Oban Live reigns in support from young talent

Young people have been a beneficial asset in the operations of Argyll’s biggest live music festival Oban Live this year, according to the team behind the event.

In Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, the event, which attracts just under 8,000 attendees and takes place in a weeks time on June 8 and 9 at Mossfield Stadium in Oban, has engaged in a number of projects that not only uses the skills of young people, but also celebrates young talent too. This year, Scotland is putting its young people in the spotlight, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions and creating new opportunities for them to shine.

Most recently, Oban Live has teamed up with Young Scot and Argyll and Bute Council’s Youth Services to provide 1000 Young Scot reward points to young people volunteering at Oban Live. The earned points can be spent on a number of rewards organised through Young Scot. The volunteering activity gives young people the opportunity to see the event from a different perspective and to gain valuable skills.

18 year-old Hannah Nicolson, a youth services modern apprentice through the council’s award-winning Growing Our Own scheme, will be on-site at Oban Live to reward the points to young volunteers with Young Scot cards. She will also run a stand promoting the work they do as well as their activities throughout Year of Young People 2018. 

Hannah will be supported at the event by 17 year-old Shannon Watson who is currently doing work experience as Events Marketing Assistant at Oban Live. Shannon has assisted in various projects including event photocalls, poster distribution, social media, school design competition and more. Shannon completed five awards in Pathways, customer service leadership, community achievement, volunteering and employability in her last year at Oban High School and has secured a place at Inverness College UHI to study Events Operations and Hospitality.

Young artistic talent will also be celebrated at Oban Live. 19 year old Kathleen Robertson from Strontian joins the line-up this year after winning the Oban Unsigned competition in a local newspaper where the event looks for an unsigned act, living in and around Oban to perform at the event.  Kathleen opens the show on Friday June 8 at 4.30pm. The phenomenal success of Oban High School Pipe Band will once again be celebrated and the audience can expect to see a few surprise performances throughout the show from this incredible group of young musicians, led by legendary piper Angus MacColl.  

A recent school design competition, where the event invited school pupils to design their official Oban Live 2018 merchandise, received over 200 entries from ages 5 - 18. All entrants received a Certificate in Design Excellence. Designs by the overall winner, 13 year old Oban High School pupil Ruby Heritage-Crabb and primary school winner Isla from Lochnell Primary School, will feature on Oban Live T-shirts this year and will be available for sale in the event’s merchandise tent.

Finally, two young interns studying International Events at Glasgow Caledonian University are also working alongside the Oban Live team this year. The students are invited to take part in, and contribute to, weekly team meetings which regularly involve making decisions and discussions on event developments. They will be responsible for running a lane at registration at the live event, being the face of the event and instructing volunteers in that area. They will also participate in a Registration Training Evening with the Event Director. The idea behind the internship programme is to provide a fantastic, fun, social and career development opportunity to gain key insight into the event as well as having the opportunity to contribute to management discussions.

Daniel Gillespie, Managing Director of Oban Live said: “We value the energy and assistance our young volunteers and interns bring to Oban Live. Inspired by this, the Year of Young People, we have really focused on providing key opportunities for showcasing young talent in performing arts and design as well as supporting young people with career development and work experience in many aspects of events management. We are delighted to be part of the YOYP partner programme which really has created opportunities for us to engage even more with local projects.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:  “We are delighted to be supporting Oban Live through our National Event Fund, it is great to see the team putting young people centre stage in the Year of Young People 2018.  Supporting young talent in their future aspirations, whether they may be on stage or behind the scenes, helps further establish Scotland’s position as the perfect stage for events, the young people’s contributions will no doubt add to another fantastic festival programme.”

Councillor, Yvonne McNeilly, the council’s Policy Lead for Education said: “I’m delighted that our youth services team is able to promote the Year of Young People at this popular music event. This is an exciting year for us and there are so many opportunities for young people throughout the area.”

 Oban Live takes place on June 8 & 9 at Mossfield Stadium in Oban. The 2018 line-up includes a stream of incredible acts including Skerryvore, Skipinnish, Tide Lines, Peatbog Faeries, Hermitage Green, Blazin’ Fiddles, Heron Valley, Sharon Shannon Band (featuring Michael McGoldrick and Susan O’Neill) and more. Tickets available at www.obanlive.com

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