Isle of Colonsay Main Annual Festivals

Scalasaig, Colonsay

Scalasaig, Colonsay

Three of the main cultural events in Colonsay likely to attract enthusiastic visitors to the island are the Festival of Spring, the Folk Festival and the newly created Connect with Colonsay event. In addition to the festivals, weekly celidhs are held during the Summer months.

Colonsay’s Festival of Spring

Colonsay is host to a relatively new festival – the Festival of Spring. The May weather on Colonsay is frequently glorious and the days are long, making this a true celebration of the best of the milder seasons. The Festival of Spring usually includes painting, cooking and nature-spotting, with experienced lecturers leading activities, walks and talks. Past festival programmes have included tours round Colonsay House, wild food foraging and cooking, creating art from nature, painting, wool and felting, bridge tutorials, golf tournament, concerts and celidhs. Each annual programme is likely to include sessions or workshops on baking, landscape painting, history and archaeology, photography, stone carving and knitting as well as guided walks round farmland, and walks of wildflower discovery.

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Connect with Colonsay

2013 saw the beginnings of the first Connect with Colonsay event, likely to be annually repeated each Autumn. Each year will be given a different theme.

Ceòl Cholasa, Colonsay’s Folk Festival

The Folk Festival is usually held in mid-September each year, the final act finishing just in time to allow festival goers to take the ferry back to the mainland. Historically, many major names in the fields of folk and traditional music have performed, and are set to return for the forseeable future.

The history of the festival is interesting – two islanders, fed up with the lack of well-known musicians who were prepared to perform on the island, requested funding for a music festival. The funding was supplied and they held their first event later that very year – in September 2008. This was the first of a great many successful festivals. Amazingly, usually within a month of each event finishing, the following year’s event has sold out – even before tickets have been released or the line-up announced!

Festival fans travel from far and wide – Germany, America, Canada and Australia, to name but a few places – and return year after year. The Colonsay Hotel acts as the Festival’s club and hosts live sessions till the early hours of the morning.

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Incidentally, this festival’s organisers are also sponsors of the music festival held in Darvel – at the Eastern end of the Irvine Valley, East Ayrshire.

Where to stay during Colonsay’s Festivals

We are proud to offer the visitor to Colonsay a wide choice of accommodation to ensure a stay on the island that is comfortable and pleasant, but do ensure you book as early as you can for events such as these.

See below for more information on the inspiring array of Colonsay accommodation we are proud to offer.