Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s weekly Friday evening Cèilidhs, a COVID initiative started in March 2020, will conclude this Friday at 9pm with a (two hour plus) live finale from Calum Martin, Willie Campbell and Iain “Costello” Maciver.
The local musicians will perform a mixture of songs featuring Gaelic, country and other genres to mark the end of the Comhairle Cèilidh programme which has seen over 60 live ceilidh performances over the past year.
The Comhairle would like to record its thanks to all the artists who have given of their time and skill over the past year and to all those across the Western Isles, Scotland and as far afield as New Zealand and the United States who have tuned in each week to support the ceilidh programme with over 1 million total views.
Commenting on the final ceilidh, Calum Martin, said: “Like me, over the past year many of you have looked forward with enthusiasm to the weekly Comhairle cèilidhs. It has been a real privilege to help, as a small part of a great pool of talented performers, to hopefully lift your spirits each week.
“A grateful thanks to the Comhairle for organising this and keeping us encouraged throughout, and finally to you all for tuning in and being part of such a friendly and entertaining online community.”
Iain “Costello” Maciver, said: “A lot of people of my generation and older will remember cèilidhs in people’s houses. These type of cèilidhs died away many years ago but in a way the Comhairle have revived them with the Friday night live cèilidhs. I feel this has been a really valuable exercise that has brought a lot of joy to many people throughout the pandemic.
“I fully appreciate why the Comhairle has to take a step back from these as premises start to reopen and people will want to go out again but I think there is still room out there for the cèilidhs to continue in some form for the benefit of folk who don’t or can’t go out. Thank you to everyone for supporting the artists and thank you also to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for giving us the opportunity to play our music to such appreciative audiences.”
Willie Campbell, commented: “I’ve enjoyed the practices for the cèilidh on the 30th of April and very much looking forward to the gig. I must admit I do feel a little bit sad knowing that they’re coming to an end, week after week it’s been amazing to see the number of people that have tuned in. The interaction, chat, goodwill to the artists involved and the general sense of community that the cèilidhs have created has been amazing to watch. It’s been a privilege to be involved in them and well done and thanks to Comhairle for bringing people together during a difficult time in such a way.”
The artists who have featured on the Comhairle Cèilidhs over the past year: Iain ‘Spanish’ Mackay, Ian “Tosh” Macintosh, Charlie Clark, Elsa and Gary MacTaggart, Willie Campbell, James Stewart, Norrie ‘Tago’ Maciver, Iain ‘Costello’ Maciver, Rosie Sullivan, Calum Martin, Ceitlin Lilidh, Donnie ‘Large’ Macdonald, Josie Duncan, Ado and Hans, Brian Ó hEadhra and Fionnag NicChoinnich, Chloe Steele, Claire Frances MacNeil, Lisa NicNeill.