Ahead of its 20th anniversary, the internationally-renowned Hebridean Celtic Festival has become the 20th recipient of Hands Up for Trad’s Business Limelight Award.
The ‘Limelights’ are a monthly initiative to recognise the outstanding contributions made by businesses and organisations who contribute, shape and influence the arts and cultural sector in Scotland today.
HebCelt, which started in 1996 with a mainly-local audience of 1,000, now attracts some 15,000 music fans to Stornoway – around half of them from outside the Hebrides - over its four day run.
This year’s HebCelt, which runs from 15-18 July, will feature acts including Idlewild, Afro Celt Sound System, Treacherous Orchestra, the Karen Matheson Band, Shooglenifty, Chastity Brown, Le Vent du Nord, Raghu Dixit and Salsa Celtica.
It is another accolade for the event which was voted Best Event or Festival at the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards in 2014 and this year was selected as one of the top 10 UK summer festivals for the fourth year in succession by influential publication Songlines.
In 2013 it was hailed as one of the greenest festivals in the world after being the only Scottish event to receive an Outstanding award from environmental campaign group A Greener Festival. In addition, it was shortlisted in the Greener Festival category in the UK Festival Awards and in the Best Independent Festival category in the AIM Independent Music Awards.
In 2011 it was ranked Best Large Festival at the industry-sponsored Scottish Event Awards and it won Best Event of the Year award at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards in 2004 and 2009.
HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan said: “We are really chuffed to be recognised in this way. We strive to promote a top quality music and arts programme and are also proudly passionate about supporting emerging talent and ensuring our Gaelic culture is showcased to our international audience.