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Why music fans need to discover Kintyre’s music festivals

Why music fans need to discover Kintyre’s music festivals
This year, Kintyre is a must-visit destination for any live music lover with no less than six major music festivals taking place there. The Mull of Kintyre may have been immortalised in the eponymous hit by Paul McCartney and Wings, but since then the entire peninsula has developed a vibrant music scene of its own. There’s a thriving gig scene in Campbeltown, Kintyre’s main town, but there’s music to be found from top to bottom of this wild and remote part of Argyll. If you love live music, then these Kintyre festivals should be top of your list in 2018.

Carradale Music Festival (28th to 29th April) is the new kid on the Kintyre music festival block. Taking place in the Carradale Village Hall over two days, it will feature some of Argyll’s best-loved traditional bands, including Heron Valley, Trail West and Gunna Sound. You may have to wait until 2019 though, as most of the tickets for this year’s festival are already sold out.

The Kintyre Songwriters Festival (4th to 6th May 2018) is a real treat for music lovers, with some big names in Scottish music performing intimate gigs alongside emerging local talent over three days. Though mainly acoustic with a focus on songwriting, other genres also feature. Last year The Van T’s and Pronto Mama headlined and in 2016 Finn LeMarinel, Admiral Fallow front-man Louis Abbot, and Irish songwriter Martha Ffion took to the stage.

Showcasing the best in traditional and contemporary Celtic music, Mull of Kintyre Music Festival (8th to 12th August 2018) is Kintyre’s biggest music festival. It’s a musical adventure, with a programme of concerts, jam sessions, workshops and free outdoor events held across Campbeltown. Watch ceilidh bands, Gaelic choirs, pipe bands and brass bands, as well as acclaimed international acts which in recent years have included The Fratellis, The View, The Saw Doctors, Deacon Blue, Capercaillie, Idlewild, Ally Bain & Phil Cunningham, Red Hot Chilli Pipers, The Stranglers and rave legends The Time Frequency.

MidFest (15th to 16th June) is a fantastic midsummer festival bringing the brightest new stars in Scottish music to venues across Campbeltown. The 2018 bands are yet to be announced, but last year saw a magical mix of up-and-coming talent, including Be Charlotte, Declan Welsh & The Decadent West, The Twisted Melons, 5 Strings and Under Smoke.

For traditional music, you can’t beat the Isle of Gigha Music Festival (29th to 30th June). This small festival offers a perfectly-formed line-up of ceilidhs, headline concerts, sessions and a musical beach picnic - all on the beautiful Isle of Gigha. There is camping available to all.

And finally, round off a summer of music at the Tarbert Music Festival (14th to 16th September), one of the longest running music festivals in Argyll. Enjoy a fabulous weekend of live music on the quayside in the fishing village of Tarbert.

Kintyre is packed with great things to see and do, from whisky tours to surfing beaches, restaurants to world-class golf courses. So why not take the opportunity to explore?

Find out more about other things to see and do in Kintyre.
Explore like a local
Iain Johnston Iain
Kintyre & Gigha
Clive & Donna Rumbold Clive
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