A special party will be held in Sleat on Skye this May, as Seall celebrate their 1,000th event.
Seall, or Skye Events for All, was formed in 1991 by a group of volunteers in south Skye, led by Duncan MacInnes. The group was an offshoot of the events Duncan promoted in his role as visitor services manager at Clan Donald