News Release
Hebridean Celtic Festival
Year of Creative Scotland 2012

For use- Immediate

  • HebCelt secures £5,000 music award
  • Funding boost for flagship island festival
  • Support for new talent recognised


The award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival’s efforts to provide a stage for up-and-coming musical talent have earned it a £5,000 windfall for this year’s summer spectacle.

The money comes from the PRS for Music Foundation, the UK's leading independent funder of new music across all genres. During a very competitive process, HebCelt was one of just 30 applications approved from the 400 received by the foundation for the latest round of awards.

The festival, now in its 17th year, boasts a unique location and an international reputation for quality and cutting-edge programming.

Last year it established a second stage within the main arena in the grounds of Lews Castle in Stornoway in the isle of Lewis. This initiative, supported by the Scotland's Islands project, hosted performances from artists from other Scottish islands alongside established acts and this year the main site’s operating hours will be extended to provide more performing slots.

The Islands Stage will see a range of artists who are creating new work across the contemporary traditional, bluegrass and indie genres, including Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble, Washington Irving, Sketch and The Sea Atlas.

The stage will also host Glasgow-based three-piece Muran who earlier this month earned a slot in the main arena by winning the festival’s One Step Further competition to find new talent.

James Hannam, Applications Manager for the PRS for Music Foundation, said: “HebCelt was selected partly due to its strong Gaelic roots and also its ability to attract new audiences and the wide range of folk artists being programmed.”

This year’s festival, which runs from 11-14 July, will be headlined by The Waterboys, The Proclaimers and Kassidy. Last year it attracted an audience of 14,500, 46 per cent of whom were visitors to the area, including fans from across Europe, the USA and Canada.

Festival Director Caroline MacLennan said: “We are delighted to receive this financial assistance from such a prestigious organisation as the PRS for Music Foundation.

“Supporting and encouraging new talent is one of the key aims of the festival. The second stage programme is primarily aimed at promoting emerging artists, both local and visiting.

“This policy provides opportunities for performers to appear alongside many of their peers, assisting their ongoing artistic development. Equally our distinctive location has the potential to offer new markets to all artists appearing at the festival.”

The PRS for Music Foundation (PRSF) is widely respected as an adventurous and proactive funding body, supporting a wide range of new music activity - from unsigned band showcases to composer residencies, from commissions for new music to experimental live electronica.

Since March 2000 PRSF has given more than £16 million to over 4,500 new music initiatives.

For more information on the PRS for Music Foundation go to www.prsformusicfoundation.com

For more information on this release contact:

John Ross
Lucid PR
01463 724593; 07730 099617


1. The 17th HebCelt takes place between 11th and 14th July 2012 and will, for the second year running, have two main stages on the Castle Green in front of the Lews Castle in Stornoway, as well as performances in An Lanntair and throughout the rural community.

2. This year it has been selected for the second year in succession as one of the top 10 UK summer festivals by music magazine Songlines. It emerged victorious as Best Large Festival at the industry-sponsored Scottish Event Awards 2011, in a three-way final with Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Glasgow’s Celtic Connections.

3. HebCelt injects more than £1.5 million annually into the local economy.

4. It is regarded by critics, performers and festival-goers as one of the top Celtic music festivals in Europe.

5. The festival is made possible through the support of funders, advertisers and a vital and large volunteer workforce- http://www.hebceltfest.com/backstage/sponsors. It relies on scores of volunteer workers who clock up over 3,500 unpaid hours during the event.

6. HebCelt has twice won the Best Event of the Year award at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, which is voted for by the public.

7. HebCelt has been hailed as one of the UK’s top 50 festivals by the Daily Telegraph and one of the top five by The Scotsman.

8. A large quantity of children under 14 can attend concerts at the Festival Arena each night for free if accompanied by someone who is 18 or older.

9. This year’s headliners are The Waterboys, The Proclaimers and Kassidy. Other artists appearing include Julie Fowlis, Skerryvore, Admiral Fallow, Roddy Woomble, Niteworks, Mànran and Larkin Poe.

10 HebCelt has its own YouTube channel, Facebook and Twitter outlets.


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