|Cowal Highland Gathering 2014 – Ticket Sales |
|Added: 14 Feb 2014|
|Tickets for the 2014 Cowal Gathering will go on sale online at www.cowalgathering.com at 12 noon (UK time) on Monday 17 February.|
To buy your admission and seating tickets, click the link on the website which will take you to the order pages. Once your order is complete you will receive an email confirming its success. As you will appreciate, this is a very busy time so please do not call the office to check on the progress of your order.
On the order page you will see that we have added a section that offers you the opportunity to make a donation to Childrens Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS). CHAS is our charity partner and we hope to raise awareness of this worthy charity as well as hopefully assisting them by raising funds for the incredible work that they do. CHAS Fundraiser, Samantha Reilly, said “Every day it costs £25,000 to run CHAS care services.
We couldn’t support children and young people across Scotland without your help”. “We are proud to be the charity partner of Cowal Highland Gathering and hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. Please give what you can, it means the world to our families.”
More details of our partnership with CHAS will follow, in the meantime please visit their website at http://www.chas.org.uk/ for more details of the wonderful work that they do.
|Cowal Highland Gathering competition winners announced|
|Added: 03 Feb 2014|
|The four lucky winners of this year’s free ticket competition have just been announced.|
The quartet includes a Cowal Highland Games fan all the way from Canada as well as a 10 year old local girl from Sandbank.
All four spotted the trophy hidden in the smoothie bar in the competition artwork.
CHG Chair Ronnie Cairns thanked all those who entered, and said he was looking forward to seeing the winners at this year’s event.
“Congratulations to all four, and I very much hope they can all make use of their prize and come and enjoy what promises to be a spectacular event,” he said.
“We haven’t managed to get hold of a couple of them yet to tell them the good news, so if they’re reading this then I’d encourage them to get in touch with us by Friday, February 28 to claim their prize by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .”
The competition winners are Lorrie Donig from Canada, Amaidh Stoddart, Conner Mcmurchy and Iona Scott.
This year’s Cowal Highland Gathering takes place from Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 August.
|Cowal Highland Gathering secures council funding|
|Added: 29 Jan 2014|
|Organisers of the world’s oldest pipe band competition have welcomed Argyll and Bute Council’s decision to maintain its existing level of financial support.|
The council agreed to allocate the Cowal Highland Gathering (CHG) £68,205 in 2014/15 – the sum set out in its ongoing Service Level Agreement(SLA) - despite the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s decision to remove the event’s ‘major’ status.
The wording of the SLA has now been amended to remove any reference to the fee for a ‘major’ championship.
CHG chair Ronnie Cairns said the decision was a welcome vote of confidence in the organisers’ ability to further develop the event and continue to broaden its appeal in the future.
“This consolidates the partnership we have with Argyll and Bute Council, and reinforces our joint ambition to ensure that this year’s Cowal Highland Gathering once again proves to be one of Scotland’s premier family events,” he added.
“The Gathering is Argyll and Bute’s largest annual event, and as such has a major economic impact not just on Cowal but on the wider area as well.
“The Council’s decision to maintain funding levels means that we now have a fantastic opportunity to further enhance the Games for the benefit of competitors and spectators alike.”
Plans are being drawn up for new attractions and entertainment such as demonstrations by the Clan Mountain Bike Stunt Team, a temporary mountain bike track in the stadium, a digital hub, family sport opportunities, arts workshops and a ‘Best of Argyll’ area with high quality local producers promoting and selling local food and drink.
“We’d like to create a more festival-type feel to the event, while of course retaining its core competitive and cultural elements,” Ronnie said.
“We believe this will broaden its appeal and so help attract new visitors, while at the same time catering for the many thousands of people who have had the Cowal Highland Gathering inked into their diary for many years.
“This vote of confidence from the council enables us to press on with our development plans, and we very much look forward to putting on a spectacular event come the end of August.”
According to an equation used by Event Scotland, the 2013 Cowal Highland Gathering generated £1.9million for the Scottish economy – with just over £1million of that directly benefitting Argyll and Bute.
In addition, the economic impact review of last year’s event shows the return on investment to Argyll and Bute is £16 for every £1 of Council support.
Councillor Vivien Dance, Argyll and Bute’s policy lead for Sustainable Environment, Renewables and Strategic Tourism, said: “This historic event attracts participants and spectators from around the world, and is a fantastic opportunity to show people some of the best of what Argyll and Bute has to offer.
“We wish to support the Gathering’s organisers as they meet the challenges posed by the loss of ‘major’ status and try new ideas for this year as they aim to ensure that it continues to be a very significant contributor to the local economy.
“We are pleased to be able to continue to work in partnership with the CHG and present no impediment to the Gathering going ahead this year. As the figures from last year show, our investment potentially has a huge return – not just financially but also in terms of raising the area’s profile both nationally and internationally – and we look forward to engaging with the organisers to review the event early in the autumn and wish them every success in 2014.”
This year’s Cowal Highland Gathering takes place from Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 August.
|Cowal Highland Gathering 2014 taking shape|
|Added: 17 Jan 2014|
|The organisers of the world’s most spectacular Highland games are confident the 2014 event will be one to remember.|
Plans for this year’s 2014 Cowal Highland Gathering are already at an advanced stage, and chair Ronnie Cairns said this year’s event is shaping up to be a big hit with contestants and spectators alike.
