Eden Court does celebrations very well and has the perfect excuse in September as Blas 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the Blas festival in the Highlands.
Some of the very best musicians in Scotland will celebrate the success of the community-based Fèisean which come together along with a stellar line-up of top performers, and this year we offer a very special welcome to some of the world’s strongest athletes who will be attending the Scottish Masters Championship as part of the World Championship Masters series, at the Northern Meeting Park.
The Blas festival will be well under way having started on Friday September 5 with the new commission "Binneas nam Beann" at Great Glen House, based on the work of the Gaelic poet Duncan Bàn MacIntyre, led by Blas stalwart Iain MacFarlane from Glenfinnan.
On the second night of the first weekend of the festival, "Subhachas" will bring together Cherish the Ladies, the Mischa MacPherson Trio, Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson at the capital’s premier arts venue to celebrate some of the highlights of the previous ten years.
Thursday’s night’s "Welcome Home" event is packed with a magnificent line-up of top musicians with top bands Macanta and Mànran and the possibility of a double-take or two when both Angus McColls from Oban take to the stage to entertain with their particularly classy pipe music setting the tunes for the Cheryl Heggie Dancers. Added to that mix will be the 200 or so heavyweight athletes attending the World Masters, so it should be an entertaining mix of culture, athleticism and toe-tapping.
Blas 2014 is also highlighting the connections between music and sport during the week with three shinty-related shows in Tighnabruaich, Inverinate and Inverness in the week of the Camanachd Cup Final. “Glòir nan Caman” will build on previously successful musical forays into the world of the caman with more than a passing reference to the First World War and emigration and their effects on shinty playing communities. Megan Henderson is this year’s musical director of the shows which will be presented by Hugh Dan MacLennan and will feature Linda MacLeod, Gary Innes, The piping MacGillivrays of Calrossie and on Friday 12th at Eden Court, Gaelic singer Calum Alex MacMillan.
The whole festival comes to a climax at Eden Court on Saturday night, 13th September, the day of the Camanachd Cup Final in Inverness with a "Ceòl nam Fèis" showcase brining together young people from across Scotland involved in the highly-successful Fèis movement.
Festival Director Donna MacRae has encouraged everyone wanting to attend any of the shows to head for the ticket office as soon as possible. She said: ”We know there will be high demand for a lot of the Eden Court events so I would encourage everyone to compete their arrangements as soon as possible. We are sure that there’s a great appeal in the line-ups we have put together and with the added significance of the 10th anniversary, we anticipate large audiences.
Further information about Blas 2014 can be found here where there are full details of the festival programme and ticketing arrangements.