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Paisley's £2m shot in the arm after thousands attend Royal National Mòd festival

The 2023 edition of The Royal National Mòd drew to a triumphant close with musical voices from across the country joining together in Paisley – marking the end of the spectacular nine-day event.

Saturday’s massed choirs performance saw choirs who have competed across the week gather to sing in joyful unison outside Paisley Town Hall, along with some members of Renfrewshire schools’ pipe band.

Spanning over 20 venues throughout Paisley from October 13 to October 21, Scotland’s premier celebration of Gaelic language, sports, art and culture saw approximately 8,000 visitors gather in the town.

Together, they are estimated to have generated in excess of £2 million for the local economy. Renfrewshire Provost, Lorraine Cameron, said the event had drawn visitors from Harris to New Zealand and everywhere in between.

“It’s been a real privilege to welcome the Royal National Mòd back to Paisley this year to celebrate the amazing Gaelic language, music and culture,” she said.

“It was wonderful to see the town so full of energy with thousands of people looking to experience everything the Mòd has to offer.

“The jam-packed festival programme had something for everyone whether you were a veteran of the Mòd or had never experienced it before.

“I was particularly proud to see the whole community get involved from our local business owners learning Gaelic phrases to welcome people, our school pupils participating in shinty taster sessions and the fantastic volunteers who signed up to support the festival and give visitors a proper Paisley welcome.

“The event has been a great success for the town in terms of showcasing our fantastic venues, including our newly-refurbished Paisley Town Hall, and the warm welcome visitors to the area can expect when they come to Renfrewshire.”

The final Mòd concert saw a sold-out show from folk-electronica powerhouse Niteworks, in partnership with The Reeling.

The Isle of Skye natives took their electrifying mix of Gaelic, Scots and English folk songs infused with cinematic electronica to Paisley Town Hall for their first ever gig for Buddies.

Ruairidh Graham from the band said: “It was a real privilege to close this year’s Royal National Mòd in Paisley. You can’t really grow up within Gaelic culture and not have had some connection to the Mòd, and for it to have influenced you in some form or another.

“It’s great to see how it has been evolving in recent years with a host of fringe activities that are pulling in new audiences, and we are thrilled to be a part of that with this gig.”

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The final days of the Mòd also saw an incredible performance from d/Deaf singer Evie Waddell, who delighted crowds at Paisley Town Hall with her self-directed show, entitled Fàilte Gu BSL (Welcome to BSL).

The performance bridged linguistic gaps through movement, dance and signed songs, captivating viewers and celebrating the relationship between Gaelic and BSL.

James Graham, chief executive officer of An Comunn Gàidhealach, which organises the Mòd, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the success of this year’s Mòd in Paisley.

“The vibrant atmosphere, rich displays of Gaelic language and culture, and the warm hospitality of Paisley’s community have truly made this year’s event exceptional. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all the dedicated attendees and volunteers who have contributed to this Mòd’s triumph.

“A special thanks must also go out to Renfrewshire Council, who have been a huge support to us this year. We must also give special mention to our participants and competitors, without whom the Mòd could not exist.

“Well done to everyone who has taken part this year; the standard has been incredibly high and a privilege to see.”

The Royal National Mòd will return to Oban, Argyll & Bute, next year – taking place between October 11 and October 19.

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