THE Royal National Mòd 2021, which took place at Eden Court Theatre from October 8-16 in 2021, generated £1.2m for the economy.

The festival provided a much-needed economic boost for the Inverness and the Highland Council hospitality and tourism sector after a financially difficult year.

The 2021 event saw around 2840 in-person attendees, who helped bring an economic uplift that supported around 14 FTE jobs.

The National: Maria Monk, Solo Singing Fluent Traditional Silver Pendant WinnerMaria Monk, Solo Singing Fluent Traditional Silver Pendant Winner

The 129-year-old event was first held in Oban in 1892 and has since grown to become Scotland’s premier Gaelic festival. The Gaelic word “mòd” means “a gathering of people”.

Events and collective activities like mass choir events (pictured below) help to give meaning to the festival's name.

The National: Mass Choirs EventMass Choirs Event

Renowned for celebrating Gaelic linguistic and cultural heritage, the festival provides opportunities for people of all ages to perform across a range of competitive disciplines.

A variety of competitions were held, ranging from a men's shinty tournament to Gaelic music renditions and Highland dancing, as well as performances of drama, sport and literature.

The National: Mens ShintyMens Shinty

The festival took a hybrid approach this year, with events taking online and in-person, allowing the occasion to become more accessible to patrons of varying backgrounds and socioeconomic circumstances.

As well as being able to interact with fellow Gaelic speakers, the festival allowed old friends and family to reunite following multiple lockdowns - providing a much-needed dose of connection after a difficult few years.

The national festival is organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach (The Highland Association), an organisation formed in Oban in 1891 which “aims to support and develop all aspects of the Gaelic language, culture, history and heritage at local, national and international levels”.

The National: Gold Medal Winners John Joe MacNeil and Màiri Aisling Callan Gold Medal Winners John Joe MacNeil and Màiri Aisling Callan

Allan Campbell, An Comunn Gaidhealach president, said: “We are delighted that the 2021 Royal National Mòd has given the economy of Inverness and the surrounding area a significant boost in what was a difficult year for tourism in the city.

“It is especially gratifying because we were not certain until August if the Mòd could take place on a face-to-face basis.”

He continued: “We are also absolutely delighted that the Mòd has played a crucial role in helping to offset the negative aspects of social isolation and some of the mental challenges caused by lockdown."

The National: Traditional Gold Medal Winners Calum MacDonald and Emma MacLeod Traditional Gold Medal Winners Calum MacDonald and Emma MacLeod

“We have seen yet again that having an online element is highly valued by participants and it has now become a permanent part of the overall programme, building on our experiences of 2020 and 2021.

“An Comunn congratulates all participants and organisers in making the 2021 Royal National Mòd a great success. We very much hope that the Mòd in Perth in 2022 can go ahead in full.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events, said: "We were delighted to support the Royal National Mòd through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund, established by EventScotland in conjunction with funding from the Scottish Government.

“The Mòd shows the important role events play in our communities. It has brought significant economic impact to Inverness and the surrounding area as well as giving people the chance to connect and share memorable experiences through its programme of online and in-person events.”

He continued: “Having such uniquely Scottish events in our calendar further strengthens the country’s outlook and position as a world-leading events destination and reinforces Scotland’s place as the perfect stage for events.”

Calum Munro, chair of The Highland Council’s Gaelic Committee, commented: “The Mod’s economic boost to the Inverness and Highland economy is hugely welcome particularly during these difficult COVID times.

"The cultural and social success of staging the event to a wider online audience is also highly encouraging for the future development of Gaelic.”

Shona MacLennan, Ceannard, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “We were delighted that the Royal National Mòd 2021 took place both in person and online. Its impact in increasing the use and promotion of Gaelic is invaluable, and its economic impact consistently demonstrates how important Gaelic is to the Scottish economy.”

This year’s Mòd will take place in Perth from October 14-22, 2022. For more information, visit

The Royal National Mòd is supported by EventScotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, The Highland Council, EventScotland, The Scottish Government, HIE, Caledonian MacBrayne and SQA.