Freakishly mild recent weather made it feel like later in the year and that we should be more organised! To be honest, although we’ve had the blips here or there, we are now bang on track for what is set to be another showstopper of a year.
We are poised to announce the full arena programme, have a series of fabulous shows selected for An Lanntair, and are going on sale with day tickets this month. Can’t wait to get this all on sale finally.
Weekend tickets have sold as quickly as last year, so please do not delay in securing your place at the festival. Some people who did not book ahead were left disappointed last year when they arrived to find we had sold out on all four nights tickets, so please don’t let this happen to you.
Behind the scenes the team are working away pinning down the facilities we require, securing the catering, trading and additional activities that make up the wider festival experience and news of that will be revealed in the next month or so.
The works have just started on the Castle Green and we are very excited by the changes this will bring to the layout of the festival site. More on that when the works are complete and we get to see exactly what we will have to play with this year. However, it could mean an expansion of the capacity and perhaps an opportunity to develop onsite activities, although the latter may have to wait for next year. Exciting times in any event.
These works are part of programme of renovations around the grounds to improve the amenities for the wider Stornoway community to enjoy. We congratulate our friends at the Stornoway Trust and all who contributed to make this happen, we know it has been a long journey to reach this stage.
We have been overwhelmed by the interest in volunteering this year. It’s fantastic that we will have such a large and enthusiastic group to help us run the event – we certainly couldn’t do it without you. We will begin to place volunteers in the coming months. There are still some places available, so if you fancy the challenge, all the information is in the volunteering section of the website.
It has been a wee bit bumpy en route this year with some challenges securing the funding package that underpins the viability of HebCelt, but we are content with the support we have secured to date from Creative Scotland and Comhairle na Eiliean Siar despite the obvious and compelling issues faced across the public sector.
We continue to seek partners to assist what we do and are grateful to Lews Castle College UHI, and Anna Wendy Stevenson in particular, for their assistance this year. Also, CalMac for their continued support and the many more in the community who help where they can. If you would like to get involved then please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Soon we’ll be scrubbing up and heading to Edinburgh for the Scottish Rural Awards on 21 March at which we are shortlisted for a Rural Tourism category.
So you see, its been a busy year, and it’s still only March!