NEWS: HebCelt ‘Survival Sessions’ podcast mini-series looks at impact of pandemic on trad music island communities

A podcast mini series which offers behind the scenes insights and interviews with artistes and organisers, has been launched by organisers of the HebCelt Survival Session to mark the hybrid event which runs from 14th-17th July 2021.

HebCelt: Stream passes available now at

The series features festival organisers Caroline Maclennan and Graham MacCallum; Alex Macdonald of Stornoway Arts Centre, An Lanntair; Willie Armstrong of Red Hot Chilli PipersRuairidh Graham of Niteworks; Willie Campbell of Tumbling Souls; Josie Duncan; and Douglas Montgomery of Saltfishforty, and singer songwriter Sean Harrison, with others in the pipeline.

The HebCelt Survival Sessions is a programme of live, pre-recorded and specially commission shows which the internationally renowned festival is staging as a hybrid event. A full return of the festival is planned for 2022.

Skog Media Associates CEO Shaun Milne, who hosted produced the mini-series, said: “It’s been a privilege to be asked to do this and I’m very grateful at how open and trusting all those I’ve spoken with have been in sharing their own often very personal experiences after what really has been the most desperate of times for so many in the trad music family.

“The overriding theme that has emerged in talking with all those involved was a real sense of resilience, hope and a quiet determination to be there for each other and to ensure that HebCelt can return next year. I hope these stories encourage as many people as possible to buy their passes for what promises to be an amazing series of events.”

Caroline Maclennan, HebCelt Festival Director, said: “These podcasts are a really interesting backstage look at the issues and hopes of the organisers and artistes who are working to deliver the Survival Sessions.

“It has been such a difficult time but these podcasts highlight the fact that there is hope and that music can bring us more happier times as we look to bounce-back with a full festival in 2022.

“I’ve enjoyed listening to the podcasts and learning about the new insights they provide.”

The Survival Sessions can be watched on the MyPlayer platform throughout the event. Details and tickets can be found at: The podcasts are available on Anchor FM and Spotify

HebCelt is supported by Creative Scotland, EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and other public and private sector supporters.

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