Dougie MacLean reaches 100 shows
Written by celtic music radio on August 16, 2021
Ross chats with Dougie MacLean on this week’s Thank Folk it’s Wednesday from 7pm about his forthcoming 100th live streamed concert from his home in Perthshire.
Since lockdown began in March 2020 Dougie MacLean, renowned singer songwriter, who wrote Scotland’s anthem Caledonia, has performed live online concerts within the Old School attached to his home and studio in the tiny village of Butterstone, Perthshire. Dougie attended this very school as did his father in the 1930s. He is now approaching his 100th concert there, which will take place on 21 August at 9pm.
Only days before the first lockdown, with expert technical guidance from son Jamie MacLean, a stage was built in the beautiful old building, with theatre lights, sound, four automated cameras and six rows of empty seats! From the start of the first lockdown Dougie (assisted only by wife/manager Jennifer) put on a concert every second day, then twice a week and since summer 2020 it’s been a weekly concert for a growing, international audience. The response has been overwhelming with over 2 million people from over 50 countries tuning in to view these special solo performances from his Old School, renamed his ‘Global Streaming Theatre’!
Audiences have watched from every continent, from Russia to India and Australia to Mexico as well as every part of America. Every week there is feedback on social media and email and calls to say how much the concerts have given people something to look forward to and how much they mean to people as they struggle through these challenging times.
One of the highlights was in June 2020 when MacLean was approached by NHS Scotland to give a special thank you concert for NHS staff that was streamed in staff rooms for them to watch during their break.
The Special Anniversary Concert “Live 100” on Saturday 21st August is a Ticketed Concert, a full hour of songs, stories, fiddle tunes and Dougie’s special wee films. Tickets are available from https://www.dougiemacleanlive.com
A percentage of ticket sales from “Live 100” will go to The Cyrenians, a charity that Dougie and his family have supported via the Perthshire Amber Festival for many years.
Of the concerts to date, 85 have been free, with 13 special one hour concerts which were ticketed.
Currently three out of four of the weekly concerts are free of charge, are 30 minutes long and available to view again on demand on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100044914272933 , Youtube or Vimeo.
After “Dougie MacLean – Live 100” and because of demand from the growing global family of viewers, the online concerts will carry on, though the day of the week may need to vary as Dougie’s performance is able to return in person to other theatres and festivals. His first will be The Brunton in Musselburgh, on Saturday 18th August, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Dougie MacLean said:
“It’s heartwarming to know that what we began 17 months ago has been so internationally enjoyed and supported. When we started off, we thought it would be a good way to keep in touch with people isolating alone and struggling and it was also our way of saying a wee thank you to all the key workers. The reaction was overwhelming with so many people getting in touch to say thank you from across the globe. I was really surprised (and delighted) by the response. Music has always given me great comfort and hope and it was really moving to hear people’s stories as they joined our online community.”