The festival began in 1984, when its aims were to encourage young talent to
participate in and develop the traditional arts of music and dance of the highlands
and islands of Scotland.
Since then the event has developed to include new special events and competitions,
and the festival now offers over 1100 participants 125 competition classes in twelve
disciplines including piping, accordion, fiddle, clarsach, piano, recorder, woodwind &
brass, singing, Scottish country dancing, highland dancing and choreography.
Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival 2011 concert
In addition to the many competition classes, the festival hosts a number
of special events annually, including:
The Highlands and Islands Fiddle and Accordion Masters featuring
prize-winning fiddle and accordion players from the main competition championships
The Scottish Area Highland Dancing Finals, the culmination of the whole yearís
competition circuit, featuring seventeen teams, and the only highland dancing team
event to be held in the world!
The Scottish Choreography Challenge featuring two days of entertainment of the
highest standard. Teams of dancers compete for prestigious prizes using innovative
dance routines incorporating traditional highland dancing steps, sound and lighting
effects, dazzling costume and scenery.
A fine spectacle, with a number of pipe bands marching through Oban for the
enjoyment of residents and visitors.
The Concert of Champions which presents winners from the competitions in a
musical variety show of very high quality, followed by the Festival Fling, when
competitors, family and friends dance into the wee small hours to a traditional
Scottish dance band.