A north arts festival was launched yesterday in party mood and all set to celebrate it’s 10th anniversary.
Blas 2014, which is spread across 100 venues in the Highlands and Argyll and takes place between September 5 and 13, will returns to its roots this year with a greater emphasis on the place of communities, young people and Gaelic culture.
There will be a number of special events, including a new commission by Glenfinnan fiddler, Iain MacFarlane, inspired by Duncan Ban MacIntyre’s Moladh Beinn Dòbhrain, one of Gaelic’s greatest poems.
A stellar collection of musicians will also be appearing across the area including The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Dougie Maclean and Daimh, as well as Gaelic singers like Gillie Mackenzie and Alasdair Whyte.
Blas was created 10 years ago as a result of Highland Council’s desire to create a festival that would match the vitality of Cape Breton’s Celtic Colours. It is one of a series of events taking place in the Highlands from September as part of Highland Homecoming.
The festival began as a small-scale effort at three venues, Strontian, Clashmore and Strathpeffer in 2004.
Since then there has been 410 events involving 3,102 performers, attracting an audience of 88,448.
Further information on Blas 2014 is available at www.blas-festival.com, including the full programme of events and how to buy tickets.
Councillor Maxine Smith, viceConvener of The Highland Council, said: “This year’s Blas festival programme, in the Year of Homecoming, is exciting, engaging, and educational as it showcases Gaelic and traditional music in venues across the Highlands and Argyll.
“The festival allows residents and visitors to access the very best of traditional music in communities across the Highlands from Portree to Portmahomack and from Torridon to Taynuilt.”