The Fife Traditional Singing Festival

Annual festival in Falkland & Freuchie, Fife in May

The Fife Traditional Singing Festival
FifeSing is held annually on the weekend following the
second Wednesday in May

Guests appearing at the Fife Traditional Singing Festival 10-12 May 2024
Updated 31 January 2024 (v34)

Fife Traditional Singing Festival 2024

Friday 10 May to Sunday 12 May 2024
Various venues in Falkland and Freuchie, Fife

Back once again with a live gathering! A weekend of traditional song - a unique opportunity to meet singers and hear traditional song in an informal gathering and participate in concerts, workshops and singarounds. Guest singers from Scotland, England and Ireland.

Guesst so far:
Joe Aitken // Martin Carthy // Natalie Chalmers
Ellen Mitchell // Ted Poletyllo // Vic Gammon


Please download the Online Booking Form by clicking BOOKING FORM.

There will also be a Festival Brochure with Booking Form. This will be avaiable later (when printed) and will also available by download online.

Our ticket prices are the same as last year

All-In Ticket (Friday to Sunday): £60
includes Buffet Lunches & Saturday Traditional Concert.
NOTE: Festival Dinner must be booked separately.
Friday Evening Gathering: £10
All day Saturday & Traditional Concert: £38
includes Buffet Lunch
Saturday morning Workshops/Talks: £8
Saturday afternoon Ballad Concert: £10
Festival Dinner (The Bruce Inn, Falkland) £16
Saturday Traditional Concert (Falkland Community Hall): £12
All day Sunday: £24
includes Buffet Lunch
Sunday morning Workshops/Talks: £8
Sunday Farewell Concert: £10

Payment by cheque or online direct to our bank. If you pay online send us a note (with your name(s) and address) by email to let us know you have paid and details booked.
Preferably still send booking form by post or as email attachment.

Bank of Scotland, Cupar
East of Scotland Traditional Song Group
Identify your online payment with your name. Sort Code: 80-06-26
A/C Number: 00116207

Old Songs on FifeSing/ Sound Cloud

Old Songs on fifesing/ soundcloud

The Festival in Falkland & Freuchie

Most events will take place in the Lumsden Memorial Hall in Freuchie just across the road from the Lomond Hills Hotel (still closed). The Friday Gathering will be laid out with seats around tables - bring along your own refreshements - food/ drink. The Traditional Concert on Saturday evening will be held in the Community Hall in Falkland. The Weekend and Day tickets include a Buffet Lunch in the Lumsden Memorial Hall. The Festival Dinner (limited booking) will be in the Bruce Inn in Falkland - this will be a Buffet Meal with selection to suit vegan and vegetarian preferences.


Joe Aitken // Martin Carthy // Natalie Chalmers
Ellen Mitchell // Ted Poletyllo // Vic Gammon

Joe Aitken
is one of the great upholders of Scotland’s bothy ballad tradition and a singer of Scots song who has taken his native tradition to appreciative audiences all over Scotland, in England, Ireland and Germany. The winner of many singing competitions including becoming becoming Bothy Ballad “Champion of Champions” at Elgin for a seventh year in 2020. Joe has been a guest on numerous occasions at TMSA festivals and at our FifeSing Traditional Singing Weekends. Joe was born into the bothy ballad tradition in 1944 to parents who were both from Aberdeenshire. His father, a farm worker who had risen to the post of grieve, was working on a farm near Meigle, in Perthshire, at the time and Joe’s earliest memories are of that farm and hearing his father singing. For many years he has lived in Kirriemuir where, until he retired, he had berryfields just outside the town. In recent years he has been a driving force on the Kirriemuir TMSA Festival Committee.

Martin Carthy MBE, born May 1941, is one of English folk music’s most influential singer/songwriters inspiring the likes of Bob Dylan and Paul Simon as well as Richard Thompson. He is a master of the guitar and also plays the banjo, mandolin and dulcimer, performing traditional songs in his own unique and distinctive style. Twice a winner of the BBC Radio Folk awards Folk singer of the Year, Martin won their Lifetime Achievement award in 2014. He is associated with many names during his long career from Redd Sullivan to Dave Swarbrick, the Watersons to Steeleye Span and Brass Monkey and of course with his family the late Norma Waterson and daughter Eliza Carthy. But it is his love of unadulterated traditional song that shines through it all, inspired in his creativity by the older generation of traditional singers he has known. See:

Natalie Chalmers, from Fraserburgh, started singing Traditional songs and Bothy Ballads at concerts and festivals when she was about 7 years old, when her sister Gillian was competing and playing the bagpipes. Having won several prizes at junior and senior level, Natalie is extremely proud to be only the third woman to qualify for the 2012 Annual Bothy Ballad “Champion of Champions.” After taking lessons from the great North East traditional singers Elizabeth Stewart and Stanley Robertson, she spent two years at the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music at Plockton before returning to the North-East where she attended Robert Gordon’s University, Aberdeen. Natalie is now working in Glasgow as Cost Manager with Turner and Townsend but she has recently become a committee member of the Aberdeen branch of the TMSA. Natalie is an enthusuast for her native Doric and was recently crowned Scots Performer of the Year at the 2023 Scots Language Awards in Renfrew and also nominated in the Scots Project of the Year, as co-host with Allan Taylor of “Trad Time with the TMSA” on Keith Community Radio – dedicated to keeping the song and bothy ballad traditions of the north east alive.