“We have had some very positive meetings with our partner organisations, and I’m delighted with the progress we’re making towards finalising the details of the 2014 Gathering,” he added.
“In particular, we are working closely with the Glasgow and West of Scotland Pipe Band Association in a bid to enhance the pipe band competition and bring the fun back for the many hundreds of pipe bandsmen and women from all over the world who come to compete here.
“We’ve taken on board suggestions made by both competitors and spectators, and we also have a few other ideas up our sleeve to ensure that the 2014 Cowal Highland Gathering will once again prove to be one of Scotland’s top family events.
“We look forward to announcing the details of this year’s games over the next few months, but it will of course include the usual mix of Highland dancing, pipe bands, traditional wrestling, heavy athletics, ceilidh music and children’s entertainment.
“I’d encourage everyone to keep the last weekend in August free so they can come and join us for what promises to be a spectacular occasion.”
This year’s event takes place from Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 August.
| ||Cowal Highland Gathering proves a worldwide hit|
|Added: 12 Sep 2013|
|Figures released today show that this year’s Cowal Highland Gathering was a global success.|
Thousands of people from across the world flocked to Dunoon for the three day extravaganza, both as competitors and spectators.
Those competing included 599 highland dancers, 132 pipe bands, 97 solo pipers, 88 5K runners, 54 hill race runners, 26 wrestlers and 13 heavy athletes.
The total attendance figure over the three days was some 17,500 people.
However, it wasn’t just those with tickets who were enthralled by the Gathering action. Technology enabled tens of thousands of others to keep abreast of the live action, wherever they were.
The Cowal Highland Gathering website scored an incredible 38,833 hits during the games from 18,307 unique visitors – a leap of 1,990% and 1,240% respectively on last year’s figures.
The website interest came from a total of 72 countries, the top ones being the UK (23,353), Canada (7,909), USA (4,011), Australia (2,300), New Zealand (697), South Africa (218), Netherlands (87), Germany (80) and Belgium (74).
One of the highlights for many of the internet visitors was the live stream from the main highland dancing stage, which had 23,626 views over the three days.
The Gathering’s Facebook page was even busier, with 118,283 people interacting with it in some way during the event whether that be seeing it, liking it, commenting on it or sharing posts.
Cowal Highland Gathering chair Ronnie Cairns said the figures surpassed even the organisers’ most optimistic predictions.
“These statistics are very exciting for us on two levels,” he said.
“Not only did we have many thousands of spectators here in Dunoon, but we also saw an explosion in the interest people are taking in our event through our website, Facebook page and so on.
“This interest came from every corner of the globe. Cowal Highland Gathering is proud to be able to call itself a genuine world-wide brand, and we are determined to build on this huge support base in future years.
“What we witnessed this year - both in terms of the level of competition and the enthusiasm of those watching it, wherever they were – was sensational.
“The feedback we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive, which is very rewarding for the countless people who worked so hard over many months to ensure the event was a success.
“We’re focused on keeping up the momentum and riding the enormous wave of support we’ve experienced. We are now moving forward with real confidence, and look forward to welcoming everyone back to an equally fantastic games in 2014.”
Over the course of the last year, nearly 60,000 individuals accessed the Gathering’s website, together amounting to over 390,000 page views.
The 2013 Cowal Highland Gathering was part of EventScotland’s National Events programme.
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “2013 has been a great success for Cowal Gathering, both at the event and across its online channels.
“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and by looking at the event website and live streaming statistics, you can see that there is good interest from overseas markets.”
| ||Rousing finale to 2013 Cowal Highland Gathering|
|Added: 01 Sep 2013|
|Thousands of people from across the world gathered in Dunoon today for the finale of the celebrated Cowal Highland Gathering.|
Competitors and spectators alike joined forces to ensure the event’s spectacular Saturday was a day to remember for everyone involved.
From the hundreds of dancers and pipers on show to the heavy athletes, runners and ceilidh tent performers, every participant contributed to what is being billed as one of the most successful days the Gathering has ever seen.
The standard of competition was breathtaking, with the world’s top competitors giving their all in a bid go home with the silverware.
One of the highlights of the Gathering’s final day – and one of the most fiercely contested – was, as always, the pipe band competition.
This year, Field Marshal Montgomery managed to hold off the challenge of Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia (2nd) and Scottish Power (3rd) to be crowned winners of the 2013 Grade 1 Cowal Pipe Band Championships.
Today also saw the Highland Dancing World Championship finals, with dancers from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA pitting their skills against the best the UK has to offer.
In the end, the three world championship winners were Morgan Bamford from New Zealand (adult), Megan Sweeney from Toronto, Canada (junior) and Kaylee Finnegan from California, USA (juvenile).
The highest placed Scottish dancers were Rebecca Thow from Aberdeen (fourth in the world adult class), Abbie MacNeil from Crookston (runner up in the world junior class, and Ellis Hayes from Newton Stewart (fourth in the world juvenile class).
Throughout the afternoon, four of the world’s hottest traditional music bands entertained the crowds in the now-famous ceilidh tent.
Leading the pack was Oban-based Skipinnish, who also brought the house down at last night’s family ceilidh. Today, they were ably supported by The Outside Track, Reely Jiggered and Heron Valley Ceilidh Band.
