Scottish supergroup Elephant Sessions are delighted to announce that they are the first awardees of Belhaven Brewery’s brand-new bursary fund.
The Belhaven Bursary Fund, which is set to amplify the careers of emerging talent in Scottish folk and traditional music, is a brand-new scheme designed to reward innovation.
The award-winning band will receive £25,000 which they will spend on furthering their career as well as a delicious Elephant Sessions craft beer created especially for them. The beer’s branding will carry a QR code to stream the band’s material and will also be available throughout the UK and at summer festivals.
The band will also appear at the Belhaven Brewery closing party at the legendary Tartan Week in New York in April 2019.
Elephant Sessions first worked with Belhaven Beer last summer when they were both part of the Showcase Scotland Expo focus at the Lorient Festival in France – the event which catapulted the young band’s success in the country with them going on to chart in the French download charts.
It’s also been confirmed that the Belhaven Bursary will become an award category at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards from 2019 and will reward innovation and support future winners to take further creative risks with a career-defining sum of money.
Supported by Showcase Scotland Expo, an organisation concerned with supporting the international development of Scottish based artists, the Belhaven Bursary will be awarded to bands or artists chosen through the Scottish Trad Awards regular nomination and voting process.
Music fans will be invited to put forward artists for consideration, while a panel of industry experts will choose the winner from those nominated. The winners of the Belhaven Bursary will then be announced and presented at the MG Alba Scots Trad Awards in December 2018, establishing an annual award cycle.
Elephant Sessions said: “This award really is amazing, we can’t wait to see what new and exciting opportunities this bursary will bring us over the next year. Over the past 6 months we have enjoyed a fantastic tour in Australia and we are looking at increasing the amount of overseas touring we are doing and work on building a wider fan base in countries outside the UK, so we think this award will really help us do this.
“Out-with the opportunities that this bursary will bring us, it’s also great to see this kind of thing coming onto the Scottish traditional music scene as it will bring huge benefits to the huge amounts of talented musicians we have in the industry.”
Gordon Muir, Brand Manager of Belhaven Breweries, said: “We are extremely excited about this initiative, which really brings to life our passion for our native culture and thirst for creativity and innovation. Scottish culture is a hugely important part of Belhaven’s DNA and, as brewers of Scotland’s best-selling ale and as significant exporters of beer around the globe, we benefit greatly from the worldwide love for that distinctive Scottishness which is very much based on music and the arts.
“Belhaven is Scotland’s oldest working brewery and yet for 300 years we have been inventing, exploring and reinventing traditions to make beers that delight the drinkers of the time. This new bursary recognises that same combination of groundedness in our distinctive Scottish roots and restless, inventive spirit which is so strong in the music scene and is absolutely epitomised by the Elephant Sessions. The energy and excitement that they bring to their music is amazing and it is irresistibly contagious for their audiences.
“It is enormously rewarding for us to be able to create a bursary that gives career-defining support to highly creative, exciting up and coming musicians who are embracing Scotland’s wonderful traditional music and taking it forward for new generations. We can’t wait to see how it plays out!”