The Skye Festival and all things cultural


If it’s music and culture you’re after, Skye has it in spades. What is, perhaps, more surprising for our visitors is that not all of it is Scottish. Some North American guests were chatting to our youngest son.

Says Ewan: Sorry, I’m going to have to go to my dance class now.

Replies guest: Oh, that’s great, is it step dancing?

Ewan: ? (quizzical look) 

Well, we had to admit, somewhat sheepishly, that Ewan’s dance classes are definitely more West End Musical than Western Isles. I think we had a similar feeling when we arrived on Skye. With such a rich cultural heritage, and so many visitors wanting to experience it, it’s common for folk to overlook all the other stuff that goes on here. Scotland is an definitely an outward-looking nation and that doesn’t just apply to the big cities.

Skye punches above its weight when it comes to events and performance; in the relatively short time we’ve been here we’ve seen contemporary dance, jazz and all kinds of classical and world music. Which brings us to the Skye Festival, or Feis an Eilean, which ran all through the summer. Having just tried out a bit of step dancing at the Gaelic College recently, I can say a good number of the Festival events have a celtic flavour.  But how about a mash-up of Gaelic song, beatboxing, electronica and Indian raga? Or a spot of Zimbabwean gum boot dancing? Not to mention Japanese circus performers.

The Skye Festival was organised by an energetic team of promoters and volunteers at Seall – Skye Events for All. They have brought literally thousands of artists to Skye over the years and have created what is essentially a community art centre at Sal Mor Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College. It’s only twenty minutes drive from Otter Lodge B&B;  easy to get to for a night out from Broadford!

From folk music and ceilidhs to contemporary art, there’s something for everyone on Skye…

For year-round info about events in South Skye: Seall – Skye events for all

Another major events venue on Skye is Aros, near Portree

If you have literary interests, why not come to the Skye Book Festival this September?

A good place to find out about contemporary and visual arts based on Skye is Atlas Arts

For a gateway to  info about gaelic language and culture, check out the website of Scotland’s Gaelic College, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig 

Want to find out more about Scottish traditional music, dance and storytelling? TRACS is a good place to start.

The best source of info for local events is the weekly newspaper, The West Highland Free Press. Pick up a copy, then check out the noticeboard out side the Broadford Co-op for things happening in the area.