Plans for Stornoway’s premiere summer event The Hebridean Celtic Festival are in full swing this week with Calmac joining in the fun by temporarily renaming the Ullapool to Stornoway ferry the Loch Seaforth ‘The Heb Celt Ferry’ for the week’s festivities.
The ferry’s on-board restaurant will also have a special HebCelt-themed menu this week, featuring a new dish Mac ‘n’ Black which includes the famous Stornoway black pudding.
In addition, a pop-up festival ticket collection/information point will be on the 5.30pm sailing from Ullapool on Wednesday and 10.30am crossing to Stornoway on Thursday.
During festival week the ferry becomes almost a floating ceilidh due to the many musicians and music fans travelling to Stornoway and it is a great introduction to the festival for visitors and returning islanders alike.
Broadcasting live from this year’s event are Radio nan Gaidheal, with presenters capturing a flavour of the festival in two special shows from Stornoway Town Hall, presented by Emma Lamont.
On Thursday, from 2pm-4pm, the show will feature Canadian trio Vishtèn; Glasgow-based trad band TRIP; Scots fiddler and American cellist duo Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas; as well as performers from Blasta, which brings together a group of multi-talented Gaelic singers - Anna Murray, Mischa Macpherson, Ceitlin Smith, Josie Duncan and Calum Alex Macmillan.
On Friday, from 3pm-5pm, performances will come from Kinnaris Quintet; Lewis singer songwriter Iain Morrison; Yves Lambert Trio, from Quebec; and London-based Pilgrim’s Dream, the project of former Royal Marines Commando Rob Ouseley.
The radio coverage is in addition to the national TV exposure being given to the HebCelt Festival by BBC favourite The One Show, which will be broadcasting live from the arena on Friday evening.
Tickets are selling fast for the four day event, with weekend and Saturday tickets for the arena - on Lews Castle Green - now sold out.
However, Thursday and Friday tickets are still available for visiting music fans keen to enjoy the festivities.
Tickets can be purchased at the HebCelt Festival shop at 10 Francis Street, Stornoway. A maximum of four tickets of each type can be purchased at any one time.
If you are collecting tickets remember to take along your order ID.