Join us for a weekend of queer fun in 2024
BY OBAN LESBIAN WEEKEND
After a sold-out second year of Oban Lesbian Weekend, Scotland’s only event for LGBTQ women has announced its 2024 date, as 13 September weekend, and their early bird tickets have been flying off the shelf, after being released this week.
300 women from as far as Sydney, Australia, Canada, America, Hong Kong and across the UK flocked to Oban to enjoy Oban Lesbian Weekend. Billed as a cross between a package holiday and an inclusive LGBTQIA women’s festival, Oban Lesbian Weekend doubled its numbers during its first year, as women and non-binary people filled up guesthouses and hotels across Oban.
Oban Lesbian Weekend is run by Maz Gordon, who grew up in the seaside town of Oban and then returned shortly before lockdown. After working in LGBTQIA media and events since she left uni (just a few years ago now!), she started Oban Lesbian Weekend last year, with the initial intention of just bringing a few LGBTQ women to Oban to experience the best in the West, and once word got out it grew and now takes up as much time as her day job as the Editor of OutNewsGlobal, the world’s most fabulous LGBTQ magazine. Oban Lesbian Weekend kicked off on Friday 28th July with afternoon ice breakers, socials, a buffet and Edinburgh’s DJ Trendy Wendy playing at The Argyllshire Gatherings.
Outdoor activities from walks and paddle boarding to sea swimming, yoga and cycling across Kerrera. With a forecast of 100% rain, organisers thought their film events and workshops would be more popular but the sun shone as women explored the beautiful, tiny island of Kerrera. On Saturday the crew hosted women as they boarded the ferry to experience lunch, fairy trails and wild swimming on the Isle of Mull.
Others delighted in seeing the castles, seals and scenery on Allan’s boat trip’s wildlife tour.
The Saturday had the world’s first-ever ceilidh for LGBTQ+ women (that we know of!). The Loch Dubh ceilidh band played the gay or lesbian Gay Gordons and later on, they added in some dance tunes on the accordion to their Orcadian Strip the Willow
Women enjoyed various workshops; International lesbian fiction crime writer, Wendy Hewlett’s book workshop which packed out the Oban Bay’s restaurant. Rebel Dykes producer, Siobhan Fahey held a workshop with unseen cuts, prior to showing Rebel Dykes, a documentary about punk lesbians doing their bit to change the world in the 80s and 90s. One woman commented that maybe here at Oban Lesbian Weekend, we have the Rebel Dykes of the 20s, changing Oban from somewhere that most LGBTQIA women wouldn’t consider as a holiday destination to meet other women, to what some are saying could be the new LGBTQ+ capital of Scotland.
One of the differences between Oban Lesbian Weekend and other festivals is that OLW has a focus on hosted meals, as they feel it’s often easier to make new friends over dinner. They had options for various budgets including a Friday night buffet at the Argyllshire, the Seafood crawl based at the famous green seafood shack (Maz Gordon’s family business, where no doubt she learnt many of her business skills), fine dining and fancy pizza at the Oban Bay Hotel and posh nosh at Manor House. Women also dined at most Oban restaurants and pubs, Markie Dan’s and Coasters being firm favourites.
They had a packed schedule that was included in the ticket price and also offered optional extras. As well as a busy schedule included in the ticket price, they had optional extras including seeing dolphins and puffins on the Coastal Connections trip to the Treshnish Islands. Oban Distillery’s tour, Oban Bay’s Thermal experience and Elemental Wellness’s acupuncture for some relaxing.
Oban Lesbian Weekend’s closing party had superstar DJ Sandra D (who used to run London’s legendary Candy Bar) and her performer wife, Alabaster Queen on her guitar. Alabaster Queen got everyone singing along then paused for the raffle, where Oban Lesbian Weekend fundraised to support mental health and peer support. They also took a moment to remember those we have lost and dedicated this year’s event to their late friend and colleague, Lottie Dingle. So it seemed fitting that they chose to fundraise for a local mental health charity, Argyll-Wellbeing Hub.
Oban Lesbian Weekend 2024 will be on September 13th weekend. Earlybird tickets went on sale on Saturday at www.obanlesbianweekend.co.uk. If you would like to know more about tickets or opportunities to join the crew, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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