The Hebridean Celtic Festival has been selected as one of the top 10 UK summer festivals by an influential publication for the fourth year running.
HebCelt is again the only Scottish festival on the list compiled by world music magazine Songlines which places the award-winning island event alongside the likes of Glastonbury and the Cambridge Folk Festival.
Festival director Caroline MacLennan said: “To be recognised by such a prestigious and respected publication as Songlines for four successive years is a great accolade for the festival.
“We have a unique setting and a fantastic blend of well-established bands and emerging acts which help us attract an international audience.
“This latest support from Songlines will help further enhance our growing reputation.”
The 19th HebCelt, which takes place from July 16th to 19th, will feature its biggest ever programme and is headlined by Levellers, Big Country and Donnie Munro,
It will also include performances by Cara Dillon, Rachel Sermanni, Duncan Chisholm, Cajun band Magnolia Sisters, from the US, and Canadian outfit Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys.
The festival has its two main stages in the spectacular setting in front of Lews Castle in Stornoway, and this year is introducing an acoustic stage for the first time.
There will also be performances in An Lanntair arts centre and in rural parts of Lewis and Harris.
An integral part of the event is a Gaelic Showcase to promote the language and culture, while the One Step Further talent contest gives young artists the chance to win a slot to play on the main stage.
Songlines editor Jo Frost said: “HebCelt deserves its place within Songlines Top 10 Summer Festivals 2014 list as it continues to raise the profile of Celtic music with its Gaelic Showcase, as well as programming more mainstream artists – all within its unique Hebridean setting on the isle of Lewis.”
The latest Songlines recognition has also been welcomed by festival supporters.
David Weaver, development officer at Creative Scotland, said: “HebCelt has long been a fantastic focal point for Celtic music, not only in Scotland, but throughout the world, and its continued recognition really reflects how highly it is regarded.
“With everyone from world class legends to local hidden gems being part of the festival, the diversity and quality of the music is incredible.
“Not only that, but the entire island really comes alive for the event – showcasing not only the best in Celtic music, but also the stunning location and the unique atmosphere that Stornoway provides.”
Alasdair Macleod, chair of sustainable development.at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), said: “The Comhairle is pleased to again be supporting the Hebridean Celtic Festival which is a major success story for the Outer Hebrides and for Scotland.
“It is fantastic news that the festival has made the Songlines Top 10 Summer Festivals list for the fourth time in a row.
“Congratulations are due not only to the organisers of the festival but also to the community of the Outer Hebrides, the performers and all those who support this exciting and vibrant celebration of Celtic culture.
“Coming on top of Lewis and Harris being voted amongst the top island destinations in the world, there really is no better time for people to book their tickets for the festival.”
And Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil added: “HebCelt is THE summer festival. With almost constant daylight and glorious sunshine like last year, the HebCelt is a must.
“It is very enjoyable from beginning to end, fantastic ‘craic’ and with great people in a tremendous location, below a castle and over the sea.”
Joining HebCelt in the Songlines Top 10 are -
• Africa Oyé (Liverpool)
• Cambridge Folk Festival
• Glastonbury Festival
• Larmer Tree Festival (near Salisbury)
• Norfolk & Norwich Festival
• Shambala Festival (Northamptonshire)
• Shrewsbury Folk Festival
• Towersey Festival (Oxfordshire)
• WOMAD Charlton Park (Wiltshire)
To find out more about, and buy tickets for, this year’s Hebridean Celtic Festival please visit www.hebceltfest.com