HebCelt festival favourites Tide Lines will return to the stage for a record-breaking fourth successive year in 2020 to help mark the event’s 25th anniversary.
The award-winning band will headline the Thursday night line-up at the festival where they made their debut in 2017.
They have been annual visitors ever since and their headline appearance this year marked the first time in the evet’s history that an act had played three years in a row, a record they will now extend in 2020.
In keeping with the homecoming theme to help celebrate the milestone anniversary, two other, familiar HebCelt acts will also return next year - internationally renowned Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis, who will be appearing at the event for the first time in four years, and Trail West, who were last at HebCelt two years ago. Young local group Dual are also confirmed for next year.
Scots rock giants Texas were previously unveiled as the headline act for the anniversary event, which will run from 15-18 July 2020, with other major artists still to be announced.
HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan said: “This is a fabulous group of artists to announce for our 25th anniversary. We expect many islanders to return home to help us mark the occasion and the homecoming theme is reflected in the line-up, with some standout artists from previous festivals coming back to join the celebrations.
“And there’s more to come. Early in the new year we hope to announce further fantastic artists who will be making up a brilliant and diverse line-up. We are aiming for one of our best programmes ever for our landmark year.”
After launching on social media in 2016, Tide Lines have become a phenomenon. Their debut single, ‘Far Side of the World’, entered the UK download charts less than 24 hours after they were formed and their fervent online fanbase ensure their gigs sell out in minutes. With a growing following across the UK and in Europe, they were also shortlisted for Live Act of the Year in the 2017 MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards. This year they won The Rising Sound of Scotland award at the Scottish Music Awards.
The launch of an EP in 2018 tapped into the band’s affinity with HebCelt when they recorded a live version of ‘Far Side of the World’ featuring the festival audience.
Robert Robertson, the band’s vocalist, said: “We are very excited to be part of HebCelt’s 25th anniversary celebrations. The fact we are appearing for a fourth consecutive year shows what the festival and its audience mean to us and we can’t wait to join in the homecoming party.”
Julie Fowlis has had an association with the Hebridean Celtic Festival since 1998 and last performed on stage to mark the event’s 21st birthday in 2016.
Nominated as ‘Folk Singer of the Year’ at the 2018 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and ‘Best Artist’ at the Songlines World Music Awards, the North Uist-raised artist has been a serial visitor since being given one of her first solo singing opportunities as part of the specially-commissioned project ‘Atlantic Movement’.
Since then she has become universally recognised for singing the theme song to ‘Brave’, Disney Pixar's Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA winning animated film, as well as other major achievements, including performing live at the closing ceremony of the Ryder Cup in Chicago in 2012 to a TV audience of 500 million and at the opening ceremony of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, which had a TV audience of 1 billion.
Her career has spanned five albums and she has recorded with a wide range of leading artists, including violin virtuoso Nicola Benedetti and singers James Taylor and Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Another busy year for Julie in 2019 has included a sell-out UK tour with the Lost Words: Spell Songs project, as well as performances throughout Europe and North America, including Carnegie Hall in New York and at the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall.
She was one of the first inductees to the HebCelt Hall of Fame and is an ambassador for the event.
Julie said: “Appearing at HebCelt always feels like going home for me. The festival holds a special place in my heart and I’m thrilled to be part of the 2020 celebrations.”
Trail West, whose four original members hail from Tiree and South Uist, became a six-piece band in 2017. The band have released three critically acclaimed albums and are at the forefront of the thriving traditional music scene featuring Glasgow Gaels.
They celebrate ten years of playing in 2020 and their appearance at HebCelt is one of a series of gigs planned throughout the year to mark the occasion.
The band’s Seonaidh MacIntyre said: “It’s going to be a great celebration at HebCelt 2020 as we mark our 10th anniversary as a band, along with HebCelt’s landmark 25th anniversary. A recipe for a great party.
“We played at the 2018 festival on the Islands Stage and it’s still one of the best gigs we’ve had to date. The atmosphere was incredible and we hope to repeat that at HebCelt 2020.”
Local musicians Dual met at Fèis Eilean an Fhraoich. They now attend the Fèis Eilean an Fhraoich groupwork classes which run throughout the year at the Newton Centre in Stornoway.
They are tutored by local musicians Andrew Yearley, Anna Murray and Jane Hepburn, all of whom have been regular performers at HebCelt.
Dual’s dedication to honing their performance and stagecraft won them first place in the Under 19 folk group competition at The Royal National Mod in Glasgow 2019.