Free HebCelt concerts broadcast live

The HebCelt tents are going up ready for the music festival this week
The HebCelt tents are going up ready for the music festival this week

A series of live concerts showcasing some of the leading performers at this year’s Hebridean Celtic Festival will be broadcast live on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal.

The award-winning HebCelt will be held from July 16th to 19th and the station is airing live shows on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 2pm and 4pm to highlight the event’s biggest ever programme.

BBC Radio nan Gàidheal music producer John Murray said: “We are delighted to be working with HebCelt again on this series of programmes that will give a real flavour of the festival.

“There is an outstanding line-up of artists and we are excited about being able to share that with our listeners. We hope people will come along to the free concerts and enjoy some great music.”

On Wednesday, singer Norrie MacIver, frontman for top Scottish band Mànran, will be in the studio to talk about his debut album which will be launched at HebCelt.

Calum Alex Macmillan will also chat about performing this year with The Lochies and, in his role as development officer with Fèisean nan Gaidheal, the umbrella body for the fèis movement, will discuss its work with the festival over the years.

On Thursday and Friday the programmes will be broadcast live from the town’s Martin Memorial Hall. Entry to the concerts is free and local people and visitors are encouraged to drop in to enjoy the sessions.

HebCelt headliner Donnie Munro will be performing on Thursday, along with Cajun band the Magnolia Sisters, from Louisianna; the Scott Wood Band; and Shellie Morris of the Yanyuwa people from the Northern Territory of Australia, who is performing at the festival as part of Boomerang, a Commonwealth event exploring links between Scottish, Aboriginal and Maori cultures.

The Friday concerts will feature Duncan Chisholm, who was inducted into the HebCelt Hall of Fame this year; Damian Helliwell’s Metta; local singer/songwriter Eleanor Nicolson and Canadian band Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys.

In addition, sessions will be recorded for the Rapal programme with Paisley singer/songwriter Michael Cassidy appearing on Thursday, Scottish five-piece Dante on Friday and Glasgow band This Silent Forest on Saturday.

Caroline Maclennan, the HebCelt director, said: “The Radio nan Gàidheal events are an annual attraction and an important part of HebCelt.

“Broadcasting the concerts live means people in Stornoway, and those that can’t get here this week, get a real taste of what the festival is like and the calibre of musicians that will be on stage.”

The 19th HebCelt, will also be headlined by Levellers and Big Country, while Rachel Sermanni, Cara Dillon, Willie Campbell and Larkin Poe will also be among nearly 40 acts featuring over the four days.

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