Lucky Co-op shoppers bag HebCelt tickets

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Jeanne Mackay got more than she bargained for during a shopping trip to the Co-operative food store in Stornoway after winning tickets to the award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival.

Jeanne, from Stornoway, won a family weekend ticket for this month’s festival in a competition run by the food retailer as part of its support for the event.

She is seen collecting her ticket from festival director Caroline Maclennan outside the Macaulay Road store with (from left to right) staff member Iain Macleod, store manager Steven Cooper and her daughter Amy Mackay.

The Co-operative ran the competition in 25 of its food stores in the north of Scotland.

Christine MacAulay, from Eriskay, won tickets for the festival at the store in Daliburgh, South Uist, and another shopper will win tickets from the Portree store.

The 19th HebCelt runs from July 16th to 19th in Stornoway and will feature its biggest ever programme of almost 40 artists.

It will be headlined by Levellers, Big Country and Donnie Munro and 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.

As part of the annual Hebridean Celtic Festival Shinty Challenge Cup, the Co-operative will also support the Lewis Camanachd Association and pre-final events to encourage young players into the sport.

This includes the Commonwealth Games Shinty Coaching Camp, being held in Stornoway for 8-14-year-olds from July 14th to 18th, in association with The Co-operative and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Caroline Maclennan said: “Congratulations to the ticket winners and we look forward to seeing them at the festival as part of an international audience that helps make the event so special and brings a great atmosphere to Stornoway.

“We are extremely grateful to The Co-operative for its ongoing support for HebCelt and for promoting the festival in its stores across the north of Scotland.”

Stephen Kelly, Co-operative and Membership Manager at The Co-operative Group, added: “Playing an active role in the community is very important to The Co-operative, and we are really pleased to be able to do our bit to support this year’s HebCelt festival which I’m sure will be a great success.”

The four-day festival is expected to attract an audience of about 16,000 – double the population of Stornoway – with more than half coming from outside the Hebrides and helping to generate around £1 million for the local economy.