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Sell-out Showcase for Scotland at International Celtic Music Festival

International music fans have snapped up all tickets for a concert showcasing Hebridean music and culture at Europe’s biggest Celtic festival, as Scotland presents 220 of its finest Traditional, Gaelic and Celtic artists at Festival Interceltique de Lorient in France, running from 4 - 13 August 2017.

Scotland is this year’s Guest Country of Honour at the gathering, and a team from the award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival is organising the opening concert on Saturday 5 August, which will kickstart a number of events featuring Scottish artists throughout the ten days.

Tide Lines at HebCelt Photo By Fiona Rennie

The warm bonds between Scotland’s musicians and Lorient Festival have developed over many years and it is with a sense of excitement therefore, that this year’s unprecedented Scottish focus represents the largest showcase for traditional Scottish music in mainland Europe, ever. Lorient offers an invaluable platform to connect Scotland’s musicians with French audiences and leading European and international music industry representatives.

Some of Scotland’s greatest folk and traditional musicians will set the stages alight in Brittany in front of eager French audiences who know how to get a party started.- Alan Morrison, Head of Music

Featuring Capercaillie, Amy Macdonald, Runrig, Blazin’ Fiddles and rising stars such as Breabach, Tide Lines, Talisk and Fara, amongst many others, the range of age, styles and diversity of artists performing at Lorient is truly stunning. From international and Scottish pipe bands, youth groups, award winning folk acts, Highland and step dancers, the programme also includes some of the country’s best singers and song-writers performing in the Gaelic, Scots and English languages.

Many of the acts have strong roots in their cultural heritage but draw as well upon other musical genres, be it rock, jazz, classical or pop. This diversity in music will showcase the vibrancy of Scotland’s living tradition - contemporary, confident and hugely appealing to audiences at home and abroad.

In addition to the exceptional programme of live music from Scotland, festival-goers can also enjoy film screenings, art exhibitions, talks and networking opportunities with Scottish musicians and industry representatives.

Scottish Programme Highlights

Music

The Gala Opening Concert will feature an all-Scottish line-up produced by the award winning Hebridean Celtic Festival, and a special Grand Night of Scotland concert is being curated by Artistic Director of Scotland’s premiere international music festival Celtic Connections, Donald Shaw.

Top pipers, Andrew Frater, Ian Duncan, Isle of Cumbrae Pipe Band and Methil & District Pipe Band will join the The Grand Parade of Celtic Nations through Lorient’s streets on Sunday 6 August starting at Port Carnel at 10:00.

Amy McDonald, Blazin’ Fiddles, Elephant Sessions, Fara and Talisk are amongst the many renowned musicians set to perform across the festival. Scotland’s emerging talent is also featured with performances from the TMSA Young Trad Tour and Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail; and Gaelic language, music and culture is placed firmly at the heart of the festival with sets from Runrig, Capercaillie, Breabach, Hò-rò and Tide Lines and many more.

The designated Scotland Pavilion will welcome visitors with a daily, live music programme, high quality Celtic influenced food, drink and crafts from across the country and ceilidh dancing!  The Pavilion also provides the opportunity for music promoters, programmers, label bosses and agents to meet artists and their representatives. See full programme details.

Films

In addition to an exceptional programme of live music, festival-goers can enjoy a special Scottish film programme, including the stunning Scottish feature doc From Scotland With Love by award-winning director Virginia Heath and music by King Creosote on Monday 7 August, 16:30 at CinéFIL auditorium Saint-Louis; The Outer Hebrides, a documentary produced by arte TV on Tuesday 8 August 15:00 at CinéFIL auditorium Saint-Louis; and Brave the Disney*Pixar's Oscar-winning animated adventure by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman on Wednesday 9 August 16:00 at CinéFIL auditorium Saint-Louis.

Visual Arts

From Saturday 5 August – Sunday 3 September, Galerie du Faouëdic will present two fascinating works from Scotland past and present.

