Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Good people, great music – HebCelt is back

Post Thumbnail

Set sail for the mighty Hebridean Celtic Festival, writes Susan Welsh


If the Hebridean Celtic Festival, fondly known as HebCelt, was a man, he’d be walking with head held high, a spring in his step with pride shining from his eyes.

Now in its 19th year, the festival, which sees the population of Stornoway boosted by more than 16,000, has been named as one of the top 10 UK summer festivals.

It was the only Scottish festival on the list compiled by world music magazine Songlines which placed the award-winning event on Lewis alongside the likes of the mighty Glastonbury.

It’s a huge feather in the cap for organisers of the four-day event which takes place from July 16-19 and is headlined by Levellers, Big Country and Donnie Munro.

Festival director Caroline MacLennan said: “To be recognised by such a prestigious and respected publication as Songlines for four successive years is a great accolade for the festival.

“We have a unique setting and a fantastic blend of well-established bands and emerging acts which help us attract an international audience.

This year, the festival rolls out its biggest programme yet, which includes performances by Cara Dillon, Rachel Sermanni, Duncan Chisholm, Cajun band Magnolia Sisters, from the US, and Canadian outfit Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys.

The festival has its two main stages in the spectacular setting in front of Lews Castle in Stornoway, and this year is introducing an acoustic stage for the first time. There will also be performances in An Lanntair arts centre and in rural parts of Lewis and Harris.

An integral part of the event is a Gaelic Showcase to promote the language and culture, while the One Step Further talent contest gives young artists the chance to win a slot to play on the main stage.

Rock band Levellers, who have been performing for 25 years and have a raft of albums and chart successes under their belts, have top billing on Saturday night.

Singer Mike Chadwick said: “I am really looking forward to going back to Stornoway to play at the HebCelt festival. I can’t believe it has been eight years since we last played there. It’s a lovely little festival.”

Duncan Chisholm, a regular at the festival, said: “The Hebridean Celtic Festival is a jewel in the Scottish music calendar.

“I was lucky enough to play the first festival and see it grow into the major event is has become.

“This year, I am delighted to be returning with my band and looking forward to sharing my music on the Island of Lewis once more.”

This year will be extra special as Duncan has been invited into the Hebridean Celtic Festival’s Hall of Fame and agreed to become an ambassador for the event.

Rachel Sermanni, from Carrbridge, first appeared at HebCelt in 2011, and, at 22, has already performed at more than 500 concerts across the world.

She said: “Travelling is fun. But I am pivoting priorities this year, with the hope of rooting my feet a little more. I plan to keep home as much as possible over the summer months to do some gardening.

“I am very aware of how fortunate I am to travel so far and see so many places, but I do envy the nested people.”

She’s a big fan of festivals such as HebCelt.

“Festivals are great fun because you are submerged in music and you are jostling with musicians at every turn,” said Rachel.

“Potentials for jams are rife, if you don’t have to disappear soon after your performance.

“HebCelt, like any Scottish festival, especially up in the north, has appeal.

“They are guaranteed to be full of good people, great music, traditional sessions: I am expecting all that.

“I think I’ll be joined by (Lewis singer-songwriter) Colin MacLeod and a few other fond musical friends, so it should be fun.”

Day tickets for Thursday, July 17, are priced at £26 (£20 concessions) and for Friday and Saturday £35 (£27 concessions). Weekend main arena tickets are priced at £79 (£61 concessions). Tickets for 6-14-year-olds start at £5 and under-fives go free. Visit: