The Tradition is in Safe Hands: Girvan has always had a policy of encouraging newer and younger performers, formally and informally; after all, today’s stars didn’t emerge perfectly-formed out of nowhere.
The competition and, latterly, open stage platforms have served their purpose in this area, and will continue so to do, but as Festival organisers it is important to not just rely on old hands. For years, there was pressure on the academic music establishment to institute and recognise traditional music. That has now happed, and very successfully. We now have to help those young people coming through that system, and those who chose different routes, to find performance space, to allow them to interact with audiences and to support them as they become the ones to carry the tradition forward.