The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry is a remarkable tapestry telling the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his journey from France to the Scottish Highlands to victory at Prestonpans. Lorient will be the first time that the work has been shown in its entirety outside Scotland. Spanning over 100 metres, the tapestry is stitched entirely by volunteers who together have made a visually stunning work.

Photography collective Document Scotland present Scotia Nova - a captivating photographic portrait of contemporary Scottish society. Document Scotland is a collective of five Scottish documentary photographers: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, Sophie Gerrard, Sarah Amy Fishlock, Stephen McLaren and Colin McPherson.

Talks

Opportunities to gain insight into Scotland’s languages and culture will take place at two public conferences on Monday 7 August at Auditorium Ducassou, Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Quotes

Lisardo Lombardia, Director of Festival Interceltique de Lorient, said: "Scotland is one of the most loyal partners of the festival and a key country at Lorient Interceltic Festival. The Scottish pipe bands have never missed an edition since the beginning in 1971. A lot of talented musicians from the "Far North" of the Celtic world have been discovered during the almost half a century of festival that followed."

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop commented: “France and Scotland enjoy deep cultural ties and have a mutual ‘Cultural Statement of Intent’ between our nations, which I signed in 2013. We share a rich Celtic history of storytelling and traditional music and a great love of piping.

“For Scotland to be chosen as Country of Honour by the Festival Interceltique de Lorient further cements this important relationship. Our prominence at one of the world’s biggest Celtic festivals is an excellent opportunity to showcase the spirit of Scotland, as we celebrate our Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

“Over 220 of Scotland’s finest musicians are performing at this year’s festival – representing emerging young talent and firmly established acts – and are sure to delight existing fans and create new ones.

“We hope the spotlight on Scotland will entice music lovers to our own plethora of music festivals, which take place across the country throughout the summer months.”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland, said: “For decades the Festival Interceltique de Lorient has tapped its toes to Scotland’s fiddles, pipes and drums, and so we’re delighted to make this friendship grow even stronger as Country of Honour in 2017. Some of Scotland’s greatest folk and traditional musicians will set the stages alight in Brittany this summer in front of eager French audiences who know how to get a party started.

“Scotland is proud of its cultural heritage but also excited by the talented new generation of artists who are certain to become the new stars of Lorient. There’s no better way to bring our two countries closer together than to embrace our shared love of music, and this year’s Festival is going to be very special indeed.”

Lisa Whytock, Showcase Scotland Expo, said: “The Festival Interceltique de Lorient and Showcase Scotland Expo have a long history of friendship and it is fantastic to be able to celebrate that friendship with such a large focus on Scotland at the festival this year.

“France is a particularly important nation for Scottish artists and we know that French audiences are open to our music and culture. We very much hope that this focus will showcase to those audiences, the vast array of talent that we have on our shores and help to develop the careers of our artists in France.”\

HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan said: “We are thrilled the opening show at Lorient is a sell-out. It is such a wonderful opportunity to promote the music and culture of the festival and the islands to a huge international audience.

“It is great news, coming on the back of such a successful HebCelt. It’s been a major challenge organising two events simultaneously, but it has also been very rewarding. And we could see the benefits of cultural tourism from this for years to come.”

Notes to Editors

Scotland’s presence at Lorient is curated and produced by Showcase Scotland Expo in partnership with Creative Scotland, VisitScotland, the Scottish Government, Hebridean Celtic Festival, Scottish Music Centre, Fèis Rois, British Council, Traditional Arts & Culture Scotland (TRACS)/Traditional Music Forum, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Traditional Music and Song Association.

Showcase Scotland Expo: Managed by Active Events, Showcase Scotland Expo is dedicated to opening new markets for the presentation of artists working in the genres of folk, Gaelic and Scots language, traditional, world, acoustic and roots music.

Media Contact

For more information about Scotland’s artists at the Festival and to arrange interviews / photography please contact Sophie Bambrough +44 (0) 7747 606146 / sophie.bambrough@creativescotland.com

Photo: Tide Lines at HebCelt, by Fiona Rennie