HebCelt ready to welcome Julie Fowlis and Hayseed Dixie

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Internationally-acclaimed singer Julie Fowlis will return to her native Hebrides to star at the islands’ biggest music festival in its ‘coming of age’ year.

The North Uist performer, who has graced stages around the globe, from village halls in the Highlands to theatres in Paris and Vienna, London and New York, will be joined by her band in the main arena at the 21st Hebridean Celtic Festival next summer.

HebCelt confirmed the line-up for the 2016 event will also include American band Hayseed Dixie, famed for their ‘Rockgrass’ cover versions of hard rock songs, as well as multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer John McCusker and his band during his 25th anniversary tour.

And, in line with the festival’s policy of supporting and showcasing emerging talent, it will also feature Orkney four-piece Fara and folk trio Talisk, who were both nominated in the Up and Coming Artist of the Year category in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards last weekend.

HebCelt will run from 13-16 July in Stornoway and will be headlined by Scottish rock legends Runrig who will top the bill on the closing night.

Julie Fowlis (pictured) was one of the first inductees to the HebCelt Hall of Fame and an ambassador for the event, will perform on Friday, 15 July.

Last year she sang live at the opening ceremony of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games to a TV audience of over 1 billion people and she also achieved worldwide recognition for singing the theme song to ‘Brave’, Disney Pixar’s Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA-winning animated film, set in the Scottish Highlands.

She also won the Tartan Clef Award for Music in 2014 and was nominated as Folk Singer of the Year at the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and Best Artist at the Songlines World Music Awards 2015.

She last performed at HebCelt in 2012 with her acclaimed film and musical work, Heisgeir, based on the history, people and landscape of the uninhabited Monach Islands.

Julie said: “Coming from the Outer Hebrides I have always been excited about playing at HebCelt. It is a highlight of the year for me and I am particularly looking forward to returning there for the 21st festival.”

Hayseed Dixie, who hail from the Appalachian Mountains, combine guitar, fiddle, mandolin and banjo in a unique fusion of bluegrass and rock. They made their debut in 2001 and since then have played over 1,100 live dates in 31 different countries. They have also released 15 albums in that time, consisting of both original material and reinterpretations, selling a combined total of over 500,000 copies.

Their latest album - Hair Down To My Grass – was recorded this year in a converted barn and includes re-workings of rock classics such as Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’, Survivor’s ‘Eye of the Tiger’, Europe’s ‘The Final Countdown’ and Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ On a Prayer’.