An urgent plea has been made to islanders to open their doors ahead of the Western Isles’ largest music festival.
The population of Stornoway is expected to double during the HebCelt Festival next month.
However, festival bosses said the influx of visitors has put pressure on the town’s hotels and guest rooms – with accommodation at a premium because of advance bookings.
More than 18,000 people attended the festival last year and a similar crowd is expected
The local VisitScotland tourist office has made an appeal to island residents to accommodate festival-goers who will be arriving from across Europe, Canada, the US and Australia.
Alan Mackenzie, the agency’s islands manager, said: “HebCelt’s huge appeal as an international event continues to attract people from all over the world to the islands.
“The influx of people is great for the town and islands in general, but it does put pressure on the accommodation sector as already there are few beds available during festival week.
“We would be grateful if any regular accommodation providers that still have vacancies could contact our team at the Stornoway VisitScotland iCentre on 01851 703088.
“Any extra help with good quality accommodation and hospitality in the Stornoway area for the festival week would also be greatly appreciated.”
This year’s HebCelt will be held between July 19 and 22 and will feature performances by The Waterboys, Imelda May, Dougie MacLean and Lucy Spraggan.
The festival has a tie-up with camping company Pitch Village which will provide tents – pre-pitched and fully-equipped – on a site at Willowglen, allowing festival-goers the chance to pre-book accommodation for two to eight people.
HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan added: “After our record-breaking 21st festival last year, we are looking forward to another bumper attendance, which will bring a wonderful atmosphere and an economic tonic to the town.
“The number of visitors does have a knock-on effect on accommodation, but we would encourage people to use facilities provided by Pitch Village, the other campsite at Laxdale, as well as other types of accommodation, to ensure they maximise their stay in the Hebrides.