Argyll has a thriving music scene, with bags of home-grown talent and music festivals galore attracting bug names and up and coming talent. There’s a huge variety of music on offer, showcasing the region’s rich musical heritage. There’s a music festival for everyone in Argyll, from intimate traditional folk festivals to epic rock weekenders. Whatever your favourite music genre, don’t miss the chance to experience an Argyll music festival this summer. Here are a few of our top picks.
Colonsay Folk Festival (12th to 15th September)
The tiny island of Colonsay hosts this folky festival gem. You’ll be treated to fantastic traditional music amid truly beautiful scenery. Every year the festival attracts some of the biggest names in the Scottish folk scene, including Aly Bain, Phil Cunningham, Karen Matheson, Donald Shaw, Roddy Woomble, Kathleen MacInnes, Battlefield Band and more. All festivals to date have been sell-outs. The festival atmosphere is wonderfully intimate. The local hotel also acts as the ‘Festival Club’, with live sessions until the small hours.
Jura Music Festival (27th to 29th September)
This island festival is another traditional folk favourite. It's a wonderful weekend of traditional Scottish music in a beautiful, remote island setting. From the Friday night ceilidh right through to the Sunday night concert in the distillery cooperage, this festival provides an unforgettable weekend of traditional Scottish folk music.
Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival (13th to 15th September)
This unique music festival is held on Islay, the island that's renowned for its beauty, beaches and peaty malts. Bringing together Scottish and international musicians, the festival programme presents some of the best jazz you’ll hear in Scotland. The concerts take place in unusual, atmospheric and inspirational venues, including distilleries, bird sanctuaries, village halls and even a Gaelic college. There’s also plenty of local island food and drink on offer, including seafood and, of course, Lagavulin.
Cantelina Festival (7th to 12th July)
Every year, a group of world-class musicians travel to the island of Islay to perform a repertoire from the world of classical music. They are joined by students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Together they perform a series of concerts in venues across Islay. It’s a fabulous way to experience world-class chamber music in lovely settings, including whisky distilleries.
Mendellson on Mull (1st to 7th September)
This is another Scottish chamber music festival that brings together young musicians with experienced musicians. They practice and perform free public concerts in a range of diverse venues on Mull and neighbouring, including the tiny Creich Church, Duart Castle’s Great Hall and Iona Abbey. The inspiration comes from the wild beauty that drew composer Mendelssohn to this region, and inspired his renowned Hebridean Overture.
Oban Live (7th & 8th June)
This two-day event at Mossfield Park in Oban is a celebration of the best of Scottish music, with a few international superstars thrown in for good measure. Organised by multi award-winning Scottish Celtic rock group Skerryvore, it attracts over 8,000 music lovers. Skerryvore’s brand of energetic folk rock pulses through the event. The line up includes the likes of Skipinnish and Red Hot Chilli Pipers, offering up a powerful and popular blend of traditional, contemporary and West Highland music.
MOD & SKA
Dunoon Revival Weekend (9th & 10th August)
Get the date in your diary for a weekend of Northern soul, mod, ska and indie tunes in Dunoon. As well as a top line up of musicians, including the Complete Stone Roses, the event brings Vespa and Lambretta scooters to the town.