More dancers than ever sign up for Cowal Gathering - Cowal Highland Gathering
25th - 27th August 2022


News  »  More dancers than ever sign up for Cowal Gathering

More dancers than ever sign up for Cowal Gathering

A record number of the world’s best Highland Dancers are preparing to travel to Dunoon next month for the world’s biggest highland dancing extravaganza.

An incredible 720 dancers have entered this year’s event, easily beating last year’s total – which was itself a record - of 684.

Cowal Highland Gathering(CHG) hosts both the Scottish and World Highland Dancing Championships, and is the most popular and spectacular highland dancing competition on the planet.

A large proportion of this year’s entrants will have travelled thousands of miles to take part, including 105 dancers from Canada (up from 90 last year), 34 from the USA (up from 21), 18 from Australia, six from South Africa and two from New Zealand. In addition there will be nine competitors from Northern Ireland, 16 from England and an enormous 529 from Scotland.

Almost all the dancers will be accompanied by supporters, meaning the CHG looks to be on course for a record year in terms of spectator as well as contestant numbers. It’s not just the dancing which has seen an increase in entrants.

The solo piping numbers are up as well, with 77 competitors having signed up this year. CHG chair Ronnie Cairns said a record number of dancing entrants for the third successive year reflected the esteem in which CHG is held by the global Highland dancing community. ‘Cowal is rightly seen as the pinnacle in any Highland dancer’s competitive career. It’s the ultimate prize in a competition calendar which takes some of these dancers around the world,” he added. “It’s great news for our ticket holders that our reputation is encouraging more dancers than ever before to make the journey to Dunoon this year. Our spectators are in for a real feast of spectacle and skill, with the world’s very best dancers battling it out to take a piece of coveted Cowal silverware home with them.

“As always, of course, the Gathering boasts many, many more attractions than the dancing competitions and we’re delighted to have a record number of solo piping entries this year as well.

“On top of that we have the famous pipe bands’ competitions, as well as the heavy athletics and all the other elements which together make CHG one of Scotland’s ‘must do’ annual family attractions.

“We are now in the final preparations for what promises to be an unforgettable weekend of action and fun, and we’re looking forward to welcoming thousands of competitors and spectators to Dunoon for the Gathering weekend.”

Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: “Cowal Highland Gathering has been a highlight of our Beacon Events Programme for many years now and we have been delighted to watch it develop and grow. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, particularly events such as this which highlight our unique culture in 2017, Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.”

Entries have now opened for the CHG 5K race and also the infamous Cowal Hill Race. For information, to enter a race or to book tickets, please visit the Gathering’s website at or contact the event office by emailing or phoning 01369 703206.

This year’s Cowal Highland Gathering runs from Thursday 24 – Saturday 26 August 2017.