Holiday in Scotland! Then attend The Hebridean Celtic festival or HebCelt which is an international Celtic music festival that is held every year in Stornoway, Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. About 16,000 people gather each year during their holiday on the Isle of Lewis in northwestern Scotland to attend the festivities.
At the Celtic Hebrides Festival, the city of Stornoway is literally invaded by bands centered on Celtic music. Local talent and international performers participate in this major event of the European Celtic calendar during their holiday.
The first edition of the Hebridean Celtic Festival was organized in 1995 and gathered 1,000 spectators. A veritable standard bearer of Scottish culture and more particularly of the Hebrides archipelago, the festival was hailed by local communities and newspaper critics.
Despite its very secluded location in northwestern Scotland on the Isle of Lewis, the event has been successful in welcoming visitors from around the world who travel to Scotland. Over the years, about 10 percent of visitors came from around the world during their holiday, while, about 40 percent from the UK. Also, visitors come from North America, Australia, and New Zealand.
More than twenty years after its creation, the festival is now one of the top 10 British festivals, according to Songline magazine, and the 10 UK festivals the most environmentally friendly, according to the UK Festival Awards.
The Celtic Hebrides Festival is spread over several sites in and around Stornoway. The most important concerts take place in the gardens of Lews Castle, where the two main stages of the festival are located. Other events held in Stornoway are split between the An Lanntair Art Center and Martin’s Memorial.
Celebrations also take place at three other sites on the Isle of Lewis: Breasclete Community Center, Seallam, and Clan McQuarrie Center. That said, the animations and concerts organized are much smaller. The big stars are replaced by street performers and bands of local bagpipes and drums. Lovers of folklore will prefer to visit one of these 3 sites, rather than the “main arena” of the festival.
On the side of the gardens of Château Lews, the greatest Celtic artists take turns every afternoon on the two main stages of the festival. In between concerts, visitors can dine at one of the many local food stalls. Haddock smoked, Scotch beef or veggie pie, festival-goers are spoiled for choice. Also, the setting of the event is always exceptional. The Hebridean Celtic festival is the perfect opportunity for visitors to discover the culture, gastronomy, and landscapes of the Hebrides archipelago during their vacation in Scotland.