Portsoy is ready to be a splash hit this summer as it takes its popular boat festival and delivers it online as Ahoy Portsoy - part of Scotland's Year of Coasts and Waters.

The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival at Portsoy will take place virtually this year to help rebuild pride in the Aberdeenshire town after the pandemic wiped out the popular event in 2020.

Organisers of one Scotland’s leading celebrations of maritime heritage are encouraging audiences to register to be part of its digital debut, Ahoy Portsoy.

Festival fans can sign up to become part of history when the event goes online for the first time on Saturday, June 26th 2021.

Portsoy’s two-day boat festival began back in 1993, initially as a one-off event to mark the 300th anniversary of the historic Portsoy harbour.  Since then, it has become a mainstay of the Scottish events calendar, attracting an international audience and drawing in 16,000 visitors annually.  This year, the festival is being delivered digitally, with the backing of EventScotland as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21.  The virtual offering will provide a taster of what’s to come as it prepares to welcome festival lovers back to Portsoy in June 2022. 

David Urquhart, chairman of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival hopes the festival spirit will sweep the region, as well as wider Scotland and beyond, thanks to the unique way to savour the 2021 programme.

“It’s certainly been a different approach for us to take this year,” said Mr Urquhart. “Instead of bringing festival lovers to Portsoy, we’re taking the festival to them using the power of the internet.  We’ve got great original content that will showcase the unique qualities of our region and the relationship between community and coastline, to entertain audiences at home and far beyond our shores.

“So come and see how we take the sea and coast, along with boats, maritime traditions, and festival friends, and package that into an online event.  You might not feel the sand between your toes, but you will be wowed by how our committee has responded to current times to ensure that the show can go on safely while the pandemic remains part of our lives.

“Whether a festival regular, or just curious about our special part of Scotland, we’d urge you not to miss out by signing up now. By registering it ensures you will receive the link to access our online festival when it goes live.”

The virtual programme remains under wraps, but will include a host of festival favourites covering food, drink, dance, music, crafts, entertainments and of course boats and seafaring activities.

The full festival programme will be free to view through a link sent to all who register here: https://stbfportsoy.org/

Read more about Portsoy Community Enterprise, one of our Shipshape Network Scotland projects.