It’s festival time
West Coast festival season showcases area’s vibrant culture
THE WEST Coast is bursting with exciting culture. From music to dance, from literature to food and drink, a thriving festival season showcases the ‘best of the west.’ And if 2016 is anything to go by, 2017 looks to be the best year ever for the festival scene.
Billed as ‘the best free festival in the world’, the Mull Music Festival April 20-24 sees four days and nights chock full of music in the pubs and hotels of Tobermory. Dubbed a ‘literary lock-in’, the Colonsay Book Festival, April 29-30 welcomes renowned authors, poets and book lovers for workshops and readings, while the Colonsay Spring Festival looks forward to its fifth year with over 60 events celebrating all things Spring, May 1-21.
Campbeltown hosts two outstanding festivals this season. With a well-earned reputation as ‘the friendliest festival in Argyll’, the Kintyre Songwriters Festival April 28-30 is a delightful showcase of up-and-coming songwriting talent. May 26 - June 3, the Islay Festival of Music and Malt, or Feis Ile, features a diverse programme of music, dance, Gaelic language and the quintessential Scottish pastimes of golf, bowling and whisky tasting.
Tarbert is ground zero for festivals all season long, with the Scottish Series in May, the Seafood and Boat Festivals in July, and film and music festivals in the autumn.
The Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival held April 28- May 1, is one of Oban’s biggest annual events, drawing top talent from all over the world.
Future festival headliners are born at Ceòlas, a summer school for Gaelic music, song and dance on South Uist held in July.
The much-anticipated Oban Live 2017 will feature Skerryvore, Skippinish, Admiral Fallow and national headliners Hue and Cry and Toploader.
Mendelssohn on Mull Festival, July 2-7, is a celebration of classical music at various venues around Mull and Iona. The Tiree Music Festival July 14-16 offers vibrant island culture and fabulous live music.
The Mid Argyll Music and Arts, or MAMA Fest, held in September, is one of the most popular live music events of the season.
Festivals in Scotland are amazing - if it doesn’t rain. But even if it does rain, the fun doesn’t stop. So make sure to pack a mac and wellies, as well as a change of clothes. And speaking of clothes, always take a warm jumper even if the weather seems warm - you never know when a cool breeze or cloud may appear, plus at night the temperatures drop. Don’t let clouds fool you into thinking you don’t need sunscreen- rays bounce off clouds and water. A straw hat and sunglasses, along
There is a plethora of small and large festivals on the West Coast leave visitors and locals alike spoiled for choice. Friendly shops and service providers in the area welcome guests and provide everything needed for a relaxing festival experience. There is much on offer, so pack a rucksack and get ready to make festival memories that will last a lifetime! with maximum SPF, can prevent a miserable burn. Make sure your camera and phone are charged up, as you won’t want to miss a single shot of all the great music, fabulous food and cute kid moments. Tents can be a great way to protect yourself from the elements and provide a quiet place for a rest. But keep in mind you will have to carry all your gear from the car, so don’t overload. Fun items such as glow sticks, bubbles and glitter are a great way to jazz up your experience and keep the kids entertained. One of the best parts of any festival is the food, but stock up with your own water and snacks to help get you through the day. Also, it never hurts to carry a bit of toilet roll in case the portable loos run out. And last but certainly not least, don’t forget the tickets! There is nothing worse than arriving at a festival just to remember you left them on the kitchen table. Some festivals have print-your-own tickets, so make sure you do this at home in plenty of time.