Showcase Scotland Expo promotes Scottish music and artists to markets and countries outside the UK.

Who are we?

Showcase Scotland Expo exists to further the live export opportunities for Scottish based artists working in the genres of folk, traditional, world and acoustic music. We aim to forge relationships with overseas music trade events and to lobby for showcase opportunities for Scottish based artists.

It is a project that was initiated by Active Events who pulled together a steering group of industry professionals and collectively asked the question of ‘where we best felt Scottish artists could build a career and where we could intervene to enhance opportunities’.

We concluded that:

Australia and New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand are largely undeveloped for our artists and yet a huge Scottish heritage exists there. Successful touring in these areas would also provide a gateway to Japan, China and Malaysia. Equally the festival season is January to April, which is not the UK or European Festival season, opening up opportunites for artists to maximise their income. We showcased five Scottish artists at AWME in 2012, 2013 and 2014.


France is on our doorstep and the connections between our nations are ‘ancient’. It is a notoriously difficult territory and Scottish artists have found it difficult to break out of Brittany. We all felt that an increased profile for Scottish artists in France was important and so for the past two years we have attended Babel Med in Marseille. In 2013 this resulted in a French partnership being concluded for Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections in 2016. The Visit 2015 was also produced for the French Music Industry (more below)

In 2014 The Visit was produced for the first time in Paisley, the Isle of Mull and Edinburgh. 40 delegates attended from Canada and North America and 21 artists performed 30 minute sets in each location.

The Visit is designed to look at each territory individually giving a concentrated and strategic approach to developing opportunities for our artists. The results in 2014 were phenomenal and 7 artists secured agency deals with at least 100 individual bookings being secured to date for artists. (We are still analysing results as many of the bookings are still in the summer and autumn of 2015 - we expect this figure to significantly increase).

In May 2015 The Visit was delivered for 30 French delegates with a few also attending from Benelux and the very North of Spain. This time the concerts took place in Paisley, Stirling and Edinburgh. This was once again very successful.

Babel Med in 2016 featured a showcase by Breabach. This was the first time a Scottish artist had ever been given this opportunity at the event. They were also the only UK act to showcase this year. We are also working with the Lorient Festival in Brittany to lobby for a focus on Scotland and its Music in 2017.

A report was also commissioned into the French market and can be found in the artists support section.


Research was conducted into the German market (report published in artists support section) and it was universally agreed that there is a market here for our music. It needs a pro active approach and so we plan to produce The Visit for the German music industry in 2016.


This year will be year two in showcasing artists at The ECMA (Eastern Canadian Music Association), they have a large showcase for delegates from the US and Canada focusing largely on Eastern Canadian artists. Two Scottish artists a year will now also feature until 2016.

Showcase Scotland Expo is a SEPARATE initiative to Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections. Both events work closely together for the wider public benefit and for the maximising of benefit to Scottish based artists. Both initiatives are managed by Active Events who are employed by Celtic Connections to manage their showcase.

Our Steering Group

The Steering Group – active events are immensely grateful to the following individuals who generously give their time to our Steering Group.

Norah Campbell

Norah Campbell - Head of Arts, British Council Scotland, currently on the board or Puppet Animation Scotland, recently retired Chair of the Scottish Music Centre and on the committee for Showcase Scotland & Showcase Scotland EXPO. Past roles include Head of Skills Academy Scotland for Creative & Cultural Skills and Director of An Tuireann Arts Centre on the Isle of Skye.

Craig Corse

Craig heads up TwentyTwo Promotions - a folk/traditional music booking agency working extensively throughout the UK and Europe, and in partnership further afield, based in Glasgow, Scotland. Since establishing in 2010, Craig’s international roster has grown to include some of Scotland’s leading, internationally renowned artists. With an approach more akin to management, focusing on long-term strategy, career trajectory and development, he has been instrumental in establishing both the domestic and international profiles of many of his artists. Craig is also Assistant Director of the Orkney Folk Festival - one of Scotland’s most respected folk festivals, now in its 35th year - with overall responsibility for the event’s marketing and publicity. Additionally, he sits on the steering groups of both Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections and Showcase Scotland Expo, and has represented the latter at numerous conferences and events worldwide.

Ronnie Gurr

Ronnie has 40 years’ experience of working in the music industry. Firstly as a music journalist, then with record labels Virgin, Sony Music and V2 before becoming involved in management and TV/radio production. He has sat on the Scottish Arts Council’s Performing Arts Committee, The British Council’s Creative Industries Advisory Committee and Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Contemporary Music. He has also co-ordinated Scottish showcases at the South By South West (SXSW) conference in the US and is currently a music business advisor for the Cultural Enterprise Office and is actively involved in artist management and publishing.

