Hebtember attracts international tourists

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The Hebtember Festival recently saw the last in the series of eight Gàidhlig cèilidhs in Barvas and Lochs.

The new festival celebrated the culture and heritage of the Outer Hebrides and involved a series of events which included nights in Ness, Uig, Bays of Harris, Berneray and Barra. 

Highly acclaimed Gàidhlig singers were enlisted with artists including Kathleen MacInnes, Gillebride MacMillan, Christine Primrose and Kristine Kennedy performing.

Hebtember was created to extend the tourist season and visitor numbers to the island. Having successfully attracted not only locals to the events, but also visitors from all over Britain, Ireland and Germany, it is hoped that this festival will become an annual event.

Gillebride MacMillan, the main performer in Barra’s cèilidh, said: “The Hebtember ceilidhs are a great way of showcasing the rich Gaelic culture of the Hebrides. Locals and visitors alike come together to celebrate our song and dance culture.

“September has tended to be a quiet month for ceilidhs but now Hebtember changes that. There is no better way to enjoy the living culture than to sample it for yourself at Hebtember ceilidhs local and guest artiste performing in a relaxed setting. Here’s to the next few years of Hebtember!”

The cèilidhs were only one part of the Hebtember festival which also included two tours with singer Julie Fowlis and comedian Fred Macaulay. There was also an exhibition by Uist Wool in Grimsay revealing the quality and potential of wool manufactured in the Outer Hebrides.

The next series of events for Pròiseact nan Ealan will be the unveiling of WW1 themed exhibitions relating to the Gairm nan Gàidhlig – Call of the Gael project. 

These exhibitions will showcase stories, pictures, poems, artefacts and memorabilia from the Western Isles.

The exhibition in An Lanntair will run between 25 October and 6 December 2014. The North Uist exhibition will open in Taigh Cearsabhagh in November and will run throughout 2015.

Exhibitions in Barra and Harris will take place later in the year and Kildonan museum will host one between April and October 2015.