Our 2010 event happened towards the end of a year full of economic "doom and gloom" and we had been worried at various points before the festival that our success of the previous 'Homecoming Year' could not possibly be replicated.
So we were 'over the moon' when audience numbers rose to almost 7,000 over the 10 days of the festival and that over 400 musicians (professional and amateur) were involved in concerts, Cabaret Amber, Open Mic, workshops, showcases and competitions. While we (as always) had great support from the local population, we were thrilled that the festival attracted so many (78%!!) from outside the local area of Perth and Kinross - and almost 40% from outwith Scotland.
We had visitors from 20 different countries and a really amazing number of emails and comments from festival-goers afterwards enthusing about the wonderful festival experience they'd had. The programme was a bit of a triumph! Apart from Dougie in various combinations, musicians in 2010 included Julie Fowlis and her band, Crooked Still (USA), the Fred Morrison Trio, Eamonn Coyne and Kris Drever, Ross Ainslie, Eliza Lynn & Will Straughan (USA), Aly Bain, Ale Moller & Bruce Molsky, Grada (IRL), Karen Matheson & Donald Shaw, The Michael McGoldrick Trio, Janice & Jen Clark plus a host of talented Cabaret Amber and Songwriter Showcase artists and Open Mic performers.
The Special Venues we have added each year to our festival (castles, cathedral, concert hall, crannog) were all as fabulous as ever and our first visit to Blairgowrie Town Hall was a really wonderful night. Workshops, walks and talks were better attended than ever and the extra SongBus was sold out in advance. We had a real increase in local and national press and magazine coverage and some great features in overseas magazines as well.
An introduction to an article in The Perthshire Magazine titled "Dougie's Amber Dream" described the festival in a most unusual way. "Let autumn's mellow fruitfulness inspire a musical journey through some of Scotland's most beautiful countryside - in the company of some of it's finest musicians".