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HebCelt 2021: The stage is set for a ‘limited but highly significant’ return of live music

The festival will feature exclusive content from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.
The festival will feature exclusive content from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

The sound of music will be heard again today at the Hebridean Celtic Festival as the festival makes a welcome return.

The event, which has twice been forced to cancel its 25th anniversary celebrations, is back this week as a hybrid of live and specially-commissioned online content.

HebCelt’s Survival Sessions are aimed at supporting musicians and providing an economic stepping stone to a full return in 2022.

The HebCelt’s Survival Sessions are going ahead in response to the pandemic.

A series of limited-audience live shows will be staged at An Lanntair, the Stornoway arts centre, and livestreamed for a global audience.

Opening the festival will be an online live exclusive Between Islands project, celebrating the musical links between the Northern Isles and the Outer Hebrides.

It features Kris Drever, Kathleen Macinnes, Willie Campbell and a number of other artists from the three islands. The show is the culmination of the music project devised by Alex Macdonald at An Lanntair, supported by the Leader programme.

HebCelt’s live performances

An Lanntair is also hosting live performances from Saltfishforty, Colin Macleod, Staran, Sian, Fara and the Tumbling Souls.

The festival, which runs from July 14 to 17, also has commissioned contributions from Josie Duncan and Niteworks.

Turus Dhachaigh (Journey Home) is an audio-visual work developed by Josie Duncan by combining tunes and songs inspired by the Gaelic tradition with atmospheric visuals.

In addition, there is exclusive content from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, locally-produced films featuring home-grown musicians including Norrie MacIver (Skipinnish), Ceitlin Lilidh, Sean Harrison & Band, Sea Atlas and others, with a spotlight on young emerging talent.

HebCelt is also presenting Postcards from Scotland, a collection of musical features from across Scotland from artists such as Skerryvore, Blue Rose Code and Eabhal.

Film captures virtual gig

The final night sees a 45-minute film showing a virtual gig from festival favourites the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

This is a limited but highly significant return to live music.”

Caroline Maclennan

All streamed content is available on catch up seven days from the date of initial broadcast.

Further details and how to book tickets can be found on the festival website.

Survival Sessions performers can be heard talking about their shows in a series of new podcasts.

Colin Macleod who will play live at An Lanntair

Festival director Caroline Maclennan said: “This is a limited but highly significant return to live music for HebCelt.

“It’s been a very tough time for musicians, music fans and everyone connected to the festival.

“This is hopefully a sign that things are starting to recover and will whet the appetite for a full-scale return in 2022.”

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