Countdown is on for world’s first virtual Highland Gathering

With just days to go until one of Scotland’s favourite events steps onto the virtual stage for the first time, Cowal Highland Gathering’s organisers are preparing to unveil a packed programme to a worldwide audience.

Cowal’s Virtual Highland Gathering is an ambitious three-day event which mirrors, as closely as possible, the programme of the Gathering itself. Kicking off on Thursday 27th August, Cowal’s Virtual Gathering features a host of exclusive interviews and performances, together with a look back at some of the highlights of the 126-year-old event.

The Gathering’s Friday night gig is back too, with the Gig at the Gathering Unplugged going live from 7.00pm. With some of the Gathering’s most popular bands, including Skerryvore, Tide Lines and Heron Valley talking and performing, the spirit of the Gathering will be very much alive in the year where all summer events were cancelled.

Pipe band, Highland dancing and heavy athletics fans will also be catered for with archive footage and exclusive interviews with some of the biggest names in their field.

(last year's promotional video)

Cowal Highland Gathering’s Chairman Ronnie Cairns is looking forward to seeing how people around the world celebrate the World’s Most Spectacular Highland Gathering, saying: “We were devastated at having to cancel this year’s Gathering, but we’ve been working hard over the last few months to put together a virtual celebration which not only honours our historic event, but captures the heart of the Gathering.

It is our privilege to bring the Gathering into homes around the world, we hope people enjoy what we’ve got to offer, they marvel at our dancers, are stirred by our pipe bands and enthralled by our heavy athletes.

We don’t want people to simply sit and watch Cowal’s Virtual Gathering, we want them to be a part of it. Whether it’s putting on their trainers and running or walking in our Virtual 5K or enjoying a dram with our Saturday Ceilidh band, we’d love people to get involved and send us their photos of how they’re enjoying their Virtual Gathering experience.

Cowal Highland Gathering is all about us gathering together in one place, this year we are taking that one step further, coming together in a virtual space, which for three days we are turning tartan.

This year’s virtual edition of the Gathering is supported through EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, through its International Events Programme.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “The Cowal Highland Gathering is one of the highlights of the Highland Games calendar, and while it is disappointing it won’t be taking place in its traditional form, we are delighted to be supporting this year’s innovative virtual edition.

The three-day online programme has a lot to offer, and it’s great to see that through performances, exclusive interviews and sporting challenges, audiences from around the world can still experience and join in the spectacle of the Gathering from the comfort of their own homes.

Cowal’s Virtual Gathering will run on Cowal Highland Gathering’s Facebook page and YouTube channel from 27th August – 29th August 2020. For more details visit