Glenglassaugh Scottish Traditional Boat Festival


Photo of the Glenglassaugh Scottish Traditional Boat Festival

The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival will return on Saturday June 22nd and Sunday June 23rd 2024. This is the 31st anniversary of the event and a flotilla of heritage boats from across the country, will drop anchor in the historic harbour of Portsoy for a weekend of celebrations.

Upholding the north east’s maritime heritage, there will be a packed programme of entertainment including music and dance, the finest Scottish food and drink and demonstrations of age-old crafts, unique handmade items and gifts.

The festival will begin with our Big Gig on the Back Green on Friday 21st June 2024 headlined by Skipinnish.

Be sure to set sail for Portsoy’s boat festival to be part of the magical mix!

Around 30 traditional boats from across the UK will sail into Portsoy, including 17th century Fifie herring drifter Reaper, which will make the journey from the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, Fife. Also returning to the festival is White Wing, a 33ft Baldie and setting sail from Wick in Caithness will be 19th century Fifie and festival favourite, the Isabella Fortuna.

Glenglassaugh Distillery, which produces the iconic Highland coastal spirit, just two miles from Portsoy, was recently announced as the new main sponsor for the festival for the next two years. This will allow the organising committee to proceed with plans to enhance and diversify the festival programme. A new Coastal Crafts area has been added this year, showcasing a variety of local, artisan businesses including handmade jewellery, ceramics and bespoke wooden accessories and gifts.

The Glenglassaugh Scottish Traditional Boat Festival attracts 15,000 visitors and puts the spotlight on the north east’s sea faring culture, sharing stories and songs, craft demonstrations and an insight into what life was like at sea, hundreds of years ago. Celtic rock band, Skipinnish will kick off the festival weekend on Friday 21st June as headline act for the Big Gig on the Back Green. Tickets are on sale now from the festival website for £38. This is a licensed event for over 18s only.

The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival was first held in 1993 as an event to celebrate the tercentenary of Portsoy’s old harbour. Since then, it has been firmly anchored in the town’s calendar, taking place annually each summer and attracting thousands of visitors from across the region, and further afield. The festival is set around Portsoy’s 17th Century harbour and is run by Portsoy Community Enterprise which also manages Portsoy Links Caravan Park, The Sail Loft Bunkhouse, The Salmon Bothy and The Boatshed. For more information visit or on social media at @STBFPortsoy #ahoyportsoy.

The Glenglassaugh Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy will host the world-famous Red Arrows Aerobatic Team on Saturday 22nd June 2024. It is the only Scottish public display performed by the team, during their very busy diamond anniversary campaign. This new nine-aircraft show will feature manoeuvres not seen for a generation, in their routine which changes each year.

Officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows will make their first visit to Portsoy during the Glenglassaugh Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, which is held in the town’s 17th century harbour on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June. A flotilla of heritage vessels will drop anchor alongside a programme of live music and dance, Scottish food and drink and age-old crafts.

David Urquhart, Chairman of the Glenglassaugh Scottish Traditional Boat Festival commented: “We are delighted to announce that the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows will perform at this year’s festival. It is a huge honour for Portsoy to be part of their diamond anniversary campaign and as the only Scottish display during their milestone year, this is a must-see event.

“Securing the Red Arrows for 2024 is a huge achievement for the committee, who work tirelessly to bring together the festival each year and will bring a new dimension to our packed programme of maritime celebrations and entertainment. We aim to offer something for the whole family, from our fun-filled kids’ zone to delicious food and drink in the food fayre, fantastic live music from renowned artists, groups and bands and unique handmade items and gifts in our craft fayre.”

Thanks to festival sponsors Glenglassaugh, Puffin Wood Fuels, Hamlyn’s of Scotland Oatmeal, Portsoy Thrift Shop, Portsoy 75 Club, Urquhart Joinery Services, Ocean Winds, Moray West, Camwater Ltd and Gray Composting Services Ltd.

Portsoy, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

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