While they were playing, the heavy athletes and wrestlers battled it out in the main arena. Among the winners were Lucy Marshall from Crick, who smashed the previous 14ft Cowal record in the 28lb weight for height event by a massive 18 inches.
One of the highlights for the younger visitors this year was ‘Artie’s Tartan Tales’. Veteran entertainer Artie Trezise – who spent 30 years as one half of The Singing Kettle - used a tartan trunk full of souvenirs and trinkets as props for his traditional but interactive Scottish storytelling sessions.
Cowal Highland Gathering chair Ronnie Cairns said the event would go down as one of the most memorable in recent times.
He stressed that its success was in no small part due to the efforts and support of the people of Dunoon and the wider Cowal community.
“On behalf of the Gathering’s organisers, I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard over the last few months to ensure that the event was a success. I hope they are as pleased as we are with the results,” Ronnie said.
“I’d also like to thank the thousands of people who have come out to support the Gathering over the last three days. We’ve welcomed spectators not just from Argyll and Bute and Scotland more generally but from right around the globe, and the feedback we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Of course we wouldn’t have a Gathering at all without the wonderful competitors, who excelled themselves this year. Those of us lucky enough to have been here witnessed levels of performance never seen before.
“We all know how popular the traditional Highland Games events such as the piping, dancing and heavy athletics are, and of course they remain the main draw. However, we’re delighted with the feedback we’ve had on some of the new attractions - such as the interactive storytelling and drumming workshops for youngsters – and we’ll continue to look at ways to further improve the event in the future.
“A big thank you again to everyone involved, and I hope we’ll see you back again next year”.
Dunoon residents and visitors are already starting to line the streets for the event’s show-stopping finale this evening – the massing of the bands and their march down Argyll Street at 7.20pm.
The final act of this year’s Gathering will be the firework display at Dunoon pier, which starts at 9.30pm.
The 2013 Cowal Highland Gathering is part of EventScotland’s National Events programme.
A full list of today’s results will be put on the website at www.cowalgathering.com as soon as possible.
| ||Cowal Highland Gathering crowds enjoy spectacular day|
|Added: 30 Aug 2013|
|Visitors to the Cowal Highland Gathering today discovered why the event is billed as the world’s most spectacular Highland Games.The thousands who gathered in Dunoon were treated to a feast of top quality Highland Dancing, piping and heavy athletics as well as a variety of other entertainment.Those who arrived early were spoiled for choice, with the Scottish Highland Dancing Championships and the senior and junior solo piping competitions all taking place before lunch.In the dancing, the main results from across the eight events saw winners including: Cameron Walker from Denny who was awarded the Best Male Dancer in any of the Scottish Championships and Jessica Baillie from Letham who was crowned the Best Scottish Dancer (resident).In the senior solo piping, top honours went to Alex Gandy from Nova Scotia, who walked off with the Brymay Trophy which is awarded to the piper with most points in the top level.In the juvenille section, 11 year old Jamie Campbell from Strachur won the local march and the local Strathspey and reel. Jamie who is 12 on Sunday is thrilled with the achievement.The primary schools athletics competition also took place in the morning, with the crowd in fine voice as they roared the youngsters on.In the afternoon, the stage was set for the first of the spectacular heavy athletics competitions, with the world’s top athletes throwing their weight around in a bid to be crowned Cowal Highland Gathering champion.Among those who made their mark today were Kyle Randalls from Grangemouth who set a new Cowal record in the 16lb Scots Hammer. His throw of 41 metres 55cm is one of the furthest throws in Scotland this year and beat the previous Cowal record held by Jason Young of 39 metres 70cm.Another highlight of the day for a few lucky youngsters was a drumming masterclass with Stephen Creighton, lead drummer with the award-winning St. Laurence O’Toole Grade 1 pipe band.The afternoon also saw the Burgh Cup competition for solo piping, in which the placings were Craig Martin from Edinburgh, Daniel MacDermott from Rothesay and David Rischmiller from Dunoon.Cowal Highland Gathering chair Ronnie Cairns is delighted with the way the event is progressing.“We couldn’t really have wished for anything more for the first two days – a fantastic atmosphere with great crowds and top quality competitions, with even the weather doing its bit!” he said.“The fun’s by no means over for the day, as we’ve still got one of the most popular attractions to come with the family ceilidh - featuring top band Skipinnish - kicking off in The Queen’s Hall at 7.30pm this evening.“Of course tomorrow is traditionally the flagship day for this wonderful event, with an incredible array of dancing, piping and athletics competitions as well as the new Cowal Hill Race and the famous massing of the bands in the evening.“If you haven’t already got a ticket, I would urge you to come down to the stadium tomorrow and get a taste of what promises to be one of the most exciting days the Gathering has ever seen.”The 2013 Cowal Highland Gathering is part of EventScotland’s National Events programme. For more information, please visit the Gathering’s website at www.cowalgathering.com <http://www.cowalgathering.com> , drop in to its HIllfoot Street office or call 01369 703206.|
| ||Crowds flock to day one of Cowal Highland Gathering|
|Added: 29 Aug 2013|
|Dunoon welcomed thousands of people today as the world’s most spectacular Highland Games finally kicked off.|
Visitors have been pouring into the town over the last few days in the run-up to what is one of the most eagerly awaited events in the Scottish calendar.
