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This morning, Friday January 29, the organisers of the annual HebCelt festival have "with deep regret" announced the cancellation of the rolled-over festival from 2020.

They are now planning for a new hybrid event in 2021 as a bridging solution. Full refunds for the 2020 HebCelt will be available, they say. 

The statement to supporters says: "It is with deep regret that due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic we have been forced to make the decision to cancel the rolled over HebCelt from 2020.

"The HebCelt team continues to work hard to plan for an event in 2021. The ideal situation would be a return to the kind of music and live performances that we have all come to enjoy. However, as we know, Covid-19 and its restrictions continue to pose unique challenges which we have been working to mitigate.

"While vaccinations may bring some return to normality at some point this year, that is looking increasingly like it will not happen in time for us to safely put in place the kind of HebCelt we recognise. We are therefore planning for a hybrid event this year and are considering how that can be realised, including exploring a mixture of live performance and the creation of unique digital content.

"HebCelt is a vital part of the local economy and has showcased many of the best attributes of our culture and what the Outer Hebrides has to offer. This is why it will be important to find at least a ‘bridging’ solution that ensures an event of some kind takes place in 2021, with hopes to return fully in 2022.

"Many of our supporters who had purchased festival passes for 2020 have allowed those to ‘roll-over’ for use in 2021. We are hugely grateful for their backing. However, as we are unable to provide the event that those who bought tickets would expect, we can confirm your money remains safe and we are offering all those who still hold a rolled-over ticket a full refund.

"We ask for your patience while we work through this process. Ticket holders can expect to be contacted by email in the very near future. 

"We are truly sorry to be sharing this news with you, the utter disappointment is shared by all of us here on the team.

"We thank everyone for their understanding, love and support of the festival.

"However, we would like to assure you that we are working towards a plan for 2021, a key consideration of which is the safety and protection of HebCelt and our local community."