Ellen Mitchell was born in Glasgow. Although there was music in her family - she remembers a great aunt rattling out tunes on her granny’s piano, her father’s enthusiasm for classical music and jazz and an uncle who was in a skiffle group - but it was the discovery of folk clubs and festivals that gave her an enthusiasm for traditional song. She has recorded for the Musical Traditions label (in a double CD along with her late husband Kevin) and has been a guest at several festivals including Whitby and Auchtermuchty and at the National Festival in England. She has taken part in competitions run by the TMSA and won three of these (the first being with the songs Twa Brithers and The Birken Tree). And of course Ellen is one of our favourite singers and was a guest at an earlier FifeSing festivsl in 2008.

Ted Poletyllo
was born in St. Andrews (Craigton) 1949, he is one of Scotland's finest traditional singers and has won several of the TMSA’s singing competitions. Now living in Glenrothes he was, until he retired, events coordinator at Dalhousie Hall in the University. In 2022 he was Winner of Sandy Watt Quaich (for the third time) at the annual competition held by the Glenfarg Folk Club in the Memorial Hall in Gateside, Fife. Ted has been a great admiror of the traveller singers that he met at festivals, particularly the Auchtermuchty Festival in the 1980s, including Duncan Willamson, Willie McPhee and Betsy White - and he sings several songs learnt from their singimg.

Vic Gammon is a performer of English traditional music (singer, anglo concertina, and melodeon) a writer, researcher and member of the Editorial Board of the Folk Music Journal. He has also composed music for a number of stage and radio plays and has performed in various groups including The Etchingham Steam Band with Shirley Collins in the 1970s and currently with Dearman, Gammon and Harrison whose CD 'Black Crow/White Crow' was issued by the English Folk Dance and Song Society. His anthology album 'The Tale of Ale' (Free Reed Records) is considered a classic and has been reissued a number of times since it was first released in 1977. Vic retired in 2019 as director of the Folk Musoc Course at the International Centre for Music Studies at the University of Necastle. Vic has been with us on many occasions at FifeSing both the ‘live’ event and at the Zoom Gatherings and we welcome him this year where he will be presenting a talk on the ballad Barbara Allen - perhaps the most wodely known and popular of all the Child Ballads.



We have had a great response with offers of accommodation
- to make up for the loss of the Lomond Hills Hotel in Freuchie.

The following is a list of some of the possible accommodations.
Availability and prices are not given - just phone to enquire.

Allison Oakes: 1db room self catering, in Ladybank. tel: 07975 751099
Rae & Dave: Small Studio in Falkland. View. To book tel: 07977595709
Libby Sim: 2db (two rooms) self catering, shared shower room & kitchen, in Falkland. tel: 07708 587824
Alison Norcross: 1db room / bothy with 1db, in Balmalcolm. tel: 07921 918949

Try searches on Google, AirBnB and for Falkland, Freuchie, Auchtermuchty and Ladybank.

The Bruce Inn, Falkland. (Just across the road from Falkland Palace) & Restaurant.
The Covenanters Hotel, Falkland. (Just up the road from Falkland Palace) & Restaurant.
The Lomond Hills Hotel, Freuchie - now unfortunately closed down.
Pitlessie Village Inn, Pitlessie (Just 4 miles from Freuchie towards Cupar) & Restaurant.
Best Western Balgeddie House Hotel, Glenrothes (4 miles from Freuchie).
Golden Acorn Weatherspoon, Glenrothes (4.7 miles from Freuchie).
Premier Inn, Glenrothes (5 miles from Freuchie)

We have another acccommodation list that includes properties in Freuchie and Falkland
and a bothy and a two berth caravan:
Phone: Peter Shepheard. tel 01337 830773
or email as below


Friday 10 May
The Gathering: (Lumsden Memorial Hall, Freuchie) 8.00pm - 10.30pm
This will be more of a singaround than a concert with songs and ballads from the guest artistes and participants - continuing as:
Singaround: (Freuchie Bowling Club) 10.30pm - 12.30am
An opportunity for more songs, some music and a bar till midnight.

Saturday 11 May
Illustrated Talk: 10.00am - 11.00am
To be agreed.

Illustrated Talk: 11.30am - 12.30pm
To be agreed.

Ballad Concert: 2.00pm - 5.00pm
The guests and participants with traditional ballads from their repertoire. The classic big ballads - the muckle sangs.

Festival Dinner: (The Bruce Inn, Falkland) 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Dinner in the historic Bruce Inn opposite Falkland Palace.

Traditional Concert: (Falkland Community Hall) 7.30pm - 10.00pm
Old Songs & Bothy Ballads from the FifeSing Guests.

Singaround: (Back room of The Bruce) 10.30pm - 12.30am
Another chance for all to join in a singaround with songs from their own repertoire.

Sunday 12 May
Lecture: 10.30am - 11.30am
To be agreed.

Interview: 12.00midday - 1.00pm
To be agreed.

Farewell Concert: 2.30pm - 4.30pm
The guest artistes lead a farewell concert.

The FifeSing events are run by
The East of Scotland Traditional Song Group
(Committee: Peter Shepheard, Jimmy Hutchison, Chris Miles)
Contact us at:
Peter Shepheard, Balmalcolm House, Balmalcolm, Cupar, Fife KY15 7TJ
tel: 00 44 (0)1337 830773
Also see our Facebook page:
FifeSing Facebook.