Royal National Mòd unviels biggest fringe programme in events history

Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd), Scotland’s biggest Gaelic Cultural Festival, has announced the programme for their biggest fringe in the event’s 122 year history.  Taking place in Inverness from Friday 10th to Saturday 18th October there will be almost 70 events taking place as part of the Fringe, alongside the competition based events.  

Starting with a torchlight procession from Inverness Castle to Eden Court on the Friday, there is an abundance of entertainment planned for the week. There will be concerts featuring Skipinnish, Cruinn and Skerryvore (plus many more), street theatre, the Shinty Mod Cup, meet the author events, pub music nights, children’s disco, come & try sessions and a ceilidh - there really is something for everyone.  

Fringe highlights include the Saturday night Fiddlers’ Rally at Eden court.  Hosted in association with Blazin in Beauly - under the musical direction of Bruce Macgregor of Blazin’ Fiddles - the concert will feature over 100 fiddlers, including world renowned artistes, plus local groups, promising to be the most spectacular fiddle event in Scotland.  A special concert to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I on Wednesday afternoon will be a showpiece event, with musician Erik Spence creating a piece of music to go along with the poem Bantrach Cogaidh, written by the late Rev John Macleod.  Dingwall Gaelic Choir and Lochardil Primary School Choir will contribute.   

Other highlights include musical performances at the area’s stunning visitor attractions Urquhart Castle, Culloden Battlefield and Fort George, while The Massed Choirs, with pipe bands, will bring the week’s musical festivities to a close with hundreds of choristers taking part on the Saturday morning.   

Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, one of the world’s oldest and most respected national Gaelic organisations, The Royal National Mòd is the most important festival of the Gaelic language in Scotland and is a signature event in the Highland Homecoming celebrations.  The nine day extravaganza will feature competitions in Highland Dancing, Gaelic Music and Song, Sport, Literature and Drama, offering Gaelic speakers of all levels to compete, bringing thousands of competitors and spectators from throughout Scotland, the UK and from all corners of the globe including USA, Australia and Canada to Inverness.     

John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said:  “We are absolutely delighted to announce our Fringe programme for 2014.  The bread and butter of the Mòd itself is the competition side – there are more than 200 competitions to enjoy – but over the years our Fringe events have also started to grow.  

“Inverness has a great variety of venues to allow us to host our biggest ever Fringe, and it’s a great way to celebrate being in the city for the first time since 1997.  Having a Fringe event keeps the atmosphere going all week and allows gaels and non-gaels to experience the fun of the Mod!”  

The Provost of Inverness, Councillor Alex Graham said:  “The Mòd Inbhir Nis Fringe Programme includes many varied and interesting events.  These include Cèilidh Beag a Mhòd - a fun event for young children taking place in the Aquadome - dynamic street theatre in the City Centre, genealogical activities in the Highland Archive Centre and exciting exhibitions and musical recitals in the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery.  

“The Mod Fringe activities and events complement the formal Royal National Mod Competitions and which, together, give us the World’s Premier Gaelic festival.”  

Cllr Graham added, “I am delighted that the Fringe Programme includes both traditional and contemporary events in venues and places of historic interest.  All these have Gaelic at their core and are aimed at attracting residents, competitors and visitors.  

“The Mod Fringe events will complement the increasing use of Gaelic in the area, create a unique atmosphere, and generate an economic boost to the City and inner Moray Firth area in the middle of October during this special Year of Homecoming Scotland.

Bidh Fàilte mhòr oirbh, I look forward to meeting you at the Mòd Inbhir Nis 2014!”   

Martin Dorchester, Managing Director of CalMac, said: “As main commercial supporter of the Royal National Mòd, we recognise that the Fringe has a valuable role to play in providing a colourful and entertaining backdrop to the important business of the competitions, so are looking forward to the biggest Fringe ever.” 

The Royal National Mòd is supported by Highland Council, HIE, Creative Scotland, Caledonian MacBrayne, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, EventScotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland, SQA, BBC ALBA, the Scottish Government and Royal Mail.

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “The Royal National Mòd is a key part of our annual cultural events portfolio and in 2014 is one of the centrepieces of the Highland Homecoming programme. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and in the extensive Fringe programme at this year’s Mòd will showcase our rich Gaelic heritage through the week of the event.”  

For full event programme and details, visit or for Fringe events visit

29 Aug 2014