Blas 2020 Commission Opportunity


We are inviting proposals for a musician to arrange suitable traditional music and Gaelic song for a performance to be premiered online at Blas 2020. 


The main aim of Blas is to celebrate Highland music, Gaelic language and culture and the festival is held each year throughout the administrative area of the The Highland Council with additional events held in the Western Isles.


Blas is focused on and informed and influenced by the music and culture of the Gàidhealtachd and aims to innovate, collaborate and experiment with exponents of complementary cultures, with the overall aims being to:

  • Celebrate and strengthen traditional Highland Music and promote Gaelic

  • Involve communities as proactive participants, and grow new audiences

  • Innovate & excite

  • Involve young people 

  • Be an international event, seeking to build new audiences, and have visiting international artists in particular, but not exclusively, from Ireland and Nova Scotia.


Due to the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s festival will largely be held online with a series of pre-recorded and live performances, workshops, lectures and more.


The Blas Festival programming group is seeking proposals from a musician who will arrange a performance lasting up to 30 minutes to include traditional music and Gaelic song. This will be pre-recorded remotely, by participants from across the Fèis movement, and the performance will open this year’s Blas Festival on Friday 20 November.


There will be a budget of up to £3,000 available to the succesful candidate who will be expected to deliver the following: 

  • Selection and musical arrangement of material that will be suitable for younger musicians of intermediate to advanced levels to perform (this must include at least one Gaelic song)

  • Recording of guide tracks and preparation of sheet music/song words

  • Instructions for younger musicians to record at home with clear guidance of any technical requirements

  • Setting up and managing a system for receiving all home recordings 

  • Assembly of the final video for broadcast to be delivered at a date to be agreed with Blas Festival management


Details you should consider in your proposal:

  • Your proposal should be presented on one A4 page

  • Your work should have relevance to the Blas aims above including Gaelic language

  • The performance should be around 30 minutes long

  • Provide detail of past experience that you think are relevant to this opportunity

  • Ensure you list any personnel you intend to collaborate with to deliver this commission


Please submit proposals by email to Chrissie Macrae on by 5:00pm on Wednesday 30 September 2020.


All submissions will be treated with utmost confidentaility and we would hope to come back to you with a decision by Monday 5 October

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