Tickets go on sale for Highland fling

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Oban and Lorne Strathspey and Reel Society.

Tickets went on sale this week for the 36th Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival.

The popular three-day event will be bringing a big buzz to Oban from May 3 to 5 this year.

The ticket release went live on Monday and the event was celebrated at a civic reception hosted by the council’s Provost Len Scoullar in the Regent Hotel.

‘It is always a pleasure to visit the towns in Argyll and Bute and hear about and support the vibrant cultural events taking place, and the Oban Highlands and Islands Festival has certainly earned a firm place in the annual calendar for its contribution to promoting music and dance for young people,’ he said.

Last weekend saw the successful debut of the pre-premier event attended by 70 Highland dancers and that was just the warm-up to ease the entry numbers for the Highland dancing at the bank holiday festival.

Eilidh MacAulay from the Sinclair School of Dance.

Performer numbers continue to grow in all categories from woodwind and brass to fiddlers, pipers, pianists, accordion and clarsach players.

The HIMDF is supported by many organisations and is getting a grant from Argyll and Bute Council for £5,000 to help with running costs for the venues, judges and adjudicators.

A festival spokesperson said: ‘Once again, performers are coming from all over Scotland and two female pipers are travelling from as far as New Zealand and Canada, so word does get around.

‘The Oban festival has a reputation for being a family orientated event, with many families making a weekend of it in Argyll, which is always a welcome economic boost to the town and its localities, attracting more than 3,000 visitors.’

The festival promotes a long tradition in music and dance, and this year there is an open invitation fèis on Sunday May 5, supported by Fèis Latharna.

Jessica Main plays the clarsach.

Tickets for this year’s festival can be bought by calling 07510 841198 or via obanfestival.org.