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Gaelic culture and music to be celebrated across Highlands at Blas Festival

By Jess Fulton

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Seamus & Caoimhe Ui Fhlatharta
Seamus & Caoimhe Ui Fhlatharta

The Blas Festival showcasing Gaelic culture and thriving Scottish music returns from September 1-9.

It will visit many venues across the north, with around 25 concerts and cèilidhs, an education and communities programme and an online offering which will include workshops, Gaelic song sessions and livestreamed concerts.

Blas is organised by Fèisean nan Gàidheal, in partnership with Highland Council, and will visit an array of communities including Inverness, Lairg and Gairloch.

The festival will open with a special concert in Inverness Cathedral featuring two brother and sister duos, one from Inverness, Peigi and Donaidh Barker, and the other, Seumas & Caoimhe Ui Fhlatharta, from Connemara on the west coast of Ireland. They will be joined by Binneas, a Gaelic harmony collective featuring Gaelic and folk singers from across Scotland, led by Gaelic singer John Joe MacNeil, and Jenna Cumming, Inverness-born award-winning Gaelic singer.

International connections will also be showcased in An Tinne, led by Skye Gaelic singer Anne Martin through songs and stories joining Scotland and Australia. The Blas Festival will premier brand-new musical work from the next generation of young musicians from the Highlands and Islands. Other highlights of this year’s Blas include double Mòd medallist Ruairidh Gray with Robert Nairn.

Calum Alex Macmillan, of Fèisean nan Gàidheal, said: “Despite the challenges of rising costs and reduced funding we are delivering on our commitment to bringing good quality musical events to communities across the Highlands, in collaboration with our partners, including the festival’s main supporter, the Highland Council.

"We are hugely appreciative of the continued support from all our supporters and hope audiences across the Highlands and Islands will enjoy our representation of Gaelic culture.”

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