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Trad Music Trust

In August 2018, Newton Stewart Traditional Music Festival Association's application to become a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation, under the new name Trad Music Trust, was approved by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). The aim of the organisation is to encourage, develop, support and promote traditional music, dance and language learning and performance in Wigtownshire, Dumfries & Galloway.

Who Are We?

Trad Music Trust is almost entirely voluntary run - there are no paid members of staff - and is managed by a Board of Trustees, Project Co-ordinator, Festival Director and Dance Co-ordinator all of whom, along with volunteers from the local community, work incredibly hard to deliver fantastic projects in the region.

  • Graeme Dignan


Having studied design in Glasgow in the late 1980's, Graeme has spent a 30-year career in the creative industries, primarily delivering strategic thought, insight and unconventional approaches to unlock brand opportunities, working internationally for many household brands and leading organisations.

After 20 years in London, he recently moved to Dumfries and Galloway seeking a different lifestyle balance. Over the course of his career, Graeme has been heavily involved in the digital revolution at its genesis as a founding member of Scotland's foremost interactive agency Black ID, through to driving change and innovation for Coca Cola globally with brand creators, Erasmus.

Away from the creative industries, Graeme has enjoyed several volunteer roles including Bowel Cancer UK, We Are Upland and sports coaching at junior levels for rugby and football.

  • Andrea Deschamps


It was my love of live music that drew me to the Vault, especially all types of traditional music. As i am currently working for a similar Charity as a Business & Development Manager, I felt that I had lots of skills that I could offer to the Board of the Trad Music Trust.

Both the Trust and The Vaults are putting Newton Stewart on the map as an emerging traditional music hub and will help the town grow and prosper and I am proud to be part of it.

  • Jenny Niven


Jenny Niven is the Director and CEO of Edinburgh International Book Festival. She has directed literature festivals and programmes in China, Australia and Scotland and was formerly head of literature, publishing and languages at Creative Scotland, Executive Producer of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, and Executive Producer of Dandelion 2022.

In 2021 she co-founded a new festival of poetry, spoken word and performance, Push the Boat Out. As a critic, judge and commentator Jenny has interviewed leading figures in literature, including David Mitchell, Yiyun Li, Nicola Sturgeon, Armando Iannucci and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Mo Yan.

  • Esther Tacke


My husband and I came to Galloway in 2017 after a 4-year cycling journey around the world. I now run Galloway Cycling Holidays (with my husband) and am very much interested in showing off this region's rich tapestry of cultures (incl. music and art), landscapes and wonderful people.

With a strong belief in sustainability and collaborations I hope to play my part in developing this region into a great place to visit and to live in. I am also working for the GSA UNESCO Biosphere in the business team.

  • Lucy Crompton-Reid


Lucy has a long track record within the UK's cultural and voluntary sector, and has been Chief Executive of Wikimedia UK - the national charity for open knowledge - since 2015. Much of Lucy's work has involved increasing participation in the arts, particularly for young people, and she has a personal passion for live music.

Alongside her CEO role, she has several other board and advisory roles at organisations including the Audience Agency and the British Library. Lucy lives in Newton Stewart with her family.

  • David Niven


A city boy, who grew to love the wilds of Galloway. Everything I enjoy in life is available here, in abundance. Walking, wild swimming, cycling, there simply is no better place for me to switch off. I'm very fortunate to work in the Forestry sector, learning and helping to develop this unique and complex landscape. Im also a Brand Ambassador for the multi-award winning Crafty Distillery. Crafty champion this stunning area to a global audience.

Bleeding into all of these pursuits is a lifelong love of music. I find everything works better with a soundtrack. I'm really excited by this opportunity to be part of the Trust, further developing the wonderful work achieved so far.

  • Graham Taylor


Graham is the owner and founder of Crafty Distillery in Newton Stewart. Prior to setting up the business he had a 15 year career in the design industry, developing new brands and ideas for companies all over the world. After a drunken but fruitful conversation, and months of research, he switched careers after seeing the exciting rise of the craft spirits market.

Deciding to set up the business in his hometown of Newton Stewart in Galloway was an easy decision to make when you consider it’s natural beauty and the vibrant larder of local botanicals available.


Are you passionate about traditional music, dance and language? Can you offer your time, skills and experience to support traditional music, dance and language learning, composition and performance projects in Dumfries & Galloway?

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Trad Music Trust

The 10th annual Newton Stewart & Minnigaff Traditional Music & Dance Festival takes place over the 12th-14th July 2024. It's an incredible achievement. The charity has created a viable, sustainable, event that continues to grow and develop, proudly celebrating the very best in traditional Scottish, Irish and World music. Make sure you book early for what is shaping up to be the biggest event yet!

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Commercial Sponsors:
  • Five Kingdoms Brewery Logo
  • Crafty Distillery Logo
  • WEST Brewery Logo
Funded by:
  • Dumfries & Galloway Council Logo
  • The Holywood Trust Logo