Today they joined crowds of local people in flocking to the Gathering for the start of the action.
At 10am sharp the first event got underway - the Highland Dancing Scottish National Championships – this year sponsored by United Kingdom Alliance and British Association of Teachers of Dance.
The Nationals is one of four dancing competitions being held during the Gathering. The others are the Scottish Championship which takes place on Friday and the Argyllshire Championship and the World Championship, which both take place on Saturday.
Today’s action saw top class entertainment from 338 dancers in 11 categories.
Among the day’s other highlights was the classic car display, which left from Dunoon pier at lunch time and snaked through the town before arriving at the stadium.
Cowal Highland Gathering chair Ronnie Cairns said he was delighted by both the crowds and the entertainment they witnessed.
“If today’s action is anything to go by, we’re in for a real treat over the next couple of days,” he added.
“All our preparations seem to have paid off. Even a bit of wet weather failed to dampen the spirits of competitors and spectators, most of whom come prepared for rain at some stage of the proceedings!
“We’ve got a packed schedule for tomorrow and Saturday with something for everyone to enjoy, whether it be Highland Dancing, pipe bands, solo piping, heavy athletics, ceilidh music, running, interactive storytelling or any of the other attractions around the town this weekend.
“I’m delighted with how the first day has gone, and we very much look forward to welcoming everyone back again tomorrow for another day of spectacular entertainment.”
The day’s events are not yet over, with the 5K Cowal Run due to start from the Yachtsman Café, West Bay at 7.15pm this evening.
The 2013 Cowal Highland Gathering is part of EventScotland’s National Events programme. For more information, please visit the Gathering’s website at www.cowalgathering.com, or call 01369 703206.
A full list of today’s results will be posted on the Cowal Gathering website as soon as possible.
|Change to Timings of the Scottish Championships|
|Added: 06 Aug 2013|
|Please note that we have just received the running order for the Scottish Championships on the Friday. |
Unfortunately due to the number of dancers in the 12yr and 13yr age groups it has been necesarry to change the timings of these competitions.
The 8yr, 9yr, 10yr and 11yr competitions will still take place on the East Platforms but will move from the morning to the afternoon, starting at 1.15pm.
The 12yr and 13yr competitions will move from the afternoon to the morning and will start at 9.00am, still on the East platforms.
We have tried to contact everyone who has either morning only or afternoon only tickets for the East Stand in order to arrange to swap your tickets over so you have seats for the correct times. However if you have not heard from us and wish to swap your tickets please contact the Gathering Office by e-mail email@example.com or by calling 01369 703206.
If you have seats for the whole day there is no requirement to swap your tickets but please do note the change in time of the competitions.
We apologise for the late change to these events but it was necesarry to ensure the competitions run to time.
Please note there is no change to the competition times for the events on the main platforms.
|2013 Drumming Masterclass |
|Added: 05 Aug 2013|
|Cowal Highland Gathering is delighted to announce that it is to hold two masterclasses with Stephen Creighton, the lead drummer with the award winning St. Laurence O’Toole Grade 1 Pipe Band. |
Stephen has offered to host two masterclass workshops at this year’s event on Friday 30th August. Stephen, from Dublin, has won many solo drumming awards over the years and the St. Laurence O’Toole Pipe Band features regularly in the Grade One top six prize list at the major pipe band championships.
The morning workshop (1100hrs - 1230hrs) will be open to any young person (of school age) who would like to come and try side (snare) drumming and who have no previous experience. All equipment will be supplied by Stephen and there will be no costs associated with attending the class.
The afternoon session (1400hrs - 1530hrs) is open to young drummers who have had some experience and wish to enhance their current skills and learn new skills from one of the world’s top drummers.
Sessions are limited to 20 attendees and places will be allocated on a strictly first come first served basis.
Application forms are available from the Cowal Highland Gathering Office in Hillfoot Street, Dunoon, by e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01369 703206.
|Cowal Highland Gathering Introduce Hill Race|
|Added: 02 Aug 2013|
|Entry to the first Cowal Highland Gathering Hill Run opened yesterday (Thursday 1st August) with an online form available on this website. |
The race which is sponsored by Argyll Financial Services of Ferry Brae, Dunoon, will take place on Saturday 31st August at 1.40pm and will certainly be challenging. With a strict one hour time limit for completing the course, the race will begin in Argyll Street. The athletes will run up John Street before climbing the Camel’s Hump, and will then return along the main road before finishing in the stadium. Prizes will be presented to the winning athletes and everyone taking part will recieve a medal.
And to get the party started early, local ceilidh band Canned Haggis will be performing in the Argyll Gardens bandstand from around 11.30am. They will be joined by Scottish country dancers before a perfromance by a pipe band (details to be confirmed) who will then pipe the runners to the start line at around 1.30pm.
Cowal Highland Gathering chair Ronnie Cairns said: ’We expect this to be a very popular event so would encourage people to get their entry forms completed as soon as possible.’
’We are delighted that Argyll Financial Services are sponsoring the event and believe the hill run is another way we can involve the whole of Dunoon in the Cowal Highland Gathering.’
’it promises to be a very competitive race and we are looking forward to this event becoming an annual fixture in the Cowal Highland gathering weekend.’
