Skye festival launches with murder mystery

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The 2019 Skye Festival, Fèis an Eilein, kicked off on Saturday with a spectacular murder mystery evening at a house in Ord.

The event launched SEALL’s popular summer festival which runs to August 20 and includes top quality performing arts events featuring the best in Scottish traditional music, jazz, theatre and literature.

Other highlights include classical drama with A Company of Wolves’ brilliant Achilles on July 23; music from the NYOS Jazz Orchestra on July 18; Alasdair Fraser’s fiddle night on July 26; trad and Americana from Sorren MacLean and Hannah Fisher on August 2; a concert with fiddle player Charlie McKerron and guests on August 6; gypsy jazz and all that swings from Romani band Lachepen on August 7 and a hilarious theatrical performance from Pip Hambly on July 31.

Minginish Hall celebrates a decade of service to its communities with a week-long programme of family activities beginning on Saturday July 20 with a concert by one of the most sought-after bands on the Scots trad scene, the electrifying Breabach, supported by the Skye Festival.

SEALL’s programme of Live Literature continues during the festival with a talk and readings on August 17 from Scottish author and historian Maggie Craig who will be discussing the men and women of the 1745 Jacobite Uprising. On the same day, historical novelist Barbara Henderson will lead a workshop for writers on capturing time and place in writing.

There is a talk and reading by Italian Scots poet Anne Pia at the Bog Myrtle Café on July 21 and Broadford-based Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Professor John Brown, and renowned Scots poet Rab Wilson will give a talk and readings on their new collaboration Oor Big Braw Cosmos on August 16.

A rare opportunity to experience the extraordinary talents of award-winning multi-instrumentalist Innes Watson performing music from his first studio album comes to the Fèis on August 13; Finnish all-female choir Forakören will perform on August 19 and Adam Sutherland brings the hugely popular Cask Strength Ceilidh band on August 20.

There will be craft, theatre and dance workshops and cèilidhs throughout the festival and a lively fringe includes cafes, exhibitions, house concerts, Gaelic language classes, sessions and summer fun, and SEALL will be holding a charity cafe on July 25 at Ardvasar Hall from 11am to 2pm to raise funds for its children and young persons’ programmes.

Proceeds will go towards delivering free performances and workshops to school children and developing the organisation’s young musicians programme.

Festival producer Marie Lewis said: ‘We have another great programme planned for the summer from the spectacular to the unusual.

‘We had a disappointment with our first event. The South African dancers of Njobo Productions had trouble with their visas and had to cancel at the eleventh hour. We spent Wednesday morning refunding bookings and reservations and notifying people on digital channels.

‘Despite this unfortunate setback, the show goes on and we have so many great events in store over the next five weeks.’

Printed programmes are available across the island. For tickets, to download a digital programme and further information, visit