Our two award-winning festivals are highlights of the Skye and Lochalsh cultural calendar
Fèis an Eilein – The Skye Festival
Up until 2019, the Fèis an Eilein was a two-month-long summer festival set mainly in venues in the south of Skye. We planned to change this to a new-look 10-day festival with events taking place in venues and public spaces across Skye and Raasay.
Our aim is to bring world-class performance to our remote rural communities, giving local people a chance to celebrate summer with us and showcase the Islands as unique and beautiful cultural destinations.
The new Fèis an Eilein was due to be launched in July 2020 to coincide with the Scottish Government’s themed year of Coasts and Waters. Owing to Covid-19 restrictions, however, the festival has been held back to next year.
Instead, SEALL will deliver a two-month summer programme of safe outdoor events that will showcase Skye’s remarkable coasts and waters.
This programme is designed to include events and activities that reflect Scotland’s relationship with its natural environment and maritime heritage; highlight Skye’s historical connection with its seas and inland waters; take responsibility for reducing environmental impact on Skye; and allow communities and visitors to celebrate a distinctive natural and cultural heritage through performing arts.
Festival 2021 dates: July and August
SEALL Festival of Small Halls
Taking place in the last week of November and culminating in a Big Cèilidh for St Andrew’s Day, Small Halls is a celebration of traditional island life and world-class Scottish music.
With its themes rooted in people, place and performance, the festival is usually an eight-day multi-artform winter festival bringing Scotland’s finest traditional musicians to remote village halls on the Isles of Skye and Raasay during the low tourism season.
The festival is a civic celebration of the music and living traditions of a unique Highland culture, promoting social cohesion and tolerance between communities and encouraging a strong and positive community spirit.
Small Halls brings Scotland’s most acclaimed traditional musicians, an artist, a writer and a videographer to halls, schools and small venues on Skye and Raasay in a series of concerts, workshops, talks, masterclasses and special events, culminating in the Big Cèilidh dance on St Andrew’s Night at the Sligachan Hotel where everyone — participating artists and communities, wider communities, visitors and businesses — is encouraged to join in this highly social occasion to celebrate Scotland’s National Day in the traditional way together.
Through school workshops, ticket discounts and using young musicians to host sessions and provide opening sets, the project helps our young people to appreciate the benefits of social celebration in the traditional way, learn from master musicians, gain experience of public performance and recognise the importance to their lives of belonging to a vibrant, exceptional and inspirational culture of global relevance and importance.
19 to 27 November 2021