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HCF Blog

Scottish Event Awards

Awards double continues Hebcelt’s run of success

We’re still on a high after a fantastic night at the Scottish Event Awards where HebCelt picked up two awards. Our small contingent from Lewis was delighted when we were announced as winner of the Best Festival category, but the night got even better when we were also awarded the Grand Prix, the honour given to the ‘best of the best’ events.

Any award feels good. It is a vote of confidence for everyone involved in the festival and a reward for the volunteers who work tirelessly before during and after the event, as well as our supporters and community, without whom HebCelt would not be the success it is.

A national award is something special as we are up against a lot of very well-known and popular events. To come out on top feels great and it is immensely satisfying to know others recognise the social, economic and musical impact the festival has and the wider benefits its international reputation bring.

It makes the hard work worthwhile. And it is hard work. The Event Awards recognised our record-breaking festival in 2016 when Runrig helped us achieve unprecedented success in terms of attendances and takings.

But we haven’t sat back since then. In fact, we’ve hardly sat down. Planning for this year’s HebCelt began also immediately and was done in parallel with preparations to showcase Hebridean talent at the Lorient Interceltique Festival, Europe’s largest Celtic festival where we curated the opening concert.

This year’s festival was again a huge success, with more than 40 acts delivering over 70 hours of performances in Stornoway and in communities in Lewis and Harris. Two weeks later, the Lorient concert was a sell-out and received widespread acclaim.

We’ve already began preparations for the 2018 event and Early Bird tickets have already been snapped up even before we announce out line-up.

This week we’ve also learned that HebCelt has been shortlisted in the Greener Festival awards for our efforts in cutting waste and reducing our carbon footprint. It is also a finalist in the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards for our role in bringing visitors from across the UK, Europe and beyond to the Hebrides, where it a catalyst for longer holidays in the islands.

Continuing our success over 22 years, and in a relatively remote part of the country, is an ongoing challenge, as the demise of other events in more populated areas demonstrates. But it’s one we continue to take on and the recognition and self-confidence these awards provide gives us the inspiration and energy to strive for further success.