The National Collective Yestival summer tour came to a close in style last night in Stirling's Old Town Jail.

Over 34 days, 1786 miles, six ferry rides and with 16 tents and a silver airstream caravan (fondly named Gloria Yestivan), the Yestival team has travelled the nation taking its inspirational message to communities from the Borders to Shetland.

Joined along the way by more than 200 acts, Yestival hosted night after night of free, open events featuring music, song poetry, film, comedy, storytelling and a Journey to Yes.

Venues were packed with delighted, enthusiastic and impassioned audiences.

Kicking off in Haddington with Elaine C Smith the tour visited Melrose, Sanquhar, Ayr, Glasgow, Falkirk, Edinburgh, Fort William, North Uist, Harris, Ullapool, Inverness, Orkney, Shetland, Lossiemouth, Aberdeen, Montrose, Arbroath, Dundee, Perth, St Andrews and finally Stirling. From start to finish, the driving forces have been goodwill, determination and dedication to a movement far greater than the sum of its parts.

Each event was very different, bringing touring acts from afar while showcasing local talent. The aim was to tell Scotland's story, with all the richness of the local that feeds into the national.

Highlights included Dick Gaughan's Both Sides the Tweed in Melrose; the buzz and the huge crowd at Govanhill Baths; Aonghas Grant, the left-handed fiddler of Lochaber; Ullapool's Ceilidh Place; James Watson and Mogwai's Stuart Braithewaite in Orkney; and beatboxing on the sunny streets of Aberdeen.

In Orkney, the local community didn't know what to expect but were blown away by Yestival, all smiles and thanking us for showing them how politics can be done differently. In Shetland, we saw 200 islanders come together, surprised to realise they weren't alone but very much part of a burgeoning movement for Yes.

From the the outside, Yestival appeared to be a vast production with many hands driving it forward. In reality, with a shoestring budget, a small family of dedicated volunteers have worked round the clock behind the scenes to bring it to life. Our documentation team doubled up as drivers. Our organisers hosted evening events. Our travelling performers doubled as roadies.

"Our independent Scotland will thank you soon, but for now, we thank you," said Julia Taudevin, who joined the Yestival tour on the Western Isles. "What you have achieved is incredible and truly inspirational."

Some of the most moving moments were with those who have worked for independence for decades. It is thanks to them we are at this moment. We might be the generation with the privileged task of taking this movement to victory, but we are all part of the same story.

This isn't tartan Scotland stuck in the past. Yestival is a microcosm of what Scotland could be: a country that celebrates diversity and creativity, aware of where we have come from and not afraid of where we are going, and with the desire and motivation to make a better future.

National Collective's Yestival Summer of Independence continues right up to the referendum.

Tuesday, August 5 sees a reggae One Love concert in Edinburgh's Studio 24, celebrating Jamaican independence.

National Collective Presents ... at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe features world-class performers and highlights from the touring Yestival at the Scottish Storytelling Centre from August 7 to 9, August 14 to 16 and August 21 to 23.

Mairi McFadyen is a teaching research assistant in Scottish culture and heritage at the University of Edinburgh and works freelance in the arts. She is a member of National Collective.