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Music, food and drink: Why you can't miss the first Argyll Gathering!

Music, food and drink: Why you can't miss the first Argyll Gathering!
If you’re a fan of contemporary traditional Scottish music, then you’re in for a treat. Argyll Gathering is a brand new event on the Scottish cultural calendar. Taking place in the beautiful Argyll town of Helensburgh on 19th and 20th August, Argyll Gathering will be a celebration of Scotland, bringing together a stellar line-up of musicians and showcasing the very best of local food, drink and culture. If you fancy an unforgettable weekend of live music in a spectacular setting, then make a date with the first Argyll Gathering.

Brilliant bands
Music is the star of the show at the Argyll Gathering. Headlining the main stage on Saturday night is the Scottish bagpipe super-group Red Hot Chilli Pipers. Saturday also sees Treacherous Orchestra take to the main stage with their foot-stomping brand of Celtic rock. Other Saturday highlights include Bwani Junction who will perform “Graceland” by Paul Simon, Elephant Sessions and Pronto Mama. Sunday is equally good. Donnie Munro, former lead singer Runrig, will be headlining the main stage. Manran, Daimh, Fat-Suit and Federation of the Disco Pimp will also be performing live. And who can resist jumping about to Scotland’s ska juggernaut Bombskare?

Nae Plans (Adam Sutherland and Hamish Napier) will be on stage both days with special guests and added surprises. BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton will join the duo on Saturday and Innes Watson and Laura-Beth Salter will take to the stage with them on Sunday.

Fabulous food
Argyll Gathering celebrates all things local, so it’s no surprise that Food From Argyll will be serving up tasty treats. Tuck into fresh oysters from Loch Fyne Oysters, lamb stovies from The Real Mackay Stovie Co, lamb bugers from Shellfield Farm, outdoor reared pork from Duntarrin Pork, venison pies, burgers and sausage rolls from Winston Churchill Venison, wood-fired pizzas from Scozzese Pizza and vegetarian goodies from Coast Vegetarian. For your caffeine fix, look no further than Cardross-based roasters Homeground Coffee. Local ales will be on tap at the Beer & Ale Bar, while you can sample some of artisan gins, local single malts and much more in the Spirits Bar.

Bringing the kids?
Argyll Gathering is a family-friendly affair, with plenty of children’s activities to keep the little ones entertained. There will also be a brilliantly curated workshop tent, where you can immerse yourself and the family in the best of interactive culture.

If you’re travelling from within the central belt of Scotland, a great way to reach Argyll Gathering is by train. The programming is scheduled so that you can enjoy all of the weekend’s activities, and still make the last train home. The festival site is Helensburgh Rugby Football Club Grounds, which is just minutes from Helensburgh Central train station. Regular services run to and from Edinburgh via Glasgow and Lanarkshire. There’s no camping at the festival, but Helensburgh has a range of B&Bs, hotels and self-catering accommodation.

With broad tree-lined avenues, piers, promenades, shops and eateries, Helensburgh is a fabulous place to explore. Don’t miss Hill House, universally regarded as Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s finest domestic creation. Perfectly restored, much of the house looks almost exactly as it did in 1904 and features a mix of Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Scottish Baronial and Japonisme architecture and design. You might also like to check out The Tower digital arts centre.

Find out more about things to do and see in Loch Lomond & Helensburgh.

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