A WEST coast town dubbed “Scotland’s gateway to the isles” is to get its own annual music festival.
The two-day Oban Live event will be held over two days in May following the success of a special 10th anniversary concert staged by folk-rock outfit Skerryvore earlier this year.
The Hebridean folk-rock outfit, who attracted 6000 fans from around the world to the town’s Mossfield Stadium, say the response from the audience has persuaded them to try to stage an annual event there.
Skerryvore made the announcement about the new festival in Oban during the Royal National Mod, which has returned there this year. The first bands are expected to be announced in the next few weeks when early-bird tickets will go on sale for the festival, which will be staged from 13-14 May.
Members of the band are already involved in the hugely-successful Tiree Music Festival, which has been running since 2010, but was hit by bad weather this summer, when the site had to be evacuated by high winds.
They have revealed that their all-day “Decade” concert in May generated an estimated £1.1 for the Argyll economy and are predicting that figure will double next year, with an extra day added and plans to raise the capacity of the site.
Daniel Gillespie, one of the founder members of the band, said feedback from audience members who had travelled from all over the world had sparked the idea of a regular festival in Oban.
He added: “Decade will be a concert we will never forget and we were all completely overwhelmed by the turnout and support.
“What we didn’t except is for 99 per cent of attendees to want to do it all again. We’ve been very busy since the anniversary concert, but it also gave us some time to assess the event and the feedback from those attending.
“Following much discussion and thought, we’re delighted to launch Oban Live – an event to celebrate the town, the community and the incredible atmosphere of Oban.”
Oban councillor Roddy McCuish said: “There are very few locations on the west coast that have the infrastructure for an event of this size and the potential for it to grow.
“Skerryvore’s Decade event proved that it was possible in Oban and we are delighted that they are committed to helping build on that initial success.
“There are tremendous opportunities and possibilities to develop Oban Live to be a continuing success with fringe events and incorporating all the aspects of the economic benefits for the area.”