The Hebridean Celtic Festival (Scottish Gaelic: Fèis Cheilteach Innse Gall) is an international Celtic music festival, which takes place annually in Stornoway on Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The biggest headliners to date have been Runrig, Van Morrison, The Levellers and KT Tunstall. Many other acts take part in the event, including visiting international artists, solo artists and local musicians.
The main arena is situated on the Castle Green, in front of Lews Castle. Other events take place in the An Lanntair arts centre and elsewhere in Stornoway. There are also concerts in the villages of Borve and Breasclete in Lewis, and Northton in Harris.
Organised largely by a dedicated volunteer force, the event established in 1996 has seen growth over the intervening years. Over and above the music, the Festival also offers workshops, street arts, Gaelic storytelling, language tasters, and opportunities to explore the rich culture and heritage of the Outer Hebrides. A more recent addition is an annual inter island shinty match for the Hebcelt Trophy, played for the first time in 2007, this is played between Lewis Camanachd and Uist Camanachd.
Now firmly established as one of Scotland’s great summer music festivals and the area's flagship event, the population of Stornoway swells by half during July to accommodate the annual pilgrimage of festivalgoers.
One of the most enduring outdoor Scottish festivals, in 2009 the event was voted 'Event of the Year' at the Scot Trad Music Awards, the annual awards ceremony organised by Hands up for Trad, celebrating Scottish traditional music. The festival scooped the 'Best Large Event' at the Scottish Event Awards in October 2011 and was voted one of the top 10 music global festival by Songlines in both 2011 and 2012.
The Hebridean Celtic Festival, now in its 18th year, continues to attract thousands of visitors from around the world from as far away as North America, Australia and New Zealand. The festival continues to overcome a variety of challenges thrown up by its distance from key markets and the changed economic climate.
The 2013 event featured Van Morrison, Capercaillie Dougie MacLean, The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Battlefield Band, Lau, Karine Polwart, The Hot Seats, The Travelling Band, Arthur Cormack & Blair Douglas, Kathleen Macinnes Band, Iain Morrison, The Boy Who Trapped The Sun, Rusty Shackle, Fatherson, Face the West, Rose Parade, The Dirty Beggars and more....
Past bands performing at the Hebridean Celtic FestivalEdit
- The Proclaimers
- Van Morrison
- The Saw Doctors
- Imelda May
- Fiddlers' Bid
- Finlay MacDonald Band
- Salsa Celtica
- Davy Spillane
- Natalie MacMaster
- Dougie MacLean
- The Waterboys
- Moving Hearts
- Peatbog Faeries
- Treacherous Orchestra
- Julie Fowlis
- Red Hot Chilli Pipers
- Four Men and a Dog
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