Thousands of competitors and spectators from across the world are set to head to Dunoon next weekend as the town prepares for the 128th Cowal Gathering, which returns as an in-person event following an enforced two-year hiatus.

And as anyone lucky enough to have previous experience of the Gathering will confirm, the event is so much more than ‘just’ a Highland Games.

This year Cowal Gathering’s now legendary additional attractions are also back to add to the family-friendly festival feeling – all for the price of an entry ticket.

And once again, every spectator can spend their day doing as little or as much as they want as all Cowal Gathering’s spectators are encouraged to ‘find their Cowal Gathering spirit’.

Despite juggling such a wide range of entertainment for people of all ages, Cowal Gathering organisers have ensured that there will be ample opportunity for ticket holders to organise their day to take part in everything there is to do and see.

That means there’s no need to choose between Braveheart Axe Throwing and the Vander Double Wheel of Death, Drakes of Hazard and Artie’s Singing Kettle, Come and Try Mountain Biking and Crazy Golf, Punch and Judy, Magic Shows, Giant Games… and on and on.

And that’s before we even talk about the world-class traditional Scottish music which draws visitors back to the Gathering year after year. And once again the line-up is designed to rock the Top Field.

Cowal’s Live Music tent is the venue for Saturday’s music offering which this year is headed up by Cowal Gathering favourites – the hugely popular band Tide Lines.

They will be supported by The American Rogues and Rhuvaal who return to the Cowal Music Tent following their Friday night performances at the Gig at the Gathering.

Also joining the party will be one of Scotland’s most exciting new bands, Eabhal who hail from the Outer Hebrides. This young band are no strangers to music festivals and also played at this year’s Tiree Music Festival.

Of course, it’s impossible to come to Cowal Gathering and not dance, so the Inverhooley Ceilidh Band will be on-hand throughout the afternoon, in the Wee Ceilidh Tent to make sure no dancer is left behind!

All of this additional entertainment is offered to compliment the traditional events which remain the foundation of Cowal Gathering – from Highland dancing and piping to heavy athletics and wrestling.

And they are on offer to anyone with a basic entry ticket, which can be bought online today at

Cowal Gathering Chair Ronnie Cairns said: ‘We pride ourselves in showcasing ‘’All of Scotland in One Day” and as such we need to showcase the very best entertainment for all ages – whether you’re four or 94, you’ll find something exciting at Cowal Gathering.

This year is particularly important for us, following our two-year absence. This is our first opportunity to gather together in person since 2019 and we are determined to make sure we celebrate being able to be together again in the best way we know how.

This year, we’ve balanced some old favourites together with some new acts and I’m very excited to welcome visitors from around the world to Cowal and show them just why we’re one of Scotland’s great days out.’

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events said: ‘We are delighted to support, once again, Cowal Highland Gathering through our International Events Programme. Cowal Highland Gathering is one of Scotland’s most family-friendly events, attracting locals and visitors from across the globe in droves, with its biggest programme yet of magic shows, ‘come and try’ games, dancing, piping, heavy athletic and wrestling and much more. Highland Games, such as Cowal Gathering, reinforce Scotland’s place as the perfect stage for events.’

This year’s Cowal Gathering runs from Thursday 25 to Saturday 27 August.