Tickets selling well as BLAS 2016 prepares to launch
Issued by Blas Festival
Tickets are already selling well as communities across the Highlands and Argyll prepare to celebrate Highland culture at this year’s Blas Festival which takes place between 2 and 10 September.
Fèisean nan Gàidheal, who operate the festival in a partnership with The Highland Council, have put together a programme with a generous helping of cèilidhs, concerts, school visits, music in hospitals, performances in care homes, drama performances, family events, walks and talks.
Blas will celebrate the 80th birthday of Uist cultural icon, Rona Lightfoot, and the contribution to Gaelic music of Skye’s Jonathan MacDonald. New work will feature in the shape of Beul na h-Oidhche gu Camhanaich (Mouth of the Night to First Light) from Highland-based Gaelic singer and harp player, Mary Ann Kennedy and Nick Turner, which is the 11th new piece commissioned in the relatively short history of the Blas Festival.
Home-grown Highland talent will be to the fore including a performance of Graham Mackenzie’s Crossing Borders. Originally commissioned for Celtic Connections the Highland outing, in Eden Court’s One Touch Theatre on Friday 9 September, will also be the vehicle of the launch of Graham’s CD.
Young people from the Highlands will feature widely including Fèis Cèilidh Trail groups, Guth na nGael – A Gaelic and Gaeilge exchange project, pupils from the Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music at Plockton High School and the singers from an innovative Fèisean nan Gàidheal project, Fuaran.
They will appear alongside some of the best international artistes including Sharon Shannon, making her first appearance at Blas, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Nuallan from Cape Breton as well as perennial favourites Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham who are celebrating 30 years playing together. There will be appearances from newer outfits, Tide Lines, Tannara and Kilda, as well as a staple of the finest Gaelic singers including Margaret Stewart, Mairi MacInnes, Darren Maclean, Kristine Kennedy, James Graham, Paul McCallum, Linda Macleod, Rachel Walker, Ruairidh Cormack, Anne Martin, Ellen MacDonald, Ceitlin LR Smith, Robert Robertson and Eilidh Cormack. Gaelic writers and poets will also feature in the continuation of a partnership with Comhairle nan Leabhraichean, the Gaelic Books Council.
Donna Macrae, Director of Firefly Productions, the company contracted by Fèisean nan Gàidheal to organise the festival said: “We already have two sold-out shows well ahead of the start of the festival and tickets are selling well for other events. We are looking forward, once again, to taking great music to smaller communities as well as large venues like Eden Court and the IronWorks, and to bringing entertainment to schools, hospitals and care homes.”
Blas runs from this Friday, 2nd September, until Saturday 10th. The full festival programme is available at www.blas-festival.com where details of all events and how to buy tickets can be found.