Appeal for Room as Festival Goers Head to Stornoway

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Friday May 11 2018

Islanders are being asked to make available rooms, beds and even driveways to help accommodate an influx of visitors to this year’s international Hebridean Celtic Festival.

Such is the popularity of the multi award-winning event, that festival-goers double the population of host town Stornoway to around 16,000 over four days.

With ten weeks still to go to HebCelt 2018, hotels, guest houses and facilities for campervans in the Stornoway area are already booked up and an appeal has been made to residents to offer spare rooms and beds to visitors, as well as space in driveways for an overspill of mobile homes.

The local VisitScotland office has made the appeal earlier than usual as this year’s festival is expected to attract one of its biggest-ever audiences, with music fans coming from across Europe, Canada, the US and Australia.

Alan Mackenzie, VisitScotland Island Manager, said:

“The buzz around HebCelt started some time ago and we already have a waiting list for accommodation in Stornoway for festival week.

“The event generates massive interest in the islands and provides an economic boost for the whole community.

“Residents are extremely welcoming and hospitable and with their help we can assist those who have so far not managed to find somewhere to stay.

“It is the first time we have asked for space in driveways but it can help visitors arriving in campervans to find safe places to park.

“Anyone who can help should contact our team at the Stornoway VisitScotland iCentre (01851 703088).” 

The 23rd HebCelt will be held from 18-21 July in Stornoway with headliners Deacon Blue, The Fratellis, Eddi Reader, Skippinish and Roddy Woomble.

The event’s popularity continues to grow and last month it was named Best Cultural Event or Festival at the Scottish Thistle Awards.

HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan said:

“We are delighted at the level of interest in this year’s festival and we are hoping for another bumper crowd.

“The number of people coming into Stornoway creates a fantastic atmosphere in the town and brings the biggest economic benefit outside the festive season.

“We work closely with VisitScotland and accommodation providers to help visitors and ensure they can enjoy the festival, and their stay in the Hebrides, to the full.”

Day tickets for HebCelt are available exclusively from the festival website.




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