Starting fractionally before 8pm last night (Thursday) the first notes in the "Big Blue" tent of the 20th Hebridean Celtic Festival came from Alasdair White, and his collections of musicians, Ewan MacPherson, Alan Kelly, Aaron Jones, Jarleth Henderson, Seonaidh MacIntyre, Martin O'Neill, and Gillie Mackenzie.
They were playing the Key/Clef - an Iuchair – a series of tunes written by Alasdair himself, starting off with the suitably titled Opening Night and Big Blue.  Other tunes celebrated different aspects of the HCF, including The Dalmore Barbecue, reflecting a post-festival tradition dating back to 1996.
First of all on stage – the Islands Stage or second big tent – was Siobhan Miller – as the packed festival crowd filled the Castle Green.