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2001 Festival Review

Afro Celt Sound System
Rock Salt & Nails
Slàinte Mhath
Wrigley Sisters

The sky's obviously the limit for this event. And you can certainly see plenty of sky here from the misty shores of the Island of Lewis, as well as sea, sand, standing stones and (sporadic) sun.Afro Celts What's more, you can hear some of the best music you've ever heard. For instance, this year was a rare opportunity to catch the Afro-Celt Sound System who literally bedazzled the sell-out crowd with incredible and intense acrobatics of movement and sound. It was also an excellent opportunity to catch another rare bird, Scottish band Capercaillie, who, similar to Runrig last year, performed a virtually all-Gaelic and driving instrumental set which went down a storm. Gaelic music and culture are big on the festival agenda, which stirred up with other Celtic and world music elements give this festival its unique edge.

Pub Session

There is always something happening for the wee ones during the day - step-dancing, Celtic crafts, Gaelic singing and fiddle workshops, face painting and family ceilidhs were just some of this year's fun activities. This let us grown-up kids join in the daily pub sessions, the fiddle and Gaelic language workshops, or catch some of the fascinating lectures on island history. All assuming, of course, that you weren't completely exhausted after the lively club sessions which lasted well into the wee hours most nights. In true island spirit, children were also made very welcome at the big shows in the evening, with model-making and crafts activities keeping them busy between dances. And if it all got too much, you could always escape to the beaches - although we even encountered a session there one afternoon, led by the enthusiastic Blackford fiddlers.


Whew. In a nutshell, the Hebridean Celtic Festival truly is an action-packed happening event, which successfully blends a warm, welcoming island spirit with a totally slick and professional approach. Once smitten, believe me you'll want to return again and again - everyone does. See you there next year!