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 Festiva,l 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.”

Around 30 traditional boats from across the UK will sail into Portsoy, 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.

The Red Arrows aim to inspire people through precision displays and teamwork in-the-air and on-the-ground.

Squadron Leader Jon Bond, Team Leader and Red 1, said: “We are thrilled to be bringing our new, nine-aircraft display to Portsoy and the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in our 60th display season.

“Many of our team members have spent significant parts of their RAF careers flying or being based in Scotland – it is wonderful to display here, and we are always humbled by the great response we receive to the performances.

“We hope those at the festival will enjoy, and be inspired by, the 2024 show featuring a combination of crowd-favourite manoeuvres and new shapes.”

Sponsorship has been secured from local businesses for the Red Arrows display, with Urquhart Joinery Services, Aspire Restaurant, Messrs J Smith Fish Merchants of Sandend and Sandy and Gael Thomson pledging their support.

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.

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

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.

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