More festival success?

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The Hebridean Celtic Festival’s record-breaking year in 2016 has put it in line for another major award.

Last year’s event, headlined by Runrig, has been shortlisted in the Best Cultural Event or Festival category in the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA), a title it won in 2014.

The 21st HebCelt was held from 13-16 July 2016 in Stornoway and was the most successful in its history.

An estimated 18,000 people – by far the event’s highest audience – savoured four days of outstanding music in Stornoway and surrounding communities.

An independent economic impact study showed the festival directly generated £1.4 million. But its wider knock-on impact on local businesses meant a net economic effect of £2.2 million and helped safeguard 40 tourism-related jobs.

The 2016 HebCelt has already been confirmed as a finalist in both the Festival of the Year and Cultural Event of the Year categories in the annual Scottish Event Awards.

The recognition follows another acclaimed event this year when the festival was headlined by The Waterboys, Imelda May and Dougie MacLean.

This was followed by organisers curating a hugely-popular, sell-out opening concert at the Lorient Interceltic Festival in Brittany in August – Europe’s largest Celtic festival - when Scotland was Guest Country of Honour.

HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan said: “We are thrilled to make the HITA shortlist.

“It is another reward for everyone involved in the festival, after another successful festival this year, our triumph at Lorient and also being finalists in the Scottish Event Awards.”

The HITA winners will be revealed on 3 November.