SAMS news room

Festival of the Sea to return to Oban in 2012

SAMS has been awarded core funding from the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to go ahead with Oban’s second Festival of the Sea next spring.  The 10-day event will run between Friday 18th and Monday 28th May 2012. 

The Festival of the Sea is a community festival that celebrates our spectacular marine environment and demonstrates the defining role the sea plays to people living in and visiting this part of Scotland. It aims to increase knowledge and awareness of the importance of the sea and to support people in building a more sustainable relationship with the marine environment.

The organisers are looking for anyone interested in getting involved to contact them while they are developing the festival programme. They hope to broaden the festival’s regional spread even further than last year when events took place at venues from Tobermory and Lismore to Taynuilt and from Kilmartin to Appin. “We’d certainly love to include more of the islands in 2012’ said the festival organisers.

“We want to offer the broadest possible range of quality events to attract even more people to attend than in 2010 when the 50 festival events had a total of nearly 5200 visitors,” said Dr Anuschka Miller, Head of Communications at SAMS who has been directing the Festival. “We hope to have workshops, performances, readings, open days, sport events, exhibitions, talks, demonstrations, beach events, food events and more. We’d also love to see the town and shops decorated in a marine theme!”

“While marine science may be the background to many events, we want the programme to reflect the diversity of ways that the sea influences our lives: many jobs in this part of the world depend on the marine environment be it in fishing, aquaculture, marine transport, or the leisure and tourism industry. The sea has also been inspiring many of our artists, writers, photographers, dancers and musicians. And I haven’t met many people who don’t love rock-pooling and spending time on the beach in their spare time!

“Get in touch if you have an idea for an event you would like to put on or that you think would great if somebody else could develop, or if you have a space for an event we could use. Also let us know if you - or a community group you may be part of - would like to get involved in any other way, we for example need lots of volunteer helpers. Call Helen McNeill, the main festival coordinator, on 01631 559 430 or email her at’  



Notes for Editors

About the Festival of the Sea

  • The Festival website for 2012 will be developed in the coming weeks at
  • The Festival acknowledges core funding support from the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise but will require to raise more funds to break even. 
  • A steering committee is currently being assembled with representatives from conservation, the local council, tourism, the University of the Highlands and Islands, Oban High School, local businesses, music, and literature/arts.

About SAMS

  • The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) is a Learned Society with ca 450 members who share an interest in marine science. SAMS is both a charity (009206) and a Company Limited by Guarantee (SC009292) registered in Scotland.
  • SAMS’ mission is to work towards improving the knowledge about and the sustainable stewardship of the marine environment through research, education and services. The organisation maintains two strategic partnerships: it is a partner of the new University of the Highlands and Islands and of the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council.
  • SAMS operates the Scottish Marine Institute where around 150 employees conduct research and provide education and services in marine science. Much of SAMS’ research is conducted within four research themes: Dynamic Oceans; Marine Renewable Energy; Arctic Seas; and People and the Sea.  Education delivers undergraduate, postgraduate and short training courses in various aspects of marine science, and runs a field station.
  • To deliver services to business SAMS operates a wholly owned commercial subsidiary called SAMS Research Services Limited (SRSLtd with company number SC224404). SAMS also operates a business incubator known as the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology (SC205318) that hosts tenant companies.


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