Organisers of the Hebridean Celtic Festival – which will finish this evening – believe this year’s event will be the most successful in its 23-year history after selling out all four nights.
Festival-goers have snapped up the few remaining tickets for the multi award-winning event, which started on Wednesday.
Audiences from across the world travel to Stornoway every year for the event, which this year has headliners Deacon Blue, The Fratellis, Eddi Reader, Skipinnish and Roddy Woomble.
HebCelt’s previous most successful year was in 2016 when Runrig appeared during a nationwide tour in support of their 14th – and last – studio album, The Story.
An independent survey of that year’s event showed attendances reached 17,830 and it generated more than £2.2 million for the islands’ economy and helped safeguard 40 tourism-related jobs.
This year is on course to match or even overtake the 2016 attendance and income records.
More than half the festival audience comes from outside the islands, and from as far away as Australia, Canada and the US as well as across Europe, demonstrating its important role in attracting people to visit the Hebrides.
HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan said: “The demand for tickets this year has been phenomenal. They have been selling well online for some time and since we opened the festival shop in Stornoway earlier this month they have been flying out the door.
“The 2016 festival was our best ever event until now, but it looks like we will outdo even that amazing event this year.
“This has been possible due to the fantastic support we get from our supporters and sponsors as well as our wonderful community.”
The event is also banning single-use plastics from its site this year as it steps up a drive to make the event as environmentally-friendly as possible.
Caterers at this year’s event, which will run until Saturday, have now been asked to serve soft drinks in paper cups and continue to use 100 per cent biodegradable plates and cutlery which can be composted with organic waste.
The festival will also increase the number of ‘hydration stations’ on the site, where tap water is available, supply free, bio-degradable paper cups and encourage festival-goers to use re-usable water bottles.
In addition, artists, volunteers and crew will be supplied with free water bottles to avoid the need to bring in supplies of bottled water.