Music festival boost for Southern Isles

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Music fans from home and abroad helped generate £420,000 for the Uist & Benbecula economy and safeguarded eight tourism-related jobs, a study has revealed.

In only its second year, the Eilean Dorcha Festival (EDF) on the Isle of Benbecula, attracted a sell-out crowd of 3,000 over two days, a 141% increase on year one.

The independent economic impact study calculated that the public subsidy of £33,500 secured to back the festival, generated a visitor spend of around £420,000.

The survey found that more than half of festival goers came from outwith the Hebrides, with 28% staying on the islands for more than a week.

The festival, from July 28-29, featured acts including The Dolly Show, Niteworks, Manran, Hunter and the Bear, Tidelines, Trail West, The Silencers and the Beinn Lee Ceilidh Band.

EDF has been shortlisted for the Small Event Of The Year Award by the National Outdoor Events Association.

EDF development manager Roddy MacKay said: “Tourism is a key part of the Uist economy, and as this positive study shows, the Eilean Dorcha Festival is helping to attract visitors and boosting the local economy.

“In only our second year, we welcomed 3000 people through the gates while gaining the reputation of the ‘friendly festival’ from our visitors.

“Everyone involved in EDF is focused on offering an unforgettable visitor experience. We pride ourselves on a diverse musical choice from traditional to modern in a unique setting.

“The festival has something for the whole family with full Hebridean hospitality thrown in for good measure. We are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for the prestigious Small Event Of The Year Award by the National Outdoor Events Association awards.”