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‘Unforgettable start’ Annual Mòd festival gets underway in Perth

A torchlight procession has marked the return of a nine-day festival celebrating Gaelic music and culture in Perth. 

Thousands are expected to flock to the town for the annual Royal National Mòd as the event comes back in full force after the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Perth as the event kicked off on Friday evening – returning to Perth for the first time 18 years. 

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Perth on Friday eveningRoyal National Mòd in Perth

The festival was first held in Oban in 1892 and provides a chance to celebrate Gaelic linguistic and cultural heritage.

Last year, pandemic restrictions saw a reduced programme in Inverness.

The opening night also saw musical performances from some of Scotland’s most celebrated Gaelic singers and musicians at Perth Concert Hall. 

Mairi MacInnes, Arthur Cormack, Ceitlin Lilidh and Darren MacLean sung alongside a band led by Gary Innes and Ewen Henderson of the hugely popular folk-group Mànran.

On Saturday, the busy programme got to a true start with piping competitions and the Mòd Shinty Cup.

More than 2,000 musicians are expected to perform at 14 venues across the city over the course of the nine-day event.

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Perth on Friday eveningPR

The opening night was described as an “unforgettable start” to this year’s Royal National Mòd. 

James Graham, Chief Executive Officer of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “Last night’s procession and concert were a truly unforgettable start to this year’s event, and encompassed everything the Mòd promotes and celebrates – Gaelic music, culture and community.

“I think it’s safe to say everyone enjoyed themselves immensely and the artists who performed at our opening concert were incredible.

“Today we get things in full swing with the piping competitions and sports cups.

“There’s lots happening and the atmosphere in the city is great; we have received such a warm welcome from the people of Perth.”

The annual church service is set to take place at St John’s Kirk on Sunday at 3pm.

The Royal National Mòd runs in Perth until Saturday October 22. More information is available at www.ancomunn.co.uk.

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