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Experience the best of Scottish island culture

Heb Celt site

Island events are some of the best experiences you've yet to have. Whether you're taking in an annual rural show, or you're off to one of a number of internationally acclaimed music festivals - you will be in for a treat. The atmosphere will be warm, your hosts will be the friendliest, and the backdrop will probably take your breath away. We've rounded up some ideas on some events that could be, perhaps should be, on your next island itinerary.


Hebridean Dark Skies Festival - March 2025

The Hebridean Dark Skies Festival hopes to make a return in the Outer Hebrides in March. Led by An Lantair, the programme is packed with arts and astronomy events, with live music, film, art, theatre, talks - and of course stargazing.

dark skies


Fèis Ìle 24 May - 01 June 2024

féis (pronounced faysh) is a community-based festival - and as the name suggests Fèis Ìle or the Islay Festival is a ten-day celebration of everything that makes the isle of Islay so special. Usually held in the last week of May through to early June, it attracts whisky enthusiasts and general fans of the island from all over the world.

Feis Ile


Sound of Iona Music Festival 21 - 22 June 2024

Brand new to the calendar in June 2024 is the Sound of Iona Music Festival - a wonderful mix of modern folk to indie rock, all staged in the glorious beauty of the Iona landscape.  It is billed as a unique gathering of artists and music enthusiasts not to be missed.



Tiree Music Festival 12-14 July 2024

This award-winning festival has graced the shores of Tiree - the Hawaii of the North - for a number of years. The brainchild of locals Stewart MacLennan and Skerryvore's Daniel Gillespie, it too is a unique and beautiful location for a music and culture festival. Daniel came up with the idea - after performing at festivals the world over, he felt sure his home island could play the perfect host. He was right - and so much so, the event is a sell out each year.


Check out our playlist
Escape to paradise with this ultimate island vibes playlist


Fèis An Eilein - Skye Festival 19 July - 01 August 2024

The Skye Festival -  Fèis An Eilein takes place annually in July - and delivers an island wide celebration of music and performance. Welcoming some of Scotland's finest artists ranging from ceilidh to dub reggae, classical to folk and traditional sounds, there's often family friendly arts too - ensuring that it's an event that caters to all ages, beautifully.

Jura Music Festival


ButeFest 26-28 July 2024

Each year, ButeFest gives a weekend of non-stop live music on the island of Bute. All the events take place in the very pretty Ettrick Bay. It has a family friendly feel - with circus performers and magic shows often on the bill, as well as live music. And at the time of writing, under 13s go free.


Check out our playlist
Escape to paradise with this ultimate island vibes playlist



HebCelt - Fèis Cheilteach Innse Gall 17-20 July 2024

Heb Celt - Fèis Cheilteach Innse Gall - the Hebridean Celtic Festival has been a favourite fixture for over twenty years. Taking place in Lewis each July, the internationally renowned festival attracts visitors from all over the world, yet keeps a lovely community feel, through a programme of events which shine a light on Gaelic and traditional music.

HebCelt site

Check out our playlist
Escape to paradise with this ultimate island vibes playlist


Cowal Highland Gathering 29-31 August 2024

Throughout the summer months, you'll find plenty of local Highland Games and Gatherings taking place throughout Scotland's west coast. The largest is the Cowal Highland Gathering in Dunoon, on the Cowal Peninsula. It's scheduled for the end of August each year and has been a fixture for over 100 years. It welcomes guests and participants from all over the globe for everything you'd expect at an event like this. At Cowal, you'll enjoy Scottish and World Highland Dancing championships, athletics, piping - as well as motoring and biking events.

Highland Games


Brodick Highland Games 10 August 2024

Arran's  Brodick Highland Games are a firm August fixture too and a fine example of the local games mentioned above. Taking place on the Saturday after the Arran show - which is another fine event not to be missed. Dancing, piping, sport, food and drink enthusiasts will be in for a treat.

Highland Games


Millport Vintage Scooter Rally 23- 25 August 2024

On the scenic isle of Cumbrae, the  vintage scooter rally is scheduled for late August. It's described best as a celebration of retro and vintage scooters - and delivers a great weekend out whether you're a scooter expert or new to the genre.

Millport Scooter Rally


Mendelssohn on Mull 8 - 12 September 2024

A Scottish chamber music festival , taking place each September, filled with workshops and free public concerts in a wide variety of venues on Mull and Iona, from the tiny Creich Church near Fionnphort, to the grand Duart Castle near Craignure and the beautiful and renowned Iona Abbey. Inspired by the composer Mendelssohn's love of Mull, Iona, and Staffa, which led him to compose the famously popular Hebridean Overture. The festival offers a stage to musicians starting out, who are supported and mentored by those more experienced.



Royal National Mòd 11-19 October 2024

The annual Royal National Mòd , organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach (The Highland Association) takes each autumn, in a different west coast venue each year. A gathering of performers and audiences - it's designed to promote the Gaelic language and culture - through music, song, dance, drama, sport, and literature. Look out for the sequence of smaller, local mods from Mull and Islay to Lewis and Harris which also take place annually - each one is a perfect way to enjoy the very best of Gaelic culture.

ferry coming into Oban


Isle of Mull Rally 11-13 October 2024

This dramatic  closed road rally competition takes place each October on the isle of Mull. 133 miles. 150 cars.  It's a huge adrenaline fuelled test and a formidable display of skill in this rugged landscape.

Mull Rally


Tiree Wave Classic 12-18 October 2024

Autumn also heralds the world's oldest professional wave sailing / surfing event - the Tiree Wave Classic . It happens here because the island experiences the UK's highest wind ratings - which produces incredible surf conditions for those brave and experienced enough to take part.



Festival of Small Halls 18-30 November 2024

Usually centred around Saint Andrew's Day, the  festival is a celebration of traditional island life and fantastic music - with traditional musicians performing the old way, in small, and sometimes remote village halls across Skye and Raasay in late November.

Portree street view by Kenny Lam


Faclan - The Hebridean Book Festival 31 October - 1 November 2024 TBC

Faclan  has been running for more than 15 years and takes place during the Celtic festival of Samhain at An Lanntair, in Stornoway. Each year it draws a crop of some really top-quality writers - including Booker Prize winners and generally well-kent faces from the literary world.


Start planning your next event
So - there you have it. Literature, music, sport, history. Island events offer the best way to really immerse yourself in the culture of this part of the world. Build one into your next visit, and you'll be creating a memory that will last a lifetime. One more thing though.... Enjoy!

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