GAELDOM’S most successful rock group, Runrig will make the Gaelic heartland part of their 2016 UK tour by headlining next year’s Hebridean Celtic Festival.
The band will close the 21st HebCelt Festival on Saturday 16th July during the nationwide tour in support of their 14th studio album, The Story, which is released in January and which the band have said will be the final studio album of their 42 year career.
With a sell-out crowd predicted, fans are being urged to book in advance. A limited number of early bird weekend tickets held at last year’s rates will be available to buy online at www.hebceltfest.com from Friday.
It will be Runrig’s fourth appearance at HebCelt, where the internationally successful band are also honoured in the Hall of Fame for their outstanding contribution to Celtic music.
"Of all the festivals we have played there is no doubt that HebCelt stands alone in the band’s experience," guitarist and founder member Rory Macdonald said.
"It is the festival that is closest to the music and the people that inspired us. It is very much home ground."
Brian Hurren, the band’s keyboard player, added: "I can’t wait to get the sounds and the emotion of the studio recordings transposed into the context of the live show. It was a very special album for us all and the live tour will be no exception."
HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan also welcomed the return of the band for what will be the only Highlands and Islands date of their 2016 tour.
"Their rise has been mirrored by the increase in interest in the Gaelic language and they are seen as local heroes in these parts," she said.
"We know their huge following in the islands will be thrilled that they will be back with us in 2016.
"We will shortly be announcing some other superb acts and look forward to presenting a diverse and innovative programme for 2016 to give our audience around the world plenty to look forward to."
Runrig’s 2016 tour starts in Aberdeen in February after two years of writing and recording the new album.
A single, also called The Story, and video are already available.
HebCelt has grown from a small event, attracting less than 1000 fans, to an international showpiece for 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.
The 2016 festival will be held from Wednesday 13th to Saturday 16th July.