Plug pulled on Isle of Gigha music festival

The Isle of Gigha held the music festival - thought to be Scotland's smallest - successfully for 12 years. Picture Stephen Mansfield
The Isle of Gigha held the music festival - thought to be Scotland's smallest - successfully for 12 years. Picture Stephen Mansfield
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THE PLUG has been pulled from one of Scotland’s most remote music festivals - despite it selling out for the last few years.

The Isle of Gigha Music Festival was launched 12 years ago in the wake of the community buyout of the island.

However problems raising funding for the event and a shortage of volunteers has meant next year’s festival - reputed to be the smallest in the country - has been cancelled.

Just six islanders helped run the event, which has attracted some of the biggest names in the Celtic and folk world in Scotland, including Karine Polwart, Lau, Blazin’ Fiddles, Treacherous Orchestra and Karen Matheson.

However it is understood funding agency Creative Scotland rejected a plea for support on the grounds that the event was “too small.”

Although the village hall has a capacity of just 150, the annual influx of more than 200 revellers more than doubled the Hebridean island’s population.

A statement issued by festival said: “In all, it takes about 1200-1500 volunteer hours to organise the festival. In 2015 most of us have really high levels of personal commitments and are simply not going to have the time to organise a full festival. There are also problems with our lack of success in obtaining funding, having had bids declined this last year. The festival needs an arts subsidy to survive.”

Gigha’s event is the latest festival to either be shelved or put on hold in the last 12 months. Others include the Big Tent Festival in Fife, the Insider Festival near Aviemore and Rockness, on the banks of Loch Ness.

Jayne Miller, one of the six volunteers behind the Gigha festival, told The Scotsman: “The funding situation is the main problem. If we could get a grant of around £5000 it it would make a huge difference.

“The event never makes a profit, we have to raise the funding ourselves every year to pay to bring the bands over. However we are hoping to bring the event back in 2016.”