COLONSAY? WHERE’S THAT THEN?
Colonsay is a small island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, located north of Islay and south of Mull. It is home to just over 100 hardy souls. We have one hotel, one shop and one café. But we also have a host of award winning beaches, unique flora and fauna, an 18 hole golf course, two gin distilleries and one of the best wee music festivals in the country!
The Colonsay website is the place to go if you want to know more.
SOUNDS LIKE AN AMAZING WEE PLACE. SO WHEN IS THE FESTIVAL EXACTLY?
Ceòl Cholasa 2021 will run from the evening of Thursday 16th September until late afternoon on Sunday 19th September.
UNDERSTOOD. WHO’S PLAYING?
Only the hottest names in the traditional music scene! Just that we can’t tell you who yet…
Like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter to be the first to know who will be gracing our wee stage in 2021.
SO, WHAT’S THE FORMAT?
Ceòl Cholasa is not a big outdoor camping festival, full of mud and boozed up punters. It’s a small, intimate festival. You will be one of a maximum of only 250 people seeing these amazing bands up close. A festival to enjoy an unspoilt jewel of the Hebrides as well as first class traditional music. It’s a festival to catch up with old friends, make lots of new ones and hang out with the artists themselves. Everyone is here for the weekend and everyone is here for a good time.
The concerts take place at our lovely hall in the main settlement of Scalasaig. These are split into afternoon (usually around 2pm – 5pm) and evening (roughly 7.30pm – 11pm) sessions.
The hotel, a mere 5 minute walk away, plays host to some more informal lunchtime sessions, concerts on Friday afternoon and, most importantly, the festival club. This is a late night (early morning!) free-for-all session that starts as soon as gigs end at the hall. Expect to find the professionals playing together with the budding amateurs into the wee sma’ hours. Grab a drink from the bar, fire up your instrument of choice and join in the fun.
None of the official concerts are scheduled to start at the same time as one another. So if there’s a gig at the hotel, you’re not missing out on anything at the hall and vice versa. Of course the informal sessions may keep going right thru the afternoon. And the festival club may get started before the last note has been played at the hall, but you’ll never have to um and err about who to see.
There are also workshops hosted by the artists themselves and our famous Late Night Ceòl Ceilidh on Saturday night.
TWO DISTILLERIES YOU SAY? SO WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO EAT AND DRINK WHEN I’M THERE?
Colonsay Beverages run a very popular bar at the hall. Situated upstairs, it offers a great alternative from which to view proceedings. They serve all their own beers, as well as their award winning Wild Island Gins. These are not to be missed. The bar also sells everything else you would expect and is the place to hang out in-between concerts.
If you need something with which to soak up all that home grown refreshment, Gavin and his team from The Colonsay Pantry are on hand with delicious locally sourced burgers, sausages, pies and lots more besides. They can be found right outside the hall, in their very own marquee.
So everything you need for a great night’s entertainment can be found all in one place! And when the gigs are over at the hall, the bar at The Colonsay hotel has a late night licence and a plentiful supply of the local brew…
The Pantry and The Colonsay have fantastic, locally focused menus running throughout the festival. Either makes a great place to sample delicious Colonsay fayre before the entertainment gets underway in the hall.
RIGHT, THAT SETTLES IT. HOW DO I GET THERE?
Ceòl Cholasa begins on the evening of Thursday 16th September, so naturally you’ll need to be here by then. MV Clansman sets sail from Oban at 16:20 and arrives in Colonsay at 18:35, just in time to dump your bags, have a quick cuppa and head to the hall for the first concert. If that sounds a bit tight, or you’d rather soak up the island before the festival gets underway, then there is a ferry every day of the week. Check out the full CalMac timetable.
Or how about jetting into the hottest event in town? Hebridean Air run a service to the island every Thursday from Connel airport, just outside Oban. While their B&N islander aircraft aren’t exactly Lear Jets, this is a great way to arrive – getting to see the island from above in all it’s splendour. Full details available here.
THAT’S EASY ENOUGH. NOW, WHERE CAN I STAY?
Check out our Accommodation Page. It’s a regularly updated list of all accommodation we believe to be available over the festival weekend. Once you’ve got something sorted you’ll need to….
GET THOSE TICKETS BOOKED!
A Full Weekend Pass for Ceòl Cholasa 2021 costs just £100 and can be bought online (just follow the link). The pass gains you entry to all the concerts in the hall (at least 14 gigs), the stomping late night Ceòl Ceilidh and the workshops. It also entitles you to a seat at hotel gigs (though this is strictly first come, first served).
Remember, Ceòl Cholasa is a limited, bijou event. It’s best to purchase your ticket as soon as possible as then you can rest assured that you will be one of a maximum of only 250 people attending the best wee music festival in the west!
So what are you waiting for? It’ll take moments to book, for memories that will last a lifetime!