Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has today (Tuesday July 28) confirmed that the live weekly Cèilidhs, which have been running on its Facebook page every Friday and Saturday night since lockdown began, will continue until the end of the year.

The Comhairle ran a poll on the Facebook page over the weekend to ascertain whether there was an appetite from the community to see the cèilidhs continue and 98% of more than 400 respondents confirmed that they were.

Whilst most of the Comhairle’s COVID-19 social media programme of activities has now come to an end, the cèilidhs have been considered a key source of entertainment by islanders and expats around the world.

Colin George Morrison, Media Coordinator at the Comhairle, said: “The cèilidhs will continue until the New Year but we will be reducing it to one a week with a weekly Friday evening slot at the usual time of 9pm. We are delighted to announce that this week’s ceilidh will be hosted by Iain ‘Costello’ Maciver, who has been one of the most prominent artists on the live ceilidh scene since lockdown began.

“We have consulted with many of the artists who have been performing over recent months, and without whom none of this would be possible, and have received an overwhelmingly positive response to the continuation of the ceilidh programme. It has been quite incredible to see how the artist have so willingly supported the communities of the Western Isles and likewise how the communities have supported the artists.

“The local musical talent, including Gaelic and English songs, have seen over 30 cèilidhs take place over the last 4 months with a total of around 374,300 views to date. We do hope that this continues to be an extremely positive experience for all concerned and the Comhairle is more than happy to facilitate the continuation of the project.”

Iain “Costello” Maciver, said: “In the absence of live music events, the COVID cèilidhs have been great for keeping people’s spirits up, not only the general public, but the performers as well. I hope the Comhairle keep them going for the foreseeable future and I look forward to taking part in a few more of them.”

In addition to the continuation of the online Cèilidh programme, the Comhairle has also this week agreed to work with local artists to provide exclusive 30 minute weekly ceilidh footage to all Care Homes throughout the Western Isles in order to provide residents with some musical entertainment.