Mountain festival will go ahead next year

The Witches Step guided walk at the last festival in 2019.

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Having skipped a year for the first time in its 14-year history, the Arran Mountain Festival has confirmed it is to go ahead next year.

The date of the festival has been confirmed as May 14 to 17, and organisers have put in place a robust, Covid-secure, programme of walks and other events for 2021, to be launched next month.

Organising committee chairman Alastair Howe told the Banner: ‘Taking every possible step to ensure there will be a festival next year, the worst case scenario envisages that the congregational elements of previous festivals such as tea and cake on the return to base and communal transport to and from the walks themselves will fall by the wayside for the coming year.

‘That said, if the Covid climate improves enough then as much as possible in the way of events and socials will be re-instated.

‘The walks themselves have been revised to start and finish at the same place, something the organisers haven’t been able to avoid given the nature of time in the hills.

‘Arranging walks around bus timetables was also considered, but ruled out on safety grounds.

‘This unfortunately means that participants will have to make their own way to the start point of walks, some of which will be distant from Arran’s population centres, but a number will still be accessible to those who do not have access to their own transport.

‘In addition to walks, for a range of abilities and interests, it is also planned to have some fell running and mountain biking available to festival participants.

‘Keep an eye here in the Banner and also on the Arran Mountain Festival website and social media pages for updates and a programme to be launched next month.’