Yestival Tour Announced


National Collective have today unveiled exciting plans for a nationwide tour throughout the month of July – with the group of pro-independence artists, writers and activists travelling to communities the length and breadth of Scotland.

The tour, which will be one aspect of a month long ‘Yestival’, will bring art, music, film, spoken-word and cultural activism to every city in Scotland.

The tour will also travel through the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, the Central Belt and the North East, and take in the Western Isles, the Highlands, Orkney and Shetland.

This busy schedule will include a mixture of larger and smaller pop-up community events, with a few surprises along the way.

National Collective has registered as an official campaign for the purposes of the referendum, marking a rise from an online platform, which started in an Edinburgh bedroom, to a movement with over 2,200 members and a growing network of local groups spanning Scotland.

There are now local National Collective chapters in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Stirling, Inverness, Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, Argyll and Shetland.

The tour will leave from The Art Cave, National Collective’s subterranean headquarters in Leith, and can be followed online via and @yestival2014 on Twitter.

Ross Colquhoun, Director of National Collective, said:

“Yestival will be a major cultural event at the centre of Scotland’s summer of independence and will be an exciting way of taking the Yes message directly to people in their communities.

“People often feel alienated by polarised political debate, but the question of independence is much bigger than that. National Collective is important because it’s not about party politics.

“After a Yes vote independence will seem totally normal. It will be hard to imagine anything else. But people need to have the confidence that it will work before they can put their cross next to ‘Yes’ in September.

“Of course creating that confidence is partly about economics and political preparation. But it is also about cultural confidence, about confidence in your community and its people, and about the basic democratic principle that Scotland should govern itself.

“The Yestival tour will be about adding a bit of fun and imagination into the referendum campaign, and inviting the people of Scotland to dare to dream. We’re calling on all artists, writers and activists to join in, now’s the time.”

Andrew Barr, a National Collective member who will be going on the tour, commented:

“The Yes campaign has developed into a truly huge grassroots movement, and the dedication of independence supporters is pushing the polls towards a Yes in September.

“This is not politics as we know it. For the first time in my lifetime people feel as if we can really change things.

“Yestival will be whatever grassroots campaigners make of it. We want people to make the summer of independence colourful, diverse and engaging in your community as others do the same across the country.”

“We’re living history right now. There’s a real buzz around Scotland and that’s only going to build as we get closer to September.

“This summer is going to be the most important, the most significant and the most exciting summer that any of us in Scotland will live through.

“I’m looking forward to Yestival playing a part of that.”

Selection of Yestival supporters

RM Hubbert:

“We’re living in a very exciting time. It’s been a long time since the Scottish people truly had a chance to influence our own future. We should celebrate this opportunity. Music, art and debate. What’s not to love?”
RM Hubbert is a Scottish guitarist and singer. His album ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ won the Scottish Album of the Year Award (SAY Award) last year, beating albums by Emeli Sande, Calvin Harris, Django Django and The Twilight Sad amongst others and picking up the £20,000 prize.”

Julie Fowlis:

“Yestival seems to be a great opportunity to showcase Scotland’s contemporary musicians, writers and artists and to maintain that strong artist perspective to the independence debate. That the tour is travelling across Scotland’s diverse and vibrant communities – urban, rural and island alike – is a story in itself.”
Julie Fowlis is a Scottish folk singer and multi-instrumentalist who sings primarily in Gaelic. In 2012, Fowlis contributed to the Pixar film Brave with the songs “Touch the Sky” and “Into the Open Air”, sung in the off-screen musical thoughts of the lead character Merida.”

Craig Coulthard:

“Scotland has the opportunity to shape its own future, to take responsibility for itself and to focus on the issues that matter most to its citizens. As an artist, I see the work of National Collective in engaging people in a contemporary, creative and open debate about Scotland’s future as admirable and inspiring. Yestival will provide the opportunity for people around the country to continue this debate at close quarters in an imaginative and enjoyable manner. It is a contemporary approach for a contemporary debate and one which can help to set standards for the future, in stark contrast to the fear and foostiness of other political movements.”
Craig Coulthard was born in West Germany in 1981, and is a visual artist and musician (recording under the name Randan Discotheque). He has exhibited throughout the UK and Europe and in 2012 completed “Forest Pitch” a major commission for the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad. He was a founder member of The Embassy gallery in 2003.”

David Greig:

“National Collective have been the inspiration of the independence debate so far. Their website is fantastic, publishing thought and ideas outside the party political spectrum. Their events are full of music, comedy, poetry and people being active and engaged with big political ideas. I was at one in Edinburgh and it was stowed out, people in their 70′s cheek by jowl with kids fresh out of school. Out of one idea – independence – they’re drawing complexity, imagination and grassroots engagement. It’s as far away from a party conference as you can imagine. They really are the spirit of the moment.”

David Greig is a Scottish playwright and theatre director. His work has been performed at all of the major theatres in Britain, including the Traverse Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and been produced around the world.

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