Entry costs £5.00 for members of Scottishathletics and £7.00 for non members. Follow the link below to the entry form...... and happy running.
| ||Cowal Highland Gathering Statement Regarding RSPBA Decision|
|Added: 26 Jul 2013|
|The Board of Cowal Highland Gathering has expressed it’s disappointment at the news that it has failed to retain its ’major’ status. |
The announcement was made earlier today by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA).
Cowal Highland Gathering (CHG) Chair Ronnie Cairns said that everyone associated with the event was saddened by the decision.
’Naturally, we are extremely disappointed,’ he said. ’We believe our bid was as strong as it could be, and was significantly enhanced by the improvements to the venue made by Argyll and Bute Council’.
’The event will of course still feature a large pipe band competition, and we now have an excellent opportunity to enhance the Gathering with new attractions which we have not had room for in the past’.
’We will now be able, for instance, to bring in new family attractions for the first time such as a heritage tent, children’s entertainment, kitchen piping events, stunt bike shows and so on.’
The Gathering will still host the Cowal Pipe Band Championships, with bands competing for the world’s oldest and most prestigious pipe band trophies. it will also continue to host the World Highland Dancing Championships, international heavy athletics and traditional wrestling, as well as retaining it’s famous ceilidh tent.
’Far from being the end of the Gathering, this is simply the start of a new era - one which we believe will be every bit as successful as the one which is now coming to an end,’ Ronnie Cairns said.
’We would like to thank all those who have worked with us in supporting our ’major’ bid, in particular Argyll and Bute Council. We will of course continue to work with all our partners to ensure a bright future for the world’s most spectacular Highland Games.’
|Top kids entertainment for Cowal Highland Gathering|
|Added: 17 Jul 2013|
|Children attending this year’s Cowal Highland Gathering will be spoilt for choice when it comes to extra entertainment. |
Among the highlights of the kids entertainment will be Artie Trezise, who spent 30 years as one half of The Singing Kettle - Scotland’s biggest children’s act.
The veteran entertainer will be performing ’Artie’s Tartan Tales’. Instead of a kettle, his only prop will be a tartan trunk filled with souvenirs and trinkets to weave into his traditional but interactive Scottish stories.
Artie will be doing four sessions on Saturday 31st August at 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm. The sessions are free to any child with a stadium ticket.
(Artie’s Tartan Tales are in association with the Daily Record and Specsavers)
For those who are more science minded, Glasgow Science Centre (GSC) will be on hand with its Bodyworks Tour. This ’science on the move’ will feature GSC representatives performing various experiments and shows for kids throughout the Saturday as they move around the event.
Still on a science theme, Edinburgh University will be hosting a stand full of fun free interactive activities for families, including games.
As always the Cowal kids tent will be present again this year with its usual range of kids entertainment featuring puppet shows, magicians, clowns and balloon benders. There is also no charge for admission to this tent once you are in the stadium.
Last , but certainly not least, we are pleased to have Cricket Scotland attending this year offering kids and adults the chance to try the sport.
We are confident there is something for kids of all ages and it will be a special day out for the whole family.......... So book your tickets now.
| ||Competitor Entries Now Closed |
|Added: 02 Jul 2013|
|Please note entries for competing in the highland dancing and solo piping competitions at this year’s Cowal Highland Gathering have now closed and it is not possible to accept any late entries. |
We wish all our registered competitors the best of luck at this year’s event.
| ||Competitor Entries Close 1st July |
|Added: 28 Jun 2013|
|Cowal Highland Gathering wish to remind competitors that the closing date for entering the Highland Dancing and Solo Piping competitions is the 1st July. |
No late entries can be accepted under any circumstances so please ensure your entry is submitted now.
|Top Acts announced for Cowal Gathering Ceilidh Tent|
|Added: 25 Jun 2013|
|The line up for the famous Ceilidh Tent at this year’s Cowal Highland Gathering was revealed yesterday. |
The quartet of acts includes some of the hottest up and coming names on the traditional music scene.
Leading the pack is one of Scotland’s most popular established ceilidh bands, Oban based Skipinnish.
Partners Andrew Stevenston and Angus McPhail have delighted audiences around the world since forming the band in 1999 whilst students at the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Drama and Music. The Skipinnish brand has since expanded to include not just the band but also ceilidh houses in Oban and Fort William, a record company and even its own whisky.
The band’s Cowal line up will be five strong, featuring accordion (Angus McPhail), bagpipes (Andrew Stevenston), bass, vocals, guitar, drums and whistles.
Supporting Skipinnish will be three acts with very different - but equally exciting -approaches to Highland music.
Multi-award winning band Outside Track brings an international flavour to this year’s event, with its members hailing from Canada, Scotland and Ireland.
Formed five years ago, the five strong band has already amassed an enviable haul of awards and has toured extensively in the UK, Europe, Canada and the USA.
The most recent award was Group of the Year at Live Ireland 2012 and at the TIR Irish Music Awards. The bands Scottish accordionist Fiona Black is a BBC Fame Academy Winner and Scottish harpist Allie Robertson is a five times Mod gold medallist and BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year finalist.
The Outside Track combines flute, harp, fiddle, guitar, accordian and vocals in energetic arrangements delivering traditional music with a modern twist. It also incorporates Irish and Canadian Cape Breton Step Dancing.
Also playing in the ceilidh tent will be Reely Jiggered, comprising sisters Alison and Fiona McNeill from Gourock and their cousin Scott Mclean from Glasgow.
