Anticipation is mounting in Lochmaddy for this weekend’s Feis Oir na Cruinne

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From the official opening on in the afternoon of Friday (June 8th) to the family ceilidh on Saturday evening, Feis Oir na Cruinne is packed with performances by local youngsters in a showcase for inter-island talent the like of which amazes festival director Niall Johnson of Uist Outdoor Centre.

He said: “Thirty years ago there was nothing like that here. Uist was close to a musical desert.

“I was inspired to create a platform for local talent through Feis Oir na Cruinne when I went to my daughter’s feis concert in Paible School and saw that every child there could play a musical instrument. In my day, no-one in Paible School could.”

The event begins at 5pm on Friday with a parade by Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band and an official opening at Taigh Chearsabhagh.

This is immediately followed by a two hour Taigh Ciuil session headlined by The Boy Who Trapped The Sun, aka Colin MacLeod of Lewis.

Later that evening musicians will play in Lochmaddy and Tigh Dearg hotels.

At 10pm Iain Angus MacLeod of Harris plays at a fund-raising dance in Lochmaddy Hall.

On Saturday at 1pm Lochmaddy will witness something entirely new, a Highland dance parade from the pier to the village hall, accompanied by Uist Pipe Band.

A ceilidh dance class with Neil and Morag MacPherson and conversational Gaelic with Archie Campbell follow in the hall until 4pm.

Meanwhile Lochmaddy and Tigh Dearg hotels will host music performances throughout the afternoon.

The climax of the Feis takes place in Lochmaddy Hall from 7pm with a family ceilidh, headlined by Lewis’s Face the West.

Lochmaddy playing field is to become tent city with toilet and cooking facilities available to campers in Lochmaddy Hall.

Niall Johnson appealed for the Uist community to come forward to support the feis wholeheartedly.

He said: “We hope to make this an annual event, but it depends on enough people coming forward from the community to take part. It’s vital that people make an effort, otherwise it won’t happen again.”

Further information about the Feis and all the acts playing is available at www.feisoirnacruinne.co.uk and on the feis’s Facebook page.