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HebCelt: New commissions will celebrate festival’s 25th anniversary

Calum Alex Macmillan,  James MacKenzie and Norrie MacIver will perform traditional and new music
Calum Alex Macmillan, James MacKenzie and Norrie MacIver will perform traditional and new music

A number of specially-commissioned shows will be staged to mark HebCelt’s delayed 25th anniversary this summer.

The commissions will celebrate the islands’ rich Gaelic tradition and will link with Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022.

They will form part of the festival programme staged at An Lanntair arts centre in Stornoway.

When is HebCelt and who is headlining?

Texas, Seasick Steve and Tide Lines are headlining the 25th anniversary HebCelt which was twice delayed by the Covid pandemic.

The four-day event will be held from July 13-16. Day tickets went on sale last month after early bird tickets released in September sold out in a day.

Josie Duncan will appear in the Hebridean Women concert

Tickets for the arts centre programme go on sale through the festival website on Friday from 10am.

The festival’s opening concert on July 13 will be Till Slàn (return safely), a mix of ancient ballads and original songs and melodies centred on the meaning of home.

The concert also features The Journey, a short film commissioned by HebCelt for its 2021 Survival Sessions project.

The original score by Josie Duncan will be performed live.

The following evening James MacKenzie, Norrie MacIver and Calum Alex Macmillan will present ‘Freumhan|Roots’, a suite of traditional and newly-written music and song.

Hebridean Women

While waiting for the delayed 25th anniversary, the musicians wrote new material influenced by their Lewis upbringing.

On July 15, An Lanntair presents the latest of its Hebridean Women concerts featuring Mischa Macpherson and Josie Duncan alongside a cast of emerging Gaelic singers and instrumentalists.

Veteran ‘ceilidh king’ Fergie MacDonald will bring the curtain down on An Lanntair’s shows on July 16.

HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan said: “Each and every year we strive to programme a rich variety of artists who represent the rich cultural heritage of our Gaelic home.

HebCelt’s delayed 25th anniversary festival will be held from July 13-16

“This year we are delighted to present some previously commissioned works finally getting their rightful airing alongside some truly exceptional talent.”

Alex Macdonald, head of performing arts/cultural projects at An Lanntair, said the centre is delighted to be hosting a HebCelt programme.

“Particularly as it places a focus on local artists and Hebridean stories told in song.

“It is especially pleasing as An Lanntair is one of the venues selected by EventScotland to promote the theme of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, where local tales can be highlighted in imaginative ways.”

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