Cèilidhean that start in the early evening are so passé – everyone knows that the best time for a wee dance is in the wee sma’ hours – that’s why our ceilidh spectacular doesn’t get started until 11pm at the earliest. Dr Jarlath Henderson will already have the assembled masses on their feet and ready for a boogie, just in time to hand over to Colonsay’s own Caitlin McNeill and her raggle taggle band of incredible musicians.

Chief among them will be Christian Gamauf on the pipes (pictured above in a typical Colonsay Winter scene). Originally from Austria, Christian has long been based in Scotland and has received tutorship from the likes of Bruce Gandy and festival favourites Iain MacDonald and Angus MacKenzie (Daimh). So there’s no doubting his piping credentials. Despite a long established partnership with Caitlin and other artists who have been to the island, Christian has never graced the stage of our wee hall. We are delighted to be able to rectify this.

Want to make sure a ceilidh is as stompin’ as it possibly can be? Then you’re gonna need a drummer and a full drum kit. The drum kit we can be sure of, the drummer less so. Caitlin has a list of 30 or so candidates, which she will whittle down until we find the best drummer out there. Perhaps a series of X Factor style auditions? Or maybe The Great British Drum Off? She might even send them all off to the Australian jungle and make the poorer contestants perform a series of demeaning and humiliating tasks (such as sound engineering, or running a folk festival). Whatever method she chooses, we’re sure we’ll end up with the right drummer for the job.

It doesn’t end there though. Late night revellers can expect a series of guest performers, and with a line-up as tasty as ours, that could make for some seriously good dancing indeed!

Let me in, I’ve got canned heat in my heels….

Hold on there cowboy, you’ll need a Full Festival Pass for this rodeo. For Ceòl Cholasa 2018 passes are £80 and can be bought online (just follow the link). As well as the ceilidh to end all cèilidhean, the pass gains you entry to all of the concerts in the hall,  the workshops and reserved seating at the hotel gigs.

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!

Where can I stay?

Much like the tickets, accommodation is limited on the island and sells out fast for festival week. So it’s always recommended that you sort out somewhere to stay at the same time as you buy your ticket. Check out the Isle of Colonsay website to see what’s available and to make an enquiry.