HebCelt powers ahead after sponsorship windfall

HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan with John Buswell (left), and Darren Cuming, project director for Lewis Wind Power.
HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan with John Buswell (left), and Darren Cuming, project director for Lewis Wind Power.

The award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival has confirmed an international line-up for its Islands Stage, which will again be sponsored by Lewis Wind Power.

Lewis Wind Power, developers of Stornoway Wind Farm and Uisenis Wind Farm, are supporting the festival for the third successive year and are sponsoring the Islands Stage for the second year in a row.

The partnership with Lewis Wind Power fits with HebCelt’s environmental credentials.

In 2015 the company introduced Ecocups, a rigid plastic branded cup designed to be re-used annually by the festival, helping to cut back on plastic waste as part of a policy to reduce the event’s environmental impact.

Lewis-born singer songwriter Eleanor Nicolson, who releases her fourth EP to coincide with her HebCelt appearance, will get the programme under way on Thursday, 20 July.

She will be followed by Tide Lines, a four-piece band who were launched on social media last year, and include former Skipinnish members Robert Robertson, from Lochaber and Ross Wilson, from Mull who also release their debut album this June.

On Friday night, the stage will be given over to visiting Canadian act the Lumber Jills, who have won multiple awards for their heritage music and dancing, before the programme continues with Lewis & Leigh (from Wales and Mississippi) who received two nominations at the inaugural UK Americana Awards last year and in February won UK Song of the Year at the same awards; and former X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan, who is currently on a solo acoustic tour and released a new album this year.

The evening will be completed by Ímar, a five-piece band based in Glasgow, featuring current and former members of Mànran, RURA, Talisk, Barrule, Cara, Mabon and The Lowground.

Musicians taking part in this year’s Ceilidh Trail will kick off Saturday night’s performances.

They will be followed by The Hur, a five-piece folk pop band based in Glasgow; and the Luke Jackson Trio, featuring the eponymous singer from Kent who was nominated in three categories in the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Next in line is Tristan Horncastle, an award-winning singer songwriter from New Brunswick, who released a new single Gone by Midnight in April.

The curtain will come down on the Islands Stage programme with Elephant Sessions, who formed in 2012 and have since won Up and Coming Artist of the Year and Live Act of the Year at the BBC Alba Scots Trad Music awards.

This year’s HebCelt will run from 19-22 July in Stornoway in the island of Lewis, and will be headlined by The Waterboys, Imelda May and Dougie MacLean.