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Digital Subscriptions > The Oban Times & Lochaber Times > 4th May 2017 > Arina


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AROUND £3 million flowed into Oban thanks to the 34th Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival, organisers estimate.

More than 1,000 competitors came from across Scotland and the UK to compete at Highland dancing, accordion, clarsach, piano and fiddle playing, singing, dancing, bagpiping and drumming.

More than 400 Highland dancers alone made their way to Atlantis Leisure on Saturday to take part in the Scottish area finals – the only team Highland dancing competition in the world.

Committee member Isla Munro, who was in charge of organising the Highland dancing events, said: ‘The day went really well. We had a new format and because of that the entries increased so much.

‘I think it is because they are coming here for the whole weekend and the Scottish area finals is the only team event in the world and you have the main Highland dancing competition.

‘I would like to thank everyone. It wouldn’t be possible to do it without Atlantis Leisure and also all the volunteers who help out all weekend.’ Sunday’s MC Billy Forsyth, president of the world governing body of Highland dancing, added: ‘The whole town has been filled with Highland dancers thoroughly enjoying themselves. The Scottish area finals are unique to Oban. It has the finest dancers from all over Scotland.’

The four-day festival kicked off on Friday with the Scottish Choreography Challenge, and continued on Monday, at Oban’s Corran Halls, where 38 teams had entered. Friday’s winners of the choreo graphed set theme, open age group, were: in first place, the Dawn Fraser School of Stirling dancing This is Scotland to music by Skerryvore. Celia Orr School of Dancing in Lanark came in second with Spirit of the Nation, followed in third by the Debra-Ann School of Edinburgh, with Ghost Tours of the Royal Mile.

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