OBAN LIVE taking a break in 2020 – Statement from event founders Skerryvore

We are today confirming that Oban Live will be taking a break in 2020 after four amazing years off the back of our 10th anniversary concert ‘Decade’ in 2015. This decision was not taken easily but sadly was one that was ultimately inevitable due to the lack of development and improvement of Mossfield Stadium and the annual issues that remain with regards to making the site acceptable for a major event like Oban Live. We can no longer keep absorbing the huge costs and risks associated with hosting this event while the facilities deteriorate and costs increase. We had set a deadline of 31st May to Argyll & Bute Council for a clear update on two key questions regarding Mossfield and event funding – once again we have not received a reply and without that information we simply cannot make plans for Oban Live 2020.

In the past four years, we have proved that Oban is an amazing host town for a major event. We have seen visitors travel from all over the world to be part of Oban Live and the fantastic atmosphere in the town. Over 25,000 people have passed through the gates of Mossfield and helped generate an economic impact of over £6million to the town and region. Our ticket sales have consistently remained high year after year, including a complete sell out in 2015 and 2019, reflecting the repeat demand for a high quality, well produced annual concert in Oban.

In these past four years, both members of the band and the event team have attended numerous meetings with Argyll & Bute Council, sanctioned independent reports and provided stats, figures and suggestions with regard to the development of Mossfield. Despite this, making Mossfield event ready for Oban Live 2019 was more problematic than it was for the first concert in 2015 as no improvements had been made and accessibility had become worse. With no confirmation from the council with regards to development or funding going forward then we have no option but to place Oban Live on hold.

The £15,000 funding we received from Argyll & Bute Council’s Strategic Events & Festivals Fund for Oban Live 2019 is gratefully received and enabled the event to go ahead for 2019. However, this sum represents less than 5% of the cost of running Oban Live. In the past four years we have paid Argyll & Bute Council £35,808 for the hire of Mossfield and various council services. In total, we have spent over £1.5million to deliver Oban Live with the hope that we could work towards a sustainable event held at a vastly improved Mossfield that would have its rightful place as a key asset to the Oban Community for various organisations, groups and events.

We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to our Oban Live team, our sponsors, partners and volunteers who have helped us deliver Argyll’s largest music concert in the past four years. An extra special thanks has to go to BID4Oban who have been our key partner every year and enabled the event to deliver significant economic benefits to the Oban business community on a non-holiday weekend.

Our final thanks is to the community of Oban. Back in 2005, when we started Skerryvore, we had a dream to host a ‘stadium gig’ and for the past four years you have made those dreams come true and have been the best hosts for all our followers that have travelled to Oban to be part of what has been the best moments of our career. We sincerely hope that we’ll be back in Oban and Mossfield again in the future when the time is right.

However, the show must go on. 2020 marks the 15th anniversary of Skerryvore and we are already planning something special in Scotland so please mark 6th June 2020 in your diaries and we look forward to sharing the next exciting chapter with you all soon.



Oban Live 2019 a sell out success

Oban Live, Argyll’s biggest outdoor live music concert, has been hailed a huge success after the two-day event completely sold out on its final and second day.

5,000 unique tickets were sold at this year’s event with attendance figures reaching 8,640, their biggest attendance rate since it began in 2016.

The award-winning cultural party played host to thousands of visitors from all over the world who travelled to Oban to witness an eclectic line-up of incredible ‘Trad’, rock and pop artists in the rural stadium sized setting.

Closing the 2019 concert on Saturday with their phenomenal energetic set were event hosts and international trad-fusion band Skerryvore. Runrig’s Iain Bayne made a guest appearance and back to join them by popular demand were Oban High School Pipe Band. Together they sent goosebumps around the arena with their performance of Skerryvore’s Home to Donegal. They then returned on stage for an epic encore of Skerryvore’s The Rise and Soraidh Slan to close the event in a spectacular fashion complete with LED drum sticks.

Friday’s line-up featured JigJam, Be Charlotte, Elephant Sessions and international headliners Red Hot Chilli Pipers, who launched their brand new album Fresh Air at the event.

