Arts Events and Festivals

The Hebrides is the home of a unique, lively and vibrant culture, the true heartland of the Gaels and the Gaelic language.

Traditional arts enrich the cultural life of the islands with the local mods and summer Feisean a focal point for junior and adult choirs, musicians, storytellers, poets, and actors.  Visitors have the chance to join in with the locals at Highland Games, agricultural shows, ceilidhs and themed evenings in many community centres. 

Annually in the month of July, locals and island visitors can enjoy not one, but three unique award-winning music festivals. The Hebridean Celtic Festival in Lewis and Harris, Ceòlas – the Gaelic Music School in South Uist, and the Eilean Dorcha Festival on the Isle of Benbecula are pioneering events that attract people to the Hebrides from all over the world.

Later in the Autumn, Faclan – the Hebridean Book Festival brings a rich mix of top-level authors, performers, and audiences from across the UK and beyond to Stornoway. In the Winter months, Ceòlas provide a traditional Hebridean Hogmanay event in South Uist and An Lanntair in Stornoway host an innovative Dark Skies Festival in February.  A growing number of smaller events and festivals are evolving, such as the environmentally themed Hebridean International Film Festival.

The cultural offer is year-round, the islands are also home to an exciting local band scene with gigs at pubs and local community venues.  Professional recording studios The Wee Studio and Black Bay Studio are active promotors of this vibrant scene.

The Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Library Service, and the Museum and Archive Service plus many community based local organisations, including The Islands Book Trust and the island wide network of local historical societies programme cultural and heritage activities and events for all ages.

The multi-award winning arts venues An Lanntair in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis and Taigh Chearsabhagh, Lochmaddy, Isle of North Uist put on regular contemporary art exhibitions, art classes for adults and children, and performing arts events – cinema, dance, music and drama - often attracting internationally renowned performers and artists and bringing the work of our national companies including Scottish Opera and the National Theatre of Scotland to the islands.