The free Scottish Citylink bus picked up its first passengers today. Photo: Fiona Rennie

A free shuttle bus service is sure to strike a chord with music fans attending this week’s Hebridean Celtic Festival.

For the first time in its 21-year history, the service, sponsored by Scottish Citylink, will be running during festival week, allowing festival goers to get to and from the main arena.

David Frenz, operations director for Scottish Citylink Coaches, said: “We're delighted to be able to support this important event that has been the focus of the community's summer for more than 20 years.

“We hope that by offering this free of charge shuttle bus between the festival site and the surrounding towns and villages, we will be able to help festival goers enjoy their weekend of music and fun even more."

The shuttle made its first journey today (Wednesday, July 13th) when it picked up passengers from the CalMac ferry arriving in Stornoway at 1pm to take them to campsites in the town.

From tomorrow night it will follow a west side circular route via campsites to Barvas, Shawbost and Carloway, following the events in the Main Arena.

The bus will also be running at various times during the day, including Sunday, to ensure fans can get to and from the ferry terminal.

Festival director Caroline Maclennan said: “This is a fantastic gesture from Scottish Citylink to provide a free service for our festival goers. It will allow people a safe and easy passage to and from the festival site and also help ease congestion in the town centre.”

The 21st HebCelt opened tonight with the Hebridean Women performance at An Lanntair arts centre, and will run until Saturday evening. 

Runrig will be among nearly 50 acts performing over the four days. The diverse line-up also includes the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Hayseed Dixie, Astrid, Julie Fowlis, King Creosote, Eddi Reader and Breabach.

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