A MIX of international artists and home-grown talent make up the first acts announced for next year’s Hebridean Celtic Festival – including Skipinnish, Blazin’ Fiddles, Tide Lines and The Tumbling Souls.
HebCelt has enjoyed a highly successful year, picking up three major awards, including being named as best cultural event or festival in the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards a few weeks ago.
Festival favourites Skipinnish will headline the arena opening evening on Thursday, July 19. The band has been shortlisted for live act of the year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2017.
They have also released four consecutive chart-topping, self-penned singles and enjoyed a 3,000-seat, sell-out concert in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
Internationally-acclaimed Blazin’ Fiddles have released their ninth album this month and will play HebCelt as part of their 20th anniversary celebrations next year.
And after a stunning HebCelt debut last year, Tide Lines will be back for next year.
They are also shortlisted for live act of the year in the trad awards, and have a fervent fanbase which helped their show in Stornoway in March next year sell out in 10 minutes!
Local band The Tumbling Souls, a six-piece, fronted by Lewis singer-songwriter Willie Campbell and featuring members of Face The West, Astrid and Hò-Rò, will make their festival arena debut in 2018.
Also featured are Kinnaris Quintet, a new all-female band which combines new compositions with traditional Scottish and Irish, bluegrass, old time and classical music. The band members have performed with Shooglenifty, Fiddler’s Bid, Niteworks, The Shee, Salsa Celtica, Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson Band, Dougie MacLean, Fat-Suit, Songs Of Separation and Phil Cunningham, to name a few.
Completing the Scottish contingent, Trail West, whose members hail from Tiree and South Uist, plan a new album in 2018, backed with a new six-piece festival line-up.
Vishtèn and the Yves Lambert Trio join the festival programme to continue HebCelt’s long cultural connection to Canada.
Hailing from Prince Edward Island’s Evangeline area, Vishtèn are a trio of multi-instrumentalists who merge traditional French songs and Celtic and Acadian music with a modern twist of rock and indie-folk influences.
Yves Lambert, who appeared at HebCelt 20 years ago as frontman for La Bottine Souriante, finally returns to the festival. The charismatic musician has been a pioneer and driving force for Québécois folk music for 40 years and is credited with extending its popularity outside Canada.
Representing Denmark will be one of the country’s leading folk acts, Habadekuk. The eight-piece band blend folk, salsa and big band jazz. The group’s debut album was awarded album of the year at the Danish Music Awards in 2011 and picked up the tradition award two years later.
HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan said: “This is a fresh, lively set of artists which is in line with HebCelt’s aim to bring a mix of established and young talent from different cultures to our audience.
“It’s a great start to our 2018 programme and we will have more exciting announcements, including our other headline acts, in the coming weeks.”
A limited quantity of early bird tickets, priced £90, £80 concession and £15 (6-14 years) are available from www.hebceltfest.com.