Leading Scottish artists including Colin Macleod and Elephant Sessions will make an appearance at HebCelt’s “bounce-back” hybrid event next month.
It was announced this week that a four-day festival will be held from 14-17 July with a mix of live and online performances.
The Hebridean Celtic Festival was cancelled last year due to the pandemic in what was its 25th anniversary.
Tickets are now on sale for this year’s concerts, dubbed the ‘survival sessions’ to support the local music industry.
They will also provide an economic stepping stone ahead of a planned full return in 2022.
What can HebCelt fans see this year?
A series of limited-audience live shows will be staged at Stornoway’s An Lanntair arts centre and live streamed for a global audience.
They will feature international star Colin Macleod, who releases a new album this month.
The line-up also includes a special Between Islands show and performances from Saltfishforty, Staran, Sian, Fara and the Tumbling Souls.
Pre-filmed digital content includes an exclusive from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, music from Elephant Sessions and content from local artists.
Also included will be the 2021 offering of Postcards from Scotland featuring an exciting range of top Scottish artists.
The digital event is bookended by two specially-commissioned works from Lewis native Josie Duncan and Skye trad/electronic fusion band Niteworks.
The festival also includes Gaelic language, song and story workshops, in partnership with Lews Castle College UHI, and whisky tasting.
HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan said: “This is a very strong programme which showcases our culture and Gaelic.
“It is gender-balanced and offers a variety of shows which we believe will give us a fantastic bounce-back from the pandemic. We are making it as simple as possible to access, both in terms of platforms and ticket prices.”
The festival is a major success story for the islands
HebCelt is supported by Creative Scotland, EventScotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and other public and private sector supporters.
Comhairle leader Roddie Mackay, said: “The Hebridean Celtic Festival is a major success story for the Western Isles, reaching out to audiences, local, national and worldwide.
“The Comhairle is delighted to support this year’s HebCelt programme. It is great to see the festival return, even if it is in limited form.”
Creative Scotland’s Siobhan Anderson said: “Community-based with a firmly established international following, the much loved and revered HebCelt opens up access to and enjoyment of the very best of Scotland’s Gaelic and traditional music.
“From family concerts to gigs featuring some of the country’s leading acts, local as well as up-and-coming talent, the festival’s hybrid programme will bring welcome connection between our talented artists and international audiences, leaving no one in any doubt about Scotland’s flourishing musical tradition.”
Paul Bush, VisitScotland’s director of events, said the festival is supported through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund.
This is helping events respond and adapt to the pandemic.
“By embracing the hybrid format, trad music fans both in Scotland and around the world will be able to enjoy the very best of Scottish music across the festival’s four-day programme.”