Oban rocks as music festival rolls into town

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Oban Live, Argyll’s biggest outdoor live music concert, has been hailed a huge success after the two-day event completely sold out on Saturday.

The attendance was 8,640, the event’s biggest rate since it began in 2016.

The award-winning cultural party played host to thousands of visitors from all over the world who travelled to Oban to witness an eclectic line-up of incredible traditional, rock and pop artists in the rural stadium-sized setting.

Kicking off the event on Friday afternoon were winners of the Scottish Sea Farms Oban Live Unsigned competition, Argyll Ceilidh Trail.

Sheena Peteranna, Uist; Kate MacPherson, James Divers and Bronwen, Davies,  all Benderloch; Heather Fothergill, Cuan; Darren Brown, Campbeltown; Alex Houston, Taynuilt, and Ewan MacDonald, Oban, wowed the crowd with a lively set.

Speaking to the Oban Times afterwards Kate said: ‘It was pretty mad really.

‘It was great to see family and friends out there supporting us and to be back stage among the big established musicians.’

Heather added: ‘It was quite nerve wracking. All we want now is a cup of tea.

‘We are all so grateful to have been given this opportunity.’

The opening night line-up also featured JigJam, Be Charlotte, Elephant Sessions and international headliners Red Hot Chilli Pipers, who launched their new album, Fresh Air, at the event.

Penultimate act, The Celtic Brotherhood, saw Irish quartet We Banjo 3 and event founders Skerryvore reunite on stage on Friday following their joint North American tour last year.

Their entertaining Bagpipes versus Banjos campaign caused a comedy social media storm during their tour. When the Oban Live audience was asked from the stage by We Banjo 3 which of the two instruments they preferred, there was a clear winner as the arena cheered at the mention of bagpipes.

Oban Unsigned (national) winners DMS opened the show on Saturday with Talisk, Lucy Spraggan and We Banjo 3, who played their only Scottish gig this year at Oban Live, all contributing to another lively night.

The Caman Connection featured a star-studded line-up of Scottish traditional musicians with an association to the sport of shinty. The exclusive Oban Live collaboration showcased the songs, lyrics and melodies that feature or have been inspired by the sport.

The group was lead by Scottish musician, broadcaster and former Scotland Shinty captain Gary Innes, who was joined by Iain Bayne, Runrig; Donald Shaw, Capercaillie; Mischa MacPherson; Fergie MacDonald, The Ceilidh King; Ewen Henderson, Mànran; Alec Dalglish, Skerryvore, and Steve Byrnes, all donning their shinty colours and strips to celebrate the occasion.

Closing the 2019 concert with their phenomenal energetic set were event hosts and international trad-fusion band Skerryvore. Runrig’s Iain Bayne made a guest appearance and back to join them by popular demand were Oban High School Pipe Band.

Together they sent goosebumps around the arena with their performance of Home to Donegal. They returned on stage for an epic encore of The Rise and Soraidh Slan to close the event in a spectacular fashion complete with LED drum sticks.

Oban Live supported Martyn’s Monday Club this year, a local organisation which runs mental health support groups in the town. They were raising awareness at the event by handing out wristbands to the audience as well as many of the 2019 artists.

A jam-packed fringe programme with live music and special events took place across Oban over the weekend to entertain the thousands of visitors coming for the music concert.

Organisers thanked their amazing crew, volunteers and staff for their hard work and their sponsors, partners and community for their support to help deliver Argyll’s largest music concert.





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