Power firm to help light up HebCelt stage

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The Hebridean Celtic Festival is powering ahead with an exciting programme for its Islands Stage after confirming sponsorship with an island windfarm company has been extended to a fourth successive year.

The continuing partnership with Lewis Wind Power, developers of Stornoway Wind Farm and Uisenis Wind Farm, will again help HebCelt present an international line-up on the Islands Stage.

It also fits with the environmental credentials of the festival, which will run from 18-21 July in Stornoway in the island of Lewis.

Glasgow-based trad band TRIP, formed in late 2016 and drawing on influences from the cultures of Scotland, England, Ireland and the Isle of Man, will get the programme under way on Thursday, 19 July.

The six-piece are all second-year students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, including Lewis Gaelic singer, Mairi Maclennan.

They will be followed by Trail West, whose members hail from Tiree and South Uist, who plan a new album in 2018 and perform with a new, six-piece festival line-up.

The following night will see Canadian acts Vishtèn and the Yves Lambert Trio take the stage.

Hailing from Prince Edward Island, Vishtèn are a trio of multi-instrumentalists who merge traditional French songs and Celtic and Acadian music, while Yves Lambert, a pioneer and driving force for Québécois folk music, is returning to HebCelt 20 years after appearing as frontman for La Bottine Souriante.

Roddy Woomble, frontman of Scottish Indie giants, Idlewild, who released his fourth solo studio album last year, also features on Friday night, as do Kinnaris Quintet, a new all-female band who combine new compositions with traditional Scottish and Irish, Bluegrass, old-time and classical music.

Saturday sees the stage given over to The Sea Atlas, a four-piece made up of singer songwriter Calum Buchanan and friends; and Glasgow singer Martha L Healy, who releases her second album this year.

The evening also features the Adam Sutherland Band, featuring the fiddler and MG Alba Scots Trad Awards 2017 Composter of the Year, who has played with festival favourites including Treacherous Orchestra, Peatbog Faeries, Session A9 and Salsa Celtica and now leads a sextet of some of Scotland’s finest trad musicians; and Festival debutants.

The Tumbling Souls, a six-piece, fronted by Lewis singer-songwriter Willie Campbell and featuring members of Face The West, Astrid and Hò-Rò.

Completing the stage line-up is Niteworks, who performed acclaimed gigs at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay event and Celtic Connections this year and will release their second album this year.

HebCelt Director Caroline Maclennan said: “We are delighted that our partnership with Lewis Wind Power is continuing for a fourth successive year.

“Their support for the festival helps us attract an extremely strong and exciting line-up of international artists to the Islands Stage.”

The partnership with Lewis Wind Power fits with HebCelt’s environmental credentials.

In 2015 the company introduced Ecocups, a rigid plastic branded cup designed to be re-used annually by the festival, helping to cut back on plastic waste as part of a policy to reduce the event’s environmental impact.

HebCelt is one of the greenest events in the world due to its efforts on recycling and protecting its environment and last month picked up a Highly Commended accolade at A Greener Festival Awards in recognition of its drive to minimise the event’s carbon footprint.

Kerry MacPhee, Community Liaison, Lewis Wind Power, said: “The HebCelt Festival is a landmark in the islands calendar and we are delighted to play our part in supporting such an important event.

“2018 is an important year in the development of our wind farm projects at Uisenis and Stornoway, and the 2018 HebCelt is looking set to be one of the best yet.”