancient legends abound in the Highlands, and Nairn is no exception.

“We’ve brought together a programme which celebrates and brings to life just some of these wonderful tales.

“We’re also celebrating the languages they are told in, as they are passed from generation to generation.

“We’re excited to be welcoming some of the country’s finest authors and storytellers to Nairn,”

Festival looking ahead

The programme also features an investigation of Viewfield House, the home of Nairn Museum by Highland Paranormal, a tour of Black Isle Bronze, and a talk about Isobel Gowdie, the so-called Witch of Auldearn by Auldearn artist Helen Wright.

The biennial Nairn Open Exhibition makes a welcome return – the themed show, Every Picture Tells a Story, will feature work by professional and amateur artists. A mini Sculpture Park at Nairn Community and Arts Centre will display work created from scrap metal by Nairnshire artist Eve McDonald.

Tickets go on sale from Friday at Nairn Bookshop and www.nairnfestival.co.uk


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