Call for volunteers to help support the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival

The organizers of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival have launched a call for volunteers to help with the preparation and during the annual event – which returns on Saturday June 18 and Sunday June 19.

The famous celebration of Portsoy’s rich maritime heritage is expected to attract thousands of visitors over the two days.

Live music from Celtic rockers, Skerryvore, will kick off the proceedings on Friday, June 17 at the Big Gig on the Back Green.

The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy is looking for volunteers.

Scottish Traditional Boat Festival Committee Chairman David Urquhart said: “Without the support of volunteers, we simply wouldn’t be able to deliver an event of this scale and quality.

“They play such an important role. We need their support with the huge amount of planning involved before the festival, but also on the ground, helping with the set-up, making sure everything runs smoothly during weekends and with cleaning after the event.

“In return, volunteers will receive free entry for the day to enjoy the atmosphere and entertainment of the festival.

“There is a fantastic line-up over the two days, alongside the best heritage boats the festival is renowned for.

“We look forward to bringing the entire community together to celebrate our wonderful region and restore that sense of civic pride, which we have not been able to do in the past two years. If anyone can spare the time, so please get in touch.”

June Masson, who took part in the very first festival, said: “My involvement in the festival began when I was treasurer of the very first event, organized to celebrate 300 years of the construction of the old port of Portsoy.

“This laid the foundation for what has now become the annual Scottish Traditional Boat Festival.

“It is always a highlight of the calendar and there is great excitement to be back in port this year.

“There is a great community spirit that surrounds the festival and over the years I have volunteered in many different roles, from supporting the festival program, coordinating the food court and stalls, stewardship to support the administration and licensing associated with running an event of this size.

“This year, we are looking for people to fulfill various roles such as ticketing support and stewarding during the event.

“There will be a 2km road race and a 10km road race and we also need people to organize the courses.

“It really gives a sense of pride and accomplishment to be part of such a fantastic event, seeing visitors enjoying the food, entertainment and having fun is worth it.

“I invite as many people as possible to get involved, you can give as much or as little of your time as you want.

“You might even learn new skills or step out of your comfort zone.”

To join the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival volunteer team, email or call 01261 ​​842951.

Portsoy’s unique boat festival has been around since 1993 and has welcomed visitors from all over Scotland and far beyond, including yacht clubs from Germany, Norway and Sweden, cultural groups from the Baltic States and the Jarl Squad Vikings of Shetland. In 2019 it won Best Cultural Event/Festival at the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards.

Last year’s reformatted virtual festival was held as part of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters and can still be viewed via the boat festival website.

Find out more about the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival on social media at @STBFPortsoy #ahoyportsoy or at

This year’s festival is supported by EventScotland’s national events programme.

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