A wind of change at the award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival will see one of the event’s main arena stages branded by sponsors for the first time in its 21-year history.
Lewis Wind Power, developers of the Stornoway Wind Farm, is supporting HebCelt for the second successive year and this summer will have its name and logo adorning the Islands Stage, where artists including Julie Fowlis and John McCusker will perform.
John Buswell, Stornoway Wind Farm Project Director, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this year’s HebCelt and to be the first ever sponsor of the Islands Stage. We can’t wait for the festival to begin, and being a headline sponsor makes it even more exciting.
“This is an excellent new sponsorship idea from HebCelt and it’s important for local organisations to support this and similar events to ensure residents and visitors continue to benefit.
“Lewis has a proud heritage of music and we are pleased to be investing in the festival, which attracts visitors far and wide to the island. This is the second consecutive year that we have sponsored the festival and we know this year will be another huge success.”
A partnership with Lewis Wind Power fits with HebCelt’s environmental credentials. Last year the company introduced Ecocups, a rigid plastic branded cup designed to be re-used annually by the festival, helping to cut back on plastic waste as part of a policy to reduce the event’s environmental impact.
Ecocups are being increasingly used at festivals to cut waste, as well as saving time, money and resources in keeping the site clear.
HebCelt is regarded as one of the greenest events in the world due to its efforts on recycling and protecting its environment. It is committed to decreasing its carbon emissions by 14 per cent by 2017 and the Hebridean Celtic Festival Trust has drawn up a series of long-term aims on the sustainable use of resources, reducing emissions and raising awareness of environmental matters among volunteers, suppliers, contractors, artists and festival goers.
Festival Director Caroline Maclennan said: “We are extremely grateful to Lewis Wind Power for sponsoring the festival for a second year and showing commitment to our work in the community.
“This is the first time we have offered any organisation the opportunity to ‘brand’ a stage, but we feel that this partnership will work very well for the festival.”
Last year HebCelt became part of the Green Arts Initiative, run by Creative Carbon Scotland and Festivals Edinburgh to help Scottish arts organisations to be at the forefront of growing an environmentally sustainable Scotland.
In 2013 it was 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.
This year’s festival will run from 13-16 July in Stornoway in the island of Lewis, and will be headlined by Runrig, Red Hot Chilli Pipers and Hayseed Dixie. Other acts already confirmed include Astrid, King Creosote and Breabach.
HebCelt has grown from a small event attracting less than 1,000 fans, to an international showpiece for roots, Celtic and traditional music, generating more than £20 million for the local economy over two decades.
Last year, it marked its 20th anniversary by hosting its biggest number of live performances ever with more than 50 hours of music and arts events staged in the main arena in the grounds of Lews Castle, as well as An Lanntair arts centre in the town centre and other venues in rural areas.