Their contemporary take on Highland music features Alison (a BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year semi finalst) on fiddle and vocals, Fiona on guitar and vocals and Scott on drums.
For the Cowal Highland Gathering, the trio - who formed their band in 2008- will be augmented by Emma Murray on pipes and whistle and Hugh Cox on bass.
The fourth band to fire up the ceilidh tent will be Strachur based Heron Valley Ceilidh Band - no strangers to the Cowal Gathering having wowed the crowd with their debut performance last year.
The multi-talented teenagers -siblings Alex and Arlene McKechnie, Iain Wilson and Euan McNab- are now firmly established on the region’s ceilidh circuit.
Between them they perform on piano, accordion, fiddle, pipes (both Scottish small and Highland Bagpipes), box drum, guitar and banjo. Both Iain and Euan are accomplished solo pipers, as well as playing in Grade 1 Inveraray pipe band.
Cowal Highland Gathering chair Ronnie Cairns said: ’We are delighted to have secured such a fantastic line up of entertainment for this year’s ceilidh tent.’
’All four of these bands are dynamic trailblazers for contemporary Highland ceilidh music, and we’re thrilled that gathering spectators will have the chance to enjoy them all in one place, on one day.’
’Skipinnish will also be playing at our family ceilidh the night before, so there’s the chance to see them twice in 24 hours.’
’The announcement of the ceilidh tent acts is just the latest step in the build up to what is promising to be a great event’
|Cowal Highland Gathering Announces 2013 Chieftain|
|Added: 18 Jun 2013|
|One of Scotland’s most respected politicians has been unveiled as the Honorary Chieftain of this year’s Cowal Highland Gathering. |
Rt Hon Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, who was born on the Isle of Islay but spent most of his childhood in Dunoon, will accept the salute from the spectacular massed bands as well as present the trophies in the prestigous Highland Dancing and Pipe Band competitions.
The role of Chieftain is a far cry from selling souvenir programmes for the event, which is what Lord Robertson - a former pupil of Kirn Primary and Dunoon Grammar Schools - did in his younger days.
’It is a huge pleasure and honour for me to be Chieftain of the 2013 Cowal Gathering,’ he said.
’Having lived most of my youth a stones throw away from the stadium and been a games programme seller in the streets in all weathers, it is a true career high point for me.’
’The Cowal Highland Gathering is one of Scotland’s premier events and known throughout the world for its stunning spectacles. To be at it is thrill enough - to be the Chieftain is to achieve a personal pinnacle.’
CHG Chair Ronnie Cairns said: ’we are obviously thrilled to have someone of Lord Robertson’s stature as this year’s Chieftain.’
’He has always been a great supporter of Dunoon and the surrounding area and is proud of his many connections to the town.’
’He remains one of its most high profile sons, and we all very much look forward to welcoming him back to Dunoon for what is shaping up to be a fantastic event.’
|Cowal Highland Gathering Spreads the Word|
|Added: 14 Jun 2013|
|The world’s most spectacular Highland Games is hoping for the best ever turnout after completing a huge leaflet campaign. |
Cowal Highland Gathering (CHG) has just distributed 80,000 leaflets across Scotland’s central belt. They will appear in all major visitor attractions as well as superstores, hotels, service stations, shopping centres, train and bus stations and tourist information centres.
This year’s event, which takes place over the last weekend in August, will feature a classic car show, family ceilidh and fireworks display as well as the full range of highland dancing, piping and heavy athletics competitions.
The leaflets were delivered by Midlothian-based leaflet and poster distribution specialist EAE as in kind sponsorship.
CHG chair Ronnie Cairns said: ’Obviously we are extremely grateful to EAE for their support, which has given our event exposure on a scale which we otherwise could not have afforded to achieve.
’Thanks to EAE up to 80,000 individuals, families, groups or organisations will now have the chance to find out more about what Cowal Highland Gathering is all about, and how easy it is to come to Dunoon and get involved. ’That kind of exposure could have a significant impact on our visitor numbers. All the signs so far are that this is going to be an exciting year, and we’ll obviously continue to look for new innovative ways to promote our event between now and the end of August’.
EAE’s managing director Glen Bennet said his company was delighted to sponsor Cowal Highland Gathering for the third year running.
’We are committed to supporting community events such as this, and we look forward to providing more support in the coming years and extending the profile of the Gathering across the country.’ He added ’Scotland’s community events are many and varied, they are an invaluable addition to our unique cultural landscape and EAE wants to be involved to help ensure they thrive’
The 2013 Cowal Highland Gathering runs from Thursday 29th to Saturday 31st August in Dunoon.
|Friday Night Family Ceilidh Tickets On Sale |
|Added: 06 Jun 2013|
|Tickets for the family ceilidh on the friday night (30th) of the Cowal Gathering are now on sale.|
We are delighted to announce that Skipinnish will be the main act and are guaranteed to have you whirling and wheeling the night away.
Although the ceilidh is a new addition to the Cowal programme it has sold out in each of its first two years so don’t leave it too late to order your tickets.
