Summer Isles Festival celebrates stunning local area and talent

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The Summer Isles Festival will host the first ever local showcase at Coigach Community Hall on Saturday 29th August. Achiltibuie has a wealth of talented musicians and this concert will provide a platform for up-and-coming locals alongside more established artists. Confirmed acts so far are Festival Director and accordionist, Mairearad Green, local young musician Joseph Peach, with his band Tannara and local Tradition bearer, Ali Beag Macleod will be performing with Kevin Macleod from ceilidh band, The Occasionals.

The already varied line up for 2015 includes the Achiltibuie Highlanders who will kick start the proceedings on Saturday with a performance outside the village hall at 12.30pm. Also on the bill are Flook, Kathleen MacInnes, Sorren Maclean Band, The Elephant Sessions, DJ Angus Binnie and the Mairearad Green Ceilidh Band.

This year’s festival has a Highland seashore theme following the award of funding from the Highland Seashore Biodiversity Project. Festival-goers are invited to design and make a ship, liner or fishing boat using driftwood, scraps, sticks and odds and ends at a Driftwood Boat Building Workshop with local artist Julia Campbell. Other activities include Garbanimal building with Chapel Croft Creatures and an educational fire extravaganza with Fly Agaric.

Theatre is a welcome addition to this year’s programme, and emerging Scottish company Play Pieces will present two performances of Warrior Blues, taking a story which is nearly 3000 years old, and retelling it for the 21st century. Eternal themes of love, magic, violence, conflict and revenge infuse the new story, just as they filled Homer’s Odyssey.

Building on the model of last year’s festival, food demonstrations will be given by Chinese cookery specialist Yungyung Kan and Ockran Oysters, a local business based near Ullapool that grows Pacific and native oysters. The Summer Isles Festival Ale will be made by An Teallach Ale Company who will provide an informative ‘Meet the Brewer’ session.

Music workshops include fiddle with Mike Vass, a Gaelic song workshop with Kathleen MacInnes and guitar with Mark Bruce (The Elephant Sessions).

One final festival activity is planned for Sunday 30th August, with a walk up Stac Pollaidh at 11am for the best view of the local area. Those brave enough are asked to join members of Our Land and share a picnic, some poetry and songs at the top.

Festival Director and musician Mairearad Green said “I’m delighted that this year we were able to secure funding to add so many exciting new events. It is definitely worth getting here early to fit in everything that is on offer. With a great line-up secured for the evening event, I am looking forward to welcoming everyone to what is sure to be the busiest festival yet.”

Festival highlights:

· Local showcase concert announced for Friday evening of the festival

· Food demonstrations include Ockran Oysters from nearby Ullapool and An Teallach Ale

· Daytime activities added with Highland seashore theme following funding from the Highland Seashore Biodiversity Project

· Two performances of Warrior Blues by local arts organisation Play Pieces added to already packed programme of events

20 Aug 2015
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