As part of the Year of Young People, An Lanntair has received funding from EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate , to hand over the venue to young people to deliver their very own arts festival called Las! / Ignite!

The Las! / Ignite! Festival will take place over a week during October Half Term 2018.  It promises to be a truly innovative event to celebrate and promote the creative talent of young people from the Outer Hebrides, leading to real and tangible outcomes for their future careers and enterprise.

Over the course of the festival, young people will be given the ‘reins’ of An Lanntair and will programme its auditorium with gigs, films, theatre and cabaret events.  They will curate exhibitions for the main gallery, bar and mezzanine exhibition spaces, and they will be responsible for everything else, from marketing, to design, promotion and stewarding. 

In addition, a Creative Industries Symposium will be staged during the festival, supporting young people with learning how to access and grow successful careers in the arts and creative industries, including the film industry, music, theatre, digital media, visual arts and more.  

Central to the project is An Lanntair youth board – 'Board not Bored'.  'Board not Bored' will be a group made up of young people under 26 who will steer the direction of the project.  They will be responsible for interviewing and appointing a young person as Festival Co-ordinator (also under 26) and actively researching and shaping the programme.  Through the Festival Coordinator and the new board, An Lanntair will support local young people to come together in a project team to deliver the festival, taking on real-time roles such as director, curator, marketing coordinator and fundraiser. 

Ella Macaulay, a 'Board not Bored', member said, “It is so exciting to be part of 'Board not Bored' and to have the opportunity to be part of and shape the arts programme at An Lanntair and create a week of diverse and memorable events.”

An Lanntair CEO Elly Fletcher said: “I can’t wait to see young people come into our space and tell us what they want to see.  This will be a genuine ‘take over’ of everything here at An Lanntair, all our facilities, from our galleries to our auditorium and our education spaces.  This is a fabulous new festival that will really celebrate the young creative talent that we know is out there across our islands.”

Alan MacKenzie, VisitScotland Islands Manager, said: “Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 is shining a spotlight on young people’s talents and contributions, giving them the opportunity to show the world what they are made of.

“The plans for Las! / Ignite! Festival fully support the ethos of the year which is about giving young people the opportunity to shine within their own community as well as across Scotland and beyond.  The takeover approach will not only enable the contribution of local young people to be recognised and celebrated but it will ensure they are in the driving seat right from the very start of the project.”

As part of this project, An Lanntair will also be announcing a call for applications for young students or post graduates from the Outer Hebrides, Shetland and Orkney to a newly created inter-island arts placement, giving them the chance to learn in a different – but not unfamiliar – environment, whilst receiving a week of one-to-one tuition and advice in their chosen field of study.

Partners will include Mareel arts centre in Shetland and a network of arts contacts in Orkney including textile producers, photographers, and jewellers. The products of this innovative exchange will be showcased during during the festival week.  The call for applications was launched on today (Friday 12th January.)