Remember no babysitter required! its a family ceilidh so bring the kids too, they will enjoy it as much as you.
tickets can be booked at the link below.
| ||2013 Highland Dancing Judging Panel Announced|
|Added: 29 May 2013|
|Cowal Highland Gathering are delighted to announce the judging panel for the highland dancing championships at this year’s Cowal Gathering.|
We are extremely grateful to the various national and international dancing organisations for their assistance with the nomination procedure these include the UKA, BATD, SDTA, ScotDance Canada, FUSTA and the ABHDI.
Details of the juding panel and short biographies are available here.
|Solo Piping Entry Forms Online |
|Added: 01 May 2013|
|Solo Piping entry forms are now available via this website. The link can be found on the right hand side of any page on the competitors side of the website. |
Please be aware that the closing date for entries is the 1st July 2013 and no late entries will beaccepted under any circumstances.
Don’t miss out get your entry submitted today.
|Dancing Entry Forms to go Live |
|Added: 21 Mar 2013|
|Entry forms for the dancing competitions at this year’s Cowal Highland Gathering will go live on Monday 25th March at 12 noon (UK time). |
At this time a link will appear on the website which will direct you to the entry forms.
Please note that the dancing order will once again be decided by a random draw performed under the scrutiny of the SOBHD after entries close and NOT by the 1st to enter last to dance principle.
Competitor numbers and admission passes will be sent out in July.
|2013 Admission and Seating Tickets to go on sale|
|Added: 15 Feb 2013|
|Tickets for the 2013 Cowal Highland Gathering will go on sale on Tuesday 26th February at 12 noon (UK time). |
At this time a link will appear on the website enabling the purchase of admission and seating tickets.
Once an order is placed you should recieve two automatic confirmations. The first confirming the order, the second confirming the payment. If you recieve both of these your order has been successful.
Tickets will then be issued in July 2013.
|2012 DVD |
|Added: 16 Nov 2012|
|Our partners at Cowal Media are delighted to confirm that the DVD of the 2012 Cowal Highland Gathering is now available. |
As in previous years the DVD features footage of the World Highland Dancing Championships, the Grade 1 Pipe band Championships and the Burgh Cup solo piping competition.
Follow this link to the Cowal Media website to order your copy of the 2012 DVD http://www.cowal-media.co.uk/7.html
|Cowal Gathering 2013 Dates|
|Added: 05 Sep 2012|
|The 2013 Cowal Highland Gathering will take place between:|
Thursday 29th August to Saturday 31st August
|Weather looking up|
|Added: 23 Aug 2012|
|Weather is always an interesting factor in Argyll but it looks like the weather is going to be better than expected earlier in the week. There certainly isn’t any chance of it spoiling the event and the slight breeze will keep any midges at bay. |
You may see a shower or two but plenty of dry too.
Follow the link to XC Weather for an update.
|Reminder of Change of Dancing Order on Friday|
|Added: 10 Aug 2012|
|We would like to remind competitors in the Scottish Championships on the Friday That there has had to be a change to the running order. |
Competitors in events 8,9,10 and 11 will now compete in the afternoon and those in 12 and 13 will compete in the morning.
As mentioned in the previous notification we have contacted everyone with either am or pm tickets in the East Stand in order to facilitate swapping tickets.
Once again we apologise for this change but the number of competitors in the older age groups meant it was unavoidable.
|Cowal Ceilidh Dance - The Bill Grows |
|Added: 30 Jul 2012|
|This year the Family Ceilidh Dance, which takes place in the Queens Hall on Friday 24th August, will have even more entertainment for you all to enjoy. |
As well as the excellent Ballochmyle Ceilidh Band, who were a huge success at last year’s sell out dance, the Cowal Pipe Band have also agreed to come back and play a set on the eve of the big competition. On top of this the Cowal Junior Fiddlers have also agreed to play a set on the night.
All of this and the tickets are cheaper than they were last year. £10 for an adult ticket and £4 for a child ticket, under fives are free.
Tickets are on sale now via this website. The ceilidh dance is sure to sell out again this year so don’t miss out - book today.
|BBC Programme on Highland Games |
|Added: 06 Jul 2012|
|BBC Scotland were at last year’s Cowal Gathering and did a lot of filming and interviews whilst there for a programme on Highland Games and competitors. |
The programme is to be shown on BBC1 on Sunday 8th July at 8pm. We hope that there will be plenty of footage from Cowal in the programme but we haven’t seen it yet and will be watching it on Sunday too.
You never know you may see yourself in the background!!
| ||Entries Close tonight (1st July)|
|Added: 01 Jul 2012|
|Today is the last day that you can enter the highland dancing and solo piping competitions for this year’s gathering. |
The entry forms will be removed from the site at 22.00hrs tonight (1st July) and no further entries can be accepted.
Dont miss out, enter now.
|Cowal Gathering introduces second facebook page|
|Added: 20 Jun 2012|
|The 1st Cowal Gathering facebook page now has over 5000 friends and unfortunately we are unable to add new friends. To ensure that people can still still sign up and follow the gathering we have set up a second page. |
Any information posted on the new site will also be posted on the original page and vice versa so no one should miss anything.
Thanks to everyone who has signed up already and to those of you who will.
|Time Running Out to Enter Competitions|
|Added: 14 Jun 2012|
|We are now half way through June and the 1st July deadline for entering the highland dancing and solo piping competitions is getting closer. |
Remember we cannot accept any late entries for either competitions under any circumstances. So please do not leave it to the last minute and risk missing out. Get your entry in now and be sure of your place.
