Local News for Monday 18th July 2016

HebCelt sell-out a Runrig-away success
The 21st Hebridean Celtic Festival was a runaway success, closing on a sold-out high, with headliners Runrig delighting the crowds. Heavy rain through the weekend did nothing to dampen the spirits of festival-goers, who donned their wellies and waterproofs to sample the best the festival had to offer. A team of volunteers, made up of local helpers as well as visitors from around the world, contributed over 3,500 unpaid man-hours over the course of the four-day festival, to ensure everything went to plan. Volunteer teams including Coastguards also formed part of the safety planning for the event, which saw the population of Stornoway doubled for the long weekend. A police spokesman said that it was a fantastic event with a great family atmosphere, and thanked those attending for the way they conducted themselves.
Isles FM maintained live coverage throughout the festival, with acts including Breabach, Whisky Kiss and Skipinnish in the studio during 20 hours of live broadcasting. Over 65,000 people had viewed updates, videos and photos on the Isles FM Facebook page by yesterday evening.

Read more: Local News for Monday 18th July 2016

Local News for Friday 15th July 2016

Big weekend for the islands
The busiest weekend of the year gets underway today, as Hebridean Celtic Festival sees the first of two full days entertainment in Lews Castle Grounds. Headliners tonight are the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Astrid and King Creosote, with Whisky Kiss and Julie Fowlis performing tonight on the LWP Islands Stage. The acoustic stage this evening features Brian O Headhra and Fiona Mackenzie, with an eclectic mix of Scottish, Gaelic  and world music, and Amythyst Kiah, from Tennessee. Skippinish are on at An Lanntair tonight, with new singer Norrie Maciver. The gates at the main arena open at 2pm, and music continues until around 11.30 tonight.

Read more: Local News for Friday 15th July 2016

Local News for Thursday 14th July 2016

New museum opens doors
Museum nan Eilean will open to the public from 10am today, in a building which combines the old surroundings of Lews Castle and grounds with architect-designed new spaces. At today’s public opening the pipes and drums of 7 Scots will play in the courtyard from 9:45am, while the Chair of the Lews Castle Project Board, Cllr Angus Campbell, will ring the Castle bell to mark the public opening. Later in the day the talented island band 'Faram' will play, adding to the excitement in the grounds as the HebCelt arena heads towards its opening.

Read more: Local News for Thursday 14th July 2016

Local News for Wednesday 13th July 2016

HebCelt’s opening night
The opening concert of Hebridean Celtic Festival is tonight, with Hebridean Women gracing the stage at An Lanntair. The voices of Julie Fowlis, Cathy Ann MacPhee, Kathleen MacInnes, Mairi Smith and Isobel Ann Martin are united in a concert  celebrating the festival’s 21st birthday. The evening, programmed as part of An Lanntair’s Bealach programme, was the first event in this year’s HebCelt to sell out. Men are permitted on stage – but only as support musicians. Norrie Tago Maciver, Alex Tearse and James Mackenzie will be doing the honours on guitar, keyboards and pipes and whistles. Visitors arriving tomorrow will be welcomed on the ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway by the Western Isles Ceilidh trail musicians, who will also be live in the studio as Isles FM kicks off live coverage. We’ll be on air live from 1-6pm every day of the festival, with a team of presenters bringing you interviews, live music, news and information updates and catch-ups from around the town. Stay tuned to 103fm.

Read more: Local News for Wednesday 13th July 2016

Local News for Tuesday 12th July 2016

Stornoway Wind Farm HebCelt competition
With this week's Hebridean Celtic Festival heading for a complete sell out, music fans are being given a chance to win two scarce passes, which each include two tickets, in a prize draw by Lewis Wind Power. LWP is sponsoring HebCelt's Islands Stage, where artists including Julie Fowlis and John McCusker will perform. . To win the HebCelt passes, all you have to do is visit Lewis Wind Power at its drop-in session event today, between 11am and 7pm at Stornoway Town Hall, complete a form and drop it in the competition box. Winners will be drawn at random, notified by telephone on Wednesday and tickets can be collected from the Stornoway Trust on Thursday.
Today’s public information session asks islanders how best to spend community benefit money and profits from the community ownership of 20% of the Stornoway Wind Farm, with ideas for projects from the last session including local sports, energy efficiency help for homes, scholarships, youth group activity, coastal protection measures and apprenticeships in the construction sector. Around £30-40 million could be available to invest and residents in the Stornoway Trust area are invited to drop in today and meet representatives of the Stornoway Trust and Lewis Wind Power. Project director Darren Cuming said: “We had a great turnout at our last community drop-in, with some great ideas generated. We now want to develop these ideas further to discuss how some of these ideas could be turned into reality”.

Read more: Local News for Tuesday 12th July 2016