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Ten of the best Argyll music festivals

Ten of the best Argyll music festivals
Scotland’s music festival scene is buzzing. And here in Argyll we reckon we have some of the best music festivals in the country. From rousing rock shows to captivating ceilidh concerts, there’s something for all tastes. You’ll find music festivals taking place across Argyll throughout the summer in the most stunning locations, from Hebridean islands to hidden glens and castle grounds. As well as fantastic live music, many of the festivals feature Argyll food and drink, with whisky bars, local ales and food stalls serving up delicious local fare. There’s no better way to meet the locals, discover new places and have a great time.

1. Gig in the Goil – 11th to 13th May 2018
Start the season with this fabulous wee festival held in Lochgoilhead. Organised by Argyll Holidays, it showcases a rich variety of live music and entertainment over three indoor stages. This year Skipinnish will be headlining.

2. Islay Festival of Music & Malt – 25th May to 2nd June 2018
If you love great music and whisky, then this is the festival for you! It’s a week-long celebration of Islay’s music and single malt whiskies. Fèis Ìle is a great way to discover the peaty delights from the distilleries of Islay and neighbouring Isle of Jura. Each distillery holds its own open day, where you’ll find special events, and the week is full of traditional music. Don’t miss the Folk Night at Ardbeg Distillery with optional pie and a pint.

3. FyneFest – 1st to 3rd June 2018
If you like great beer, fabulous food and fantastic music then you’ll love FyneFest! Held at Fyne Ales Brewery in Glen Fyne at the head of Loch Fyne, this family-friendly Scottish festival is a cracker. You’ll find over 200 beers on offer, a feast of food from local producers and live music that’s guaranteed to get you dancing, all amid stunning Highland scenery. This year Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 and Holy Moly & The Crackers are booked to headline.

4. Oban Live – 8th & 9th June 2018
Oban Live is a celebration of the best of Scottish and international music organised by multi award-winning Scottish super-group Skerryvore. It’s an electrifying weekend of live music at Mossfield Park. Skerryvore’s brand of energetic Celtic folk rock pulses through the event, and this year they’ll be joined by Skipinnish, Heron Valley and Blazin’ Fiddles.

5. Gigha Music Festival – 29th & 30th June 2018
For traditional music, you can’t beat the Isle of Gigha Music Festival. 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.

6. Tiree Music Festival – 13th to 15th July 2018
Tiree Music Festival was set up in 2010 by Daniel Gillespie, a Tiree local who’s also a musician with the band Skerryvore. Since then it has become a sell-out success and a landmark event of the Scottish festival scene. Prepare yourself for a musical island adventure! With traditional and Gaelic performers, contemporary Scottish rock and indie artists, great camping facilities and loads of family activities, the Tiree Music Festival has it all. And as far as festival backdrops go, few can be more beautiful than the island of Tiree.

7. ButeFest – 27th to 29th July 2018
ButeFest is a fabulous weekend of music, food and fun on the Isle of Bute. This is a family-friendly festival with great music, local food, superb drink and best of all, a wonderful setting. Bute is one of Argyll’s most accessible islands.

8. Colonsay Music Festival – 13th to 16th September 2018
This folky festival on the tiny island of Colonsay is a real gem. Enjoy a friendly atmosphere, traditional music and beautiful surroundings. All festivals to date have been sell-outs and the list of artists who have appeared reads like a veritable ‘who’s who’ of Scottish folk music. The local hotel also acts as the ‘Festival Club’, with live sessions until the small hours.

9. Jura Music Festival – 22nd to 24th September 2018
The wild Hebridean island of Jura is home to 6000 deer, 200 people and one music festival. But what a festival it is! The Jura Music Festival attracts some of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians. As well as the concerts and ceilidhs, you can expect plenty of impromptu sessions in the Jura hotel, great craic and west coast bonhomie.

10. Best of the West – September - date TBC
Best of the West (BOWFest) is a fabulous festival in a stunning setting. Every year music lovers from around the world flock to the grounds of Inveraray Castle to celebrate the very best in Scottish music, food and drink. So, if you want to dance to some of Scotland’s top bands, feast on food from Argyll’s larder and sample a dram or two, then make a date with Best of the West. What a way to round off a summer of music festivals in Argyll!

Header image: FyneFest
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