Entry forms are on the competitor side of this website.
|Reminder of Key Dates|
|Added: 01 Jun 2012|
|Please remember that the closing date for entering the highland dancing and solo piping competitions is the 1st July. so you have only 4 weeks left to enter. |
Late entries cannot be accepted so please do not leave it to the last minute and risk missing out. Get your entry in now for peace of mind.
The 1st of June was the final day for the return of any trophies won at last year’s gathering.
If you have not already returned your trophy please arrange to do so now and contact the office to let them know it’s on its way.
| ||Family Ceilidh Dance Tickets Now on Sale|
|Added: 26 Apr 2012|
|Last year’s family ceilidh dance was hugely popular and we are delighted to be hosting another one this year. |
The Queen’s Hall on Friday the 24th August at 7.30pm is the place to be.
By popular demand the Ballochmyle Ceilidh Band will once again be providing the music to dance the night away to.
Tickets are now on sale on the website so click the link and order them now....... don’t leave it too late, last year’s dance sold out.
|Solo Piping Entry Forms to go Live|
|Added: 19 Apr 2012|
|The entry forms for this year’s solo piping competitions will go live on the website on Monday 23rd April at 12 noon (UK time). At this time a link will appear on the competitor pages to take you to the entry forms. |
Closing date for entries is the 1st July 2012 and no late entries can be accepted for any reason.
Please remember to submit your tune selections on your entry form if you are competing in Grade A,B or C.
Grade A need to submit 5 tunes for each event you are entering, Grade B 4 tunes for each event and Grade C 3 tunes for each event.
If you are entering the juvenile events you are not required to submit tunes.
|Cowal Highland Gathering recognised in National Award|
|Added: 17 Apr 2012|
|At the recent National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) annual awards dinner Cowal Highland Gathering was announced as the runner up in the NOEA Scotland Award. The NOEA say ’this award aims to give recognition to those events which have achieved the highest levels of excellence or have made a major contribution to the professionalism of the event industry in Scotland’ |
Cowal Gathering Event Manager, Malcolm Barclay, said ’we are absolutely delighted to have been recognised in such a prestigous award. Although we would have loved to have won, there is no shame in being runner up to an event of the calibre of the Royal Highland Show and to be runner up is still a major achievement, particularly when you consider some of the other huge events held in Scotland in the last 12 months. This announcement is a huge boost to our small team of staff and volunteers that bring the event together each year. I want to thank all of our volunteers, event partners, Argyll and Bute Council, our sponsors, competitors and visitors for their continued support.
Tom Clements, Chairman of NOEA Scotland, commented ’this year’s standard was tremendous and it is a great shame that we couldn’t have two winners, but Cowal Highland Gathering must be congratulated in being the runners up and indeed for producing a wonderful event, enjoyed by many as well as having a profound impact on the local Dunoon economy.
The Cowal Highland Gathering takes place annually in August in Dunoon, Argyll and Bute and is supported by Argyll and Bute Council.
Donald MacVicar, Argyll and Bute Council’s head of community and culture said ’this is great news, and a huge achievement for what is by some distance the biggest event in Argyll and Bute’s calendar.’
’The Cowal Highland Gathering is almost 120 years old, and is now in the diaries of many of the world’s top highland games competitors. Over each of the last few years the event has boasted some 3,500 competitors from as far afield as Canada, Australia and South Africa, and Dunoon and the surrounding area regularly welcomes 15,000 - 20,000 visitors for the three day show.’
’it is a vital contributor to the Cowal economy, as well as one of the country’s best loved and most spectacular highland gatherings. We are delighted that it challenged an event of the calibre of the Royal Highland Show for this coveted award, and we look forward to the Cowal Highland Gathering continuing to go from strength to strength in the future.’
|Dancing Entries Going Live|
|Added: 15 Mar 2012|
|Entry forms for all dancing events at this year’s Cowal Highland Gathering will be available on this website from Tuesday 20th March at 12 noon (uk time). |
At this time a link will appear on the competitors pages of the site taking you to the entry forms.
Please read the information on these pages carefully because some of the event numbers have changed.
Competitor numbers will be allocated by a random, automated draw done after the closing date and not using the "first to enter last to dance" principle.
Entries will close on the 1st July 2012 and no late entries will be accepted for any reason.
|Dancing Competition Entries|
|Added: 06 Mar 2012|
|The Entry forms for the dancing competitions at this year’s Cowal Gathering will be available on the website around the middle of March. |
The exact date will be confirmed on the site very shortly.
Watch here for more information very soon.
|Tickets soon to be released|
|Added: 10 Feb 2012|
|I am pleased to confirm that seating and admission tickets for this year’s Cowal Gathering will go on sale on Thursday 16th February at 12 noon (uk time). |
As in previous years payments will be processed via Paypal for the security of your payment details, however, you do not need to have a Paypal account to pay in this way. Just have your debit/credit card to hand and follow the instructions.
|New website launched|
|Added: 05 Feb 2012|
|New look website launches for the 2012 season|
|Cowal Gathering Shortlist Award|
|Added: 07 Nov 2011|
|Cowal Gathering has made the last 2 in the prestigious NOEA Scotland Award. Winner to be announced in March at the NOEA awards ceremony.|
|Get the Free Cowal Gathering Travel App
|View the Cowal Gathering