Daniel Gillespie

Daniel is a founder member and accordion player with one of Scotland’s most dynamic Scottish folk bands, Skerryvore. He is also a co-founder and director of the multi-award winning Tiree Music Festival and Argyll’s largest live music event, Oban Live. Daniel recently completed a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Strathclyde as part of the global MBA25 corporate programme.,,

Gill Maxwell

Gill Maxwell is the Executive Director of the Scottish Music Centre, a national organisation that supports and promotes Scotland’s music sector at home and internationally. Gill is on the the steering group of both Showcase Scotland and Showcase Expo, is the Made in Scotland music partner and and will lead Scotland’s first expo representation at Classical Next in 2017.

Carolyn Paterson

Carolyn has over 35 years of experience working within the Scottish music industry. She has recently stepped down as programmer for the Tolbooth and The Albert Halls in Stirling. The Tolbooth was awarded Trad Music Venue of the Year at the 2017 Trad Music Awards. Previously Carolyn was Music Officer at the Scottish Arts Council, with trad music being her core remit.

Donald Shaw

Musician, record producer and composer Donald Shaw is Artistic Director of Celtic Connections. Donald is widely known as the founder of Scottish band Capercaillie, with whom he still writes, produces and performs. Having collaborated with a wide range of artists, he launched Vertical Records in 2000 which has gone on to release many critically acclaimed albums.

Lesley Shaw

Lesley is the operations manager for Celtic Connections. She is also tour manager for the 12-piece supergroup Treacherous Orchestra.

Andy Shearer

Andy Shearer has been Creative Director at Horsecross Arts with responsibility for music programming since Perth Concert Hall opened in 2005 and launched Southern Fried festival there on 2008. He was previously programmer at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen from its opening in 1992 until 1999, where he established the Rootin Aboot Festival and built a formidable reputation for the venue as one of the finest of its size in the UK. He returned to The Lemon Tree on a freelance basis from spring 2002 to spring 2007, spearheading a revival in the venue’s fortunes. He also worked for major commercial promoters MCD in Dublin, setting up the Acoustica and Celtic Flame festivals. In 2016 he opened Noble Savage, a live booking agency representing a small roster of acoustic and Americana festivals.

Suzanne Miller

Suzanne is the Regional Manager of the Scottish office for the UK’s leading independent music charity, Help Musicians. Since 1921, Help Musicians UK (HMUK) has provided help, support and opportunities to empower musicians and those working in the industry at all stages of their lives. The charity works to support those who work in the music industry through health and welfare services, campaigning, creative programmes and targeted investment initiatives. It exists to advocate, educate and provide information around issues which affect musicians and the industry that surrounds them. 2018 marked the launch of Help Musicians Scotland, which aims to uniquely benefit Scottish musicians, provide bespoke Scottish programming, campaigns and links to the charity’s near - 100 years of health and welfare support for the Music Industry.

Observers (no voting rights)


Brian Ó hEadhra (observer)

Brian is the Gaelic Arts & Culture Officer for Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Creative Scotland. He works at a local, national and international level in the promotion and development of traditional and contemporary Scottish Gaelic arts and culture. He has a BA Hons in Irish Folklore and English Literature.
Brian is also an accomplished musician and singer-songwriter, performing professionally at home and abroad with acts such as Cruinn, Brian Ó hEadhra | Fiona Mackenzie, and McKerron Brechin Ó hEadhra. He has founded numerous festivals and is currently co-director of the Geiteberg Folk Festival in Norway.

Alan Morrison (observer)

After studying English Language and Literature at the University of Edinburgh, Alan spent more than 25 years in arts journalism. With an initial specialisation in film, he has held the positions of Editor of The List, Associate Editor of Total Film, Reviews Editor of Empire and film critic of The Daily Record. He was also the Artistic Director of the Kirkcaldy Film Festival from its inception until 2016. As Group Arts Editor across all titles in the Herald & Times Group, he spent the better part of a decade championing the Scottish arts scene in print, particularly music in the Sunday Herald and The National. He instigated the Sunday Herald’s cross-genre Top 50 Scottish Albums of the Year list and spent many years on the jury selecting unsigned bands for the T Break at T in the Park. In his early days, Alan played violin with the Central Region Youth Orchestra and Scottish Schools Fiddle Orchestra, sang regularly in end-of-term stage musicals and spent a couple of happy but unproductive years in a teenage rock band after teaching himself guitar. Alan is now Head of Music at Creative Scotland, the main funder of Showcase Scotland Expo

Lisa Whytock (observer)

Lisa is the Director of Active and is also the Producer of Showcase Scotland expo and Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections. Active are an agency based in Scotland representing artists internationally, such as Capercaillie, Breabach, Love & Money and many others. Lisa also programmed The Spree, Bring it all Home Festivals and the Belhaven Birthday Bash.

Siobhan Anderson (observer)

Siobhan is a fiddle player who graduated from the BA Applied Music degree at Strathclyde University in 2011. She has performed with many bands including Rachel Sermanni, French Wives and Fatsuit. She has worked as a fiddle tutor and ceilidh trail co-ordinator for Fèis Fhoirt, tutored at the Lochgoilhead Fiddle workshop and helped reinstate the Killin Music Festival. She is currently working as a Music Officer for Creative Scotland.