An enticing mix of international artists and home-grown talent make up the first acts announced for HebCelt.
Festival favourites Skipinnish will headline the arena opening evening on Thursday, 19 July. The band’s ascent is escalating, having rocketed to the top of the Scottish music scene recently and being shortlisted for Live Act of the Year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2017.
Having released their ninth album this month, the internationally-acclaimed Blazin’ Fiddles will play HebCelt as part of their 20th anniversary celebrations next year.
After their stunning debut last year, Tide Lines will be back in 2018. Also shortlisted for Live Act of the Year in the trad awards, the band, who released their first full-length album this summer, have a fervent fanbase which helped their show in Stornoway in March next year sell out in ten minutes and seen their music rack up huge numbers of online streams.
Local band The Tumbling Souls, a six-piece, fronted by Lewis singer-songwriter Willie Campbell and featuring members of Face The West, Astrid and Hò-Rò, will make their festival arena debut in 2018.
Also featured are Kinnaris Quintet, a new all-female band who combine new compositions with traditional Scottish and Irish, Bluegrass, old-time and classical music.
Completing the Scottish contingent, Trail West, whose members hail from Tiree and South Uist, plan a new album in 2018, backed with a superb six-piece festival line-up.
The international dimension is brought by Vishtèn and the Yves Lambert Trio who join the festival programme to continue HebCelt’s long cultural connection to Canada. And finally, representing Denmark are one of the country’s leading folk acts, Habadekuk. The festival eight-piece band blend folk, salsa and big band jazz.
Earlier this month, HebCelt was named Best Cultural Event or Festival in the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards, a title it also won in 2014. The festival also collected both the Festival of the Year award and the Grand Prix prize for ‘best of the best’ at the Scottish Event Awards. It’s very rewarding receiving this type of national recognition for what we do. We believe this serves as testament to the fabulous support of our funders, sponsors, community and of course our amazing volunteers.
Published on 01 December 2017 by Ben Robinson