New HebCelt base to take centre stage

Gearing up for HebCelt 2014
Gearing up for HebCelt 2014

Hebridean Celtic Festival volunteers completed a four-day make-over challenge to get a bigger and more prominent festival shop in Stornoway town centre ready to open on Saturday (June 14th).

The new base in the former Wee W premises at 49 Cromwell Street was open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and will open next Saturday for ticket collection, bookings and sale of merchandise.

From June 23rd the shop it will be open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm.

And uring festival week (July 14th to 19th) the shop hours will be 10am to 6pm with late opening until 8pm on Wednesday, July 17th.

The new premises are much larger than the previous base in Church Street and have been leased from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. The festival team set themselves a challenge of making it ready for the public in just four days and completed their efforts this week.

Caroline Maclennan, the festival director, said: “The new premises are about three times the size of the previous shop and are on a more prominent site in the centre of town.

“It means we are much more visible and accessible and can provide a better service to festival goers.

“We are very grateful to everyone who helped us get ready for opening and to the council for offering us the site. It is another example of the tremendous support they give to the festival.”

Meanwhile, HebCelt has become part of the Green Arts Initiative, run by Creative Carbon Scotland and Festivals Edinburgh to help Scottish arts organisations to be at the forefront of growing an environmentally sustainable Scotland.

The festival has already been hailed as one of the greenest in the world after being the only Scottish event to receive an Outstanding award from environmental campaign group A Greener Festival last year.

In addition, it was shortlisted in the Greener Festival category in the UK Festival Awards.

The 19th HebCelt will feature its biggest ever programme. It will be headlined by Levellers, Big Country and Donnie Munro and also include performances by Cara Dillon, Rachel Sermanni, Duncan Chisholm and Canadian outfit Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys.

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