Penultimate act The Celtic Brotherhood saw Irish quartet We Banjo 3 and event founders Skerryvore reunite on stage on Friday following their joint North American tour last year. Their entertaining Bagpipes versus Banjos campaign caused a comedy social media storm during their tour together. When the Oban Live audience were asked from the stage by We Banjo 3 which of the two instruments they preferred, it was a clear winner as the whole arena cheered at the mention of bagpipes.

The Caman Connection featured a star-studded line-up of Scottish traditional musicians who have an association with the sport of Shinty. The exclusive Oban Live collaboration showcased the songs, lyrics and melodies that feature or have been inspired by the sport.

The group was lead by Scottish musician, broadcaster and former Scotland Shinty captain Gary Innes, who was joined by Iain Bayne (Runrig), Donald Shaw (Capercaillie), Mischa MacPherson, Fergie MacDonald (The Ceilidh King), Ewen Henderson (Mànran), Alec Dalglish (Skerryvore) and Steve Byrnes, all donning their shinty colours and strips to celebrate the occasion

Also joining the Saturday line-up were Talisk, Lucy Spraggan and We Banjo 3 who played their only Scottish gig this year at Oban Live.

Kicking off the event each day were winners of the Scottish Sea Farms Oban Live Unsigned competition Argyll Ceilidh Trail who played Friday and Edinburgh rock band DMS who opened the show on Saturday.

Oban Live supported Martyns Monday Club this year, a local organisation that provide mental health support groups in the town. They were raising awareness at the event by handing out wristbands to the audience as well as many of the 2019 artists.

A jam-packed Fringe Programme with live music and special events took place across the town of Oban over the weekend to entertain the thousands of visitors coming for the music concert.

Organisers have thanked their amazing team of crew, volunteers and staff for their hard work and also expressed thanks to their sponsors, partners and the local community for their support to help deliver Argyll’s largest music concert.


One week to go: Oban gearing up for thousands expected at local music festival

Oban is gearing up to welcome thousands of visitors next week to Argyll’s biggest outdoor live music event, Oban Live.

Taking place at Oban’s famous shinty grounds Mossfield Stadium on June 7 and 8, the award-winning two-day music concert enters its fourth year running in 2019. Running off-peak in early June, the 5,000 capacity event brings significant social, cultural and economic benefits to the town and, in 2018, injected a £1.4million boost to Oban’s economy.

This year’s impressive line-up includes Oban Live founders Skerryvore, Red Hot Chilli Pipers, We Banjo 3, Lucy Spraggan, Be Charlotte, Elephant Sessions and more.

Exclusive features include The Caman Connection, a celebration of songs that were written about Shinty, featuring a star-studded line-up of Scottish traditional musicians who have an association with the sport. Also reuniting at Oban Live is the Celtic Brotherhood, a collaboration between Skerryvore and Irish blue grass quartet We Banjo 3. The two bands caused a comedy storm on social media during their joint American tour last year as they fought for votes in their widely popular Bagpipes versus Banjo campaign.

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Scots music stars ‘Caman’ together for shinty song showcase at Oban Live

A star-studded line-up of Scottish traditional musicians who have an association with the sport of Shinty are coming together as The Caman Connection exclusively at next month’s Oban Live music concert in the famous Shinty grounds of Mossfield Stadium.

From Shinty anthem Clash of the Ash by Runrig to Fergie MacDonald’s The Shinty RefereeThe Caman Connection will showcase the songs, lyrics and melodies that feature or have been inspired by the sport.

Being no stranger to Mossfield Stadium both on the pitch and on the Oban Live stage, the collaboration is lead by Scottish musician, broadcaster and former Scotland Shinty captain Gary Innes. Gary, who was just recently announced as the first Camanachd Cup Ambassador, will be joined by Iain Bayne (Runrig), Donald Shaw (Capercaillie), Mischa MacPherson, Fergie MacDonald (The Ceilidh King), Ewen Henderson (Mànran), Alec Dalglish (Skerryvore) and Steve Byrnes.

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Oban Distillery and Oban Live team up for dram good VIP offer

Oban Distillery will sponsor the VIP area at Argyll’s biggest outdoor live music concert Oban Live this June, the event has announced.

Described by the event as an “exciting and very fitting partnership’, the distillery and tourism attraction, which is less than a mile away from the event’s Mossfield Stadium venue, are gearing up to showcase their globally renowned Oban 14 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky to Oban Live VIP ticket holders.

The complete VIP ticket package includes a free Oban Scotch Whisky Cocktail on arrival, a VIP arrivals desk, access to the VIP area, access to the VIP bar and luxury toilets, an exclusive VIP lanyard and free guaranteed entry before midnight to the Official After party at The View, Oban.

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Scottish Sea Farms and Oban Live team up in nationwide talent hunt

Argyll’s biggest outdoor live music concert Oban Live has teamed up with leading salmon grower Scottish Sea Farms to give talented musicians the opportunity to win a stage slot at the rural stadium gig this June. 

The winners will join a whole stream of international Celtic, rock and folk acts confirmed for the 2019 event, attended by thousands on June 7 & 8, including Skerryvore, We Banjo 3, Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Lucy Spraggan and more. 

The new Scottish Sea Farms Unsigned Oban Live campaign launched on social media on Tuesday night and is now open for entries. Two slots at Oban Live 2019 are up for grabs, with one winning act being from the local area of Oban and one from the rest of Scotland. A panel of judges will select a shortlist from each category and then it will be up to the public to vote for the winners.  

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Festival partner BID4Oban joins search for Oban Live Fringe Partners

BID4Oban and Oban Live are inviting Oban businesses to get involved in the music concert’s Fringe Programme this year, running from Thursday June 6 to Sunday June 9.

The Fringe Partners project comes as business improvement district group BID4Oban has confirmed it will back Oban Live for a fourth year running, providing key financial and administration support for the cultural event.

At last year’s Oban Live Fringe, a number of Oban’s bars, cafes, shops and activity providers put on a range of events and special offers over Oban Live weekend. Oban Live ticket holders took advantage of added entertainment, including live music, in many pubs and cafes as well as special discounts in the town’s shops.

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Oban Live announces Scottish exclusive in 2019 line-up reveal

Argyll’s biggest outdoor live music event Oban Live will be the only place in Scotland in 2019 to see multi-award winning Irish quartet We Banjo 3. Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Lucy Spraggan, Elephant Sessions, Talisk and JigJam are also amongst the first confirmed acts to join headliners Skerryvore at their signature event next year.

Tickets are on sale now for the award-winning Oban concert, taking place on Friday June 7 and Saturday June 8 at the town’s Mossfield Stadium.

As well as performing their own energetic set of Irish, bluegrass and old-time sounds on the Friday, We Banjo 3, described as one of the best live acts to come out of Ireland in recent years, will also reunite with international trad-fusion Scots band Skerryvore for a special collaboration on the Saturday. The two bands caused a comedy storm on social media during their joint American tour earlier this year as they fought for votes in their widely popular Bagpipes versus Banjo campaign.

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Oban Live awarded Best Cultural Event

Argyll’s biggest outdoor live music event, Oban Live, scooped Best Cultural Event or Festival at the 2018 Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards in Inverness last Friday. The win comes just days before Early Bird tickets for the 2019 event go on sale on Saturday, November 10.

Daniel Gillespie, Managing Director for Oban Live and Skerryvore Co-Founder said: “Oban Live is absolutely delighted to win this award. We remember very clearly debating what we should do to celebrate Skerryvore’s 10th Anniversary in 2015 and whether we would be able to convince a couple of thousand people to come to an outdoor event in a shinty field in Oban. Now almost 5 years later we are so proud that this single concert has gone on to become Argyll’s largest live music event that brings in significant economic, social and cultural benefits to the town. A huge thanks to the local community and all of the amazing artists, bands, staff, volunteers and attendees who have joined us on this incredible journey. Here’s to OBAN LIVE 2019 being the biggest and best yet.”

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