Award-winning singer songwriter Dougie MacLean has added another accolade to a growing list of honours by being recognised by one of Scotland’s leading music festivals.

b2c997532f8b66c1 400x400ar thumb - Ambassador role for Dougie Maclean

The honour comes 18years after his first festival appearance. The musician, most famous for writing Caledonia, regarded as Scotland’s alternative national anthem, has been invited into the Hebridean Celtic Festival’s Hall of Fame and has agreed to become an ambassador for the event.

MacLean, 58, marks 40 years as a professional musician next year and in January received the Radio 2 Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also won a string of other honours, including an OBE, Tartan Clef Awards and a gold disc for sales of over 500,000 for his music used in the film, the Last of the Mohicans.

His association with HebCelt dates from 1996 when he appeared at the first festival. This year he is one of the headline acts at the 18th event – from 17-20 July in Stornoway – along with Van Morrison, Capercaillie, the Battlefield Band and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

For the last 20 years he has also had a house in Lewis and is a regular visitor to the area when not touring around the world.HebCelt’s Hall of Fame was established in 2010 to mark its 15th anniversary, and the first inductees were Julie Fowlis, Runrig and the Peatbog Faeries. Since then it has been opened out to the audience to vote for outstanding performances or contributions to the event and Irish songstress Imelda May, Karen Matheson from Capercaillie and local musician Jane Hepburn have also joined the elite group.

While ambassadors have no formal roles to perform, they help promote HebCelt and the Hebrides at home and abroad.Caroline MacLennan, the festival director, said: “We have the greatest respect for Dougie as a musician, songwriter and performer. But we are also well aware of his wider support and promotion of the Gaelic language and culture and his strong connection to the area through his adopted home in Lewis.I think the induction is timeous, given his forthcoming headlining show at the 18th festival, and the fact he will reach a significant milestone of his own next year.”MacLean, who runs his own event, Perthshire Amber – The Dougie MacLean Festival, which is in its ninth year and will be held from 25 October- 3 November this year, added: “I am delighted to accept HebCelt’s invitation to join the Hall of Fame and feel honoured to represent such a prestigious event as an ambassador.

 

“I have a long association with the festival, going back to the inaugural event, and have always supported its efforts to promote and encourage traditional music. This will give me fresh impetus to spread the word on my travels.”

The 18th HebCelt is attracting attention from around the world with tickets having already been snapped up by fans across the UK and Ireland, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America. The line-up also includes Karine Polwart, Darrell Scott, Pete Roe, and local artists Iain Morrison, The Boy who Trapped the Sun and Face the West, as well as Dundee’s Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward & Fisher; Lau, voted ‘Best Group’ at this year’s Radio Two Folk Awards; Orcadian eight-piece The Chair; The Hot Seats, from Virginia; Manchester outfit The Travelling Band; Welsh band Rusty Shackle; Fatherson and The Dirty Beggars and Donald MacDonald & The Islands, from Glasgow, Rose Parade, a four-piece from Ayr and Gria, winners of this year’s One Step Further competition.

HebCelt attracts interest from across the world and was recently selected as one of the Top 10 UK summer festivals by influential music publication Songlines for the third successive year.Why not do something this summer and adventure west to the Hebridean Island of Lewis for what promises to be a memorable weekend Buy Tickets for HebCelt 2013 and check out our other HebCelt coverage.

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Tea drinking, Vintage Caravan towing, Festival floozey, I have long been in engaged in the local music scene. The opportunity to write came when I was considering donating my brain to a good cause, having suspended such pursuits, dithering over other artistic endeavours and raising my three sons. Despite being immersed in music I am not a musician, writing about what I love is the next best thing. When it comes to musical tastes I must admit that my iPod has something of a split personality. I'd like to say its not all fun and gigs but that wouldn't be true as I run The Tea Posy a quirky Vintage Tearoom, creative community space and unique live music venue within The Greenhouse Dingwall. You can contact Julia at Julia@Invernessgigs.co.uk