Oban music and dance festival entries sought

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Calling all budding musicians and dancers. The Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival will be held this year in Oban from Friday May 4 to Sunday May 6.

This year the festival celebrates its 35th anniversary and they hope to beat our recent participation numbers of 1,100 entries in the 125 competitions. Organisers are looking for budding Highland dancers, fiddlers, pipers, pianists, accordion and clarsach players, and not forgetting those proficient in woodwind and brass, to come along and show their talents.

Each year the festival have performers from all over Scotland and are hoping some of the terrific musical talent on Arran will take part. They even have their first entry from Germany.

The festival brings many venues in Oban alive with live music, and outdoor performers, in the heart of the town.  The festival promotes a long tradition in music and dance but also introduces innovation through our group dancing competitions and novelty from the individual. Argyll is rich in musical and dance heritage and the festival provides a great outlet for this. Organised by volunteers, the committee has been proud to attract over 3,000 visitors to the town which is a welcome boost to the local economy through hotels, restaurants and travel.

Festival chairwoman Breege Smyth said: ‘The festival has retained a unique family feel that is the hallmark of true Highland hospitality, and despite the competitive nature of the programme. Each year I am delighted that our funders and the businesses of Oban share our passion and are generous in support – particularly as we have been going to 35 years.’ This year’s festival is supported by EventScotland.

To enter visit the website: www.obanfestival.org – but you’ll have to be quick as entries close on Monday March 19. Please check the website for the grading required – certain Masters events are for prize winners only.