Cowal Gathering opens up on planning for 2014 event

The organisers of the spectacular Cowal Gathering highland games are working to guarantee that the 2014 event will be one to remember.

Plans for this year’s event are already at an advanced stage, with chair Ronnie Cairns aiming for the 2014 experience to be a hit with both contestants and spectators.

He says: ‘We have had some very positive meetings with our partner organisations, and I’m delighted with the progress we’re making towards finalising the details of the 2014 Gathering.

‘In particular, we are working closely with the Glasgow and West of Scotland Pipe Band Association in a bid to enhance the pipe band competition and bring the fun back for the many hundreds of pipe bandsmen and women from all over the world who come to compete here.

‘We’ve taken on board suggestions made by both competitors and spectators, and we also have a few other ideas up our sleeve to ensure that the 2014 Cowal Highland Gathering will once again prove to be one of Scotland’s top family events.

‘We look forward to announcing the details of this year’s games over the next few months, but it will of course include the usual mix of Highland dancing, pipe bands, traditional wrestling, heavy athletics, ceilidh music and children’s entertainment.

‘I’d encourage everyone to keep the last weekend in August free so they can come and join us for what promises to be a spectacular occasion.’

The lesson to be learned form the Cowal Gathering is never to be complacent and always to have the drive to refresh and reinvent an event from the inside – and before you have no choice.

Had the organisers listened to the many complaints and suggestions from the pipe bands over the years – on the physical and practical arrangements around the Cowal Pipe Band Championships, they would not have lost the fifth major pipe band championships of the year.

It is very good indeed to see that they are now consulting and listening and appear to be galvanised to improve and develop the gathering.

Thie 2014 event takes place from Thursday 28th to Saturday 30th August. More and new information is on the Cowal Gathering website here,

And For Argyll would echo Ronnie Chairs encouragement for everyone to keep these dates free in their diaries. This is a fabulous event – and the 2013 games already showed clear evidence of a spirited and creative response to the disappointment of losing the major pipe band championships. It sounds as if they have some interesting and novel ideas in the pipeline.

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6 Responses to Cowal Gathering opens up on planning for 2014 event

  1. After a new £100,000 car park from the council to save the championship failed the Cowal Gathering are back to the council for an extra £40,000.
    Good luck with that.
    No-one would come to Dunoon if they read the daily crime reports on the Cowal Courier blog.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  2. The new car park cost £160,000.
    Ronnie Cairns having lost the major championship is asking the council for £68,205 next year. This was the amount the council offered to the RSPBA to bring a major to Dunoon.
    Dunoon is no different to all the other highland games and pipe championships in Argyll now so expect a long queue of councillors looking for extra money for their local events.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

  3. We all know that crime reports should be made public, but the CC is now basically a court reporting blog, and really is now doing harm to the area, with all their negative stories. Yes, they do publish an odd real story, but this is very seldom. Looking forward to this years games, and hoping for a decent turnout.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  4. I’m really glad that the games are moving away from what had developed into a EGO trip for some pipe bands who somehow ended up wagging the dog.

    All the fun went out when these demands roped the Fun out of it. Get back to what people actually came to the games for in the first place a good weekend out.

    I’m not sure why the council should be putting so much into this? Surely this event has now established itself and you would think that it could stand on its own two feet by now? Where can we see a copy of the accounts ? I’d be interested to see where it all goes, as would many I would imagine.

    There are other events that are equally needing support, anyway good to see change happening.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. I am sure we could debate this one until the cows come home .In my humble opinion the politics of all of this meant a major had to go to Ireland and Cowal Games was sacrificed .However the real test will be how many Scottish Bands will be able to afford to go to Ireland .Oban High Schools two bands will not be going .Where will they be going instead .
    Cowal Games . ,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. Let’s get behind this years games, perhaps try get the atmosphere back, think games was getting taken away from the people and turning into a corporate event.if you have time watch pathe news on cowal games. Could we have a camping area and perhaps a concert at night,using castle toward or Johnstone farm, the stadium would be great to host concert but noise is a worry. Is there any point in saying bute relax street drinking laws during the games. Could the area at the doctors surgery be used for music or a party area

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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