Ullapool Guitar Festival October 4th, 5th and 6th 2024 see the “buy tickets” page for more details.
Welcome to the home page of the Ullapool Guitar Festival. Feel free to explore the website, and to find out about what we are and what we are about.
So, what is the UGF, and why is it so special? It started in 2000 – oddly enough, to bring business and tourism into the local community in the wake of the foot and mouth epidemic. October was chosen as a way of extending the tourist season, and, as sponsors came and went, and audiences increased in size, the Festival evolved through performances in local pubs and the village hall to its current (and hopefully long-term) home in the MacPhail Centre. This has all the comfort and facilities associated with a first-class performance venue, including superb acoustics, but also the space to put on workshops, to expand our trade show and to provide excellent catering.
The longevity and success of the Festival has been built on two foundations. The first is the solid core of music enthusiasts who not only make the pilgrimage year upon year, but are willing to go that extra mile in what they contribute to ensure that the Festival continues to flourish. The second is a group of musicians who have become permanent features of the Festival – artistes like Hugh Burns, John Goldie, Will McNicol, Tristan Seume, Professor Allan Neave and Clive Carroll. Their unwavering support and their status and reputation within the guitar world have allowed us to attract the cream of guitarists – over a hundred of them over the years – from around the globe. Our thanks goes out to all of them, patrons and artistes alike.
So why is the UGF so special? Perhaps it’s the mix of music old and new, of electric and acoustic, of steel and nylon, of seasoned performers and those, like the students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, just starting out on their careers. Perhaps it’s the location on Loch Broom and the drive up through some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery. Perhaps it’s the informal air of the whole weekend: there’s no “us and them”, no VIP area. Everyone mingles, and you’re likely to find yourself sitting beside a guitar legend in the Festival Club – or even jamming with them on one of the trade stands.
So, to summarise, we don’t really know what makes our festival so special. But don’t take our word for it. Come and find out for yourself, but be warned: once is not enough.