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Festival 2020 - Fèis 2020

Well, that’s the curtain down on another HebCelt.

It was a nerve-wringing three-week period, but I have to say, though, it was as enjoyable as ever. The best bit for me is meeting new people, and doing something so wonderful as the festival with the best bunch of friends, and of course family. In fact, the whole team feel like family to me now.

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Festival 24, year 25, and still running to keep up.

Highlights? Getting the licence on Thursday afternoon was definitely a highlight; but in terms of the music, the moments of sheer joy included listening to Newton Faulkner, the ultimate festival act; Hudson Taylor were just sublime; KT and her fantastic show. Over on the Islands Stage, it had to be the energy of Talisk and JigJam and on the Acoustic Stage, Sian, James Nicol, our own Willie Campbell and Benedict Morris (who also played the Islands Stage).

Face the West had everyone bouncing, as did Elephant Sessions. Thursday night was phenomenal with Tide Lines’ closing set blowing us all away. And that’s just a fraction of what went on. Hearing comments from a seasoned tech crew that the quality of the music programmed at our festival never disappoints is high praise indeed.

There are so many moments that make you realise why you do this year in and year out. I’ve spoken about the festival heroes in my last blog. And I use that term advisedly – they are the most committed, dedicated, soulful, caring, lovely team of people you could ever want to make friends with, and indeed who you would want to run a major event with.

As we continue to trudge through paying the bills, and I take no credit for that 'little job', thoughts are turning positively to 2020. I can’t remember feeling this inspired in a long time and I put it down to the inspirational people who have helped us all through the last 21 days.

Sure, there have been challenges, more than in most years I have to admit. But we have bitten them off one at a time as you would do a festival burger or haddock wrap. Did I mention the gorgeous food onsite this year? …mmmm.

We, as ever, thank so many people, including everyone who came along, especially those who brought their bit of sunshine to help brighten up Stornoway.

Feedback from HebCelt 2019 has been phenomenal and it’s always nice when the efforts of so many in bringing this event together are recognised. See the latest news section of the website

Holiday beckons for now, but we will be back in the saddle before too long and look for news coming soon about HebCelt 25.

Caroline Maclennan Festival Director