HEBCELT ANNOUNCES SPECIAL EVENT WITH MIX OF LIVE AND DIGITAL SHOWS
The Hebridean Celtic Festival (HebCelt) has announced it will be staging a four-day event that will feature a special mix of live and digital shows as it begins the bounce-back from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dubbed the ‘Survival Sessions’, organisers say the ‘hybrid’ event will act as a support for the local music community and provide a hopeful stepping stone to producing a full live festival in 2022, when its significant positive contribution to local economy can be re-established.
This represents a notable return to producing the type of Celtic music experience enjoyed by HebCelt fans around the world since it began in 1996, which has been curtailed like other events since 2019 by the pandemic.
The event programme will have three key components: live shows at Stornoway art centre An Lanntair with socially distanced small audiences which will also be streamed live online; pre-recorded digital content; and streaming of special commissions. With workshops and shows taking place in different formats, over 32 hours of content will be produced.
Artists, event costs and other details will be announced in the second week of June. Event funders, partners and friends include Creative Scotland, EventScotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Calmac and Lews Castle College UHI.
Caroline Maclennan, HebCelt Festival Director, said: “We are delighted to return in 2021, albeit with a hybrid event. We believe that this will be a quality HebCelt experience. We are excited to be announcing what we have dubbed the ‘Survival Sessions’. We will be having a very modest return to live performances and mixing that with a variety of live streaming, filmed content and special commissions that really brings a strong flavour of HebCelt.
“Following another fallow year we wanted to do something for our loyal audiences and this programme not only offers us a lifeline but throws one to the many thousands who buy tickets for HebCelt each year and are missing it. We will also be celebrating our local language and culture within a wider programme. The whole team here is extremely grateful for the incredible support that we’ve had from a variety of sources, from funders and supporters through to festival-goers and friends. We believe the Survival Sessions will be unique and help us to build towards a fuller recovery in 2022.”