Michelle Shields, who took over the programming mantle at HebCelt last year, is conscious of the responsibility that has landed on her shoulders. She and the entire team are keenly aware of the huge expectations, deservedly placed on them by their legion of loyal followers, to curate a programme that matches their aspirations and that of this multi award winning family friendly festival
No stranger to HebCelt, having been attending since she was a young girl, Michelle has been involved in many aspects of the festival over the intervening years, from shop manager, to artist liaison and latterly all aspects of artist advancing in preparation for their performance. She cites the festival as influential in her musical tastes from these early days and, as a native Gàidhlig speaker, has a good grounding in the culture of the event and the strong ethos of maintaining the language at its heart.
‘What HebCelt taught me is that music does not have to be defined by a genre. Not everyone needs to slot into a box, genres can mix and merge and create new and exciting styles. My own personal taste is very eclectic – isn’t everyone’s? You can listen to different types of music and different types of moods and each one can create new memories.’
As well as HebCelt, Michelle also works as a freelance floor manager for television programmes, another area that she is very passionate about. This affords her the opportunity to attend many festivals, events and music recordings (as well as news, children’s programmes and quiz shows) and a job where she meet lots of interesting people. Through the years Michelle has also worked for several events organisations, festivals and a well known and loved music agency. This all strengthened her knowledge of the industry as a whole. Being involved in HebCelt though is very special to Michelle, as it is special to all the HebCelt family – from the board, volunteers, supporters and suppliers, and of course the HebCelt audience
“As ever, we have sought to programme the festival in a way which caters to a whole range of musical tastes and helps create a warm, lively atmosphere that we think all ages will enjoy.”
Weekend tickets are available now but you are encouraged to be quick if you want to experience this amazing line-up in full. As in previous festivals there will be some performers that will be new to HebCelt audiences, so the message is, take time to explore the arena programme artists, check out the Spotify playlist and discover some amazing fresh talent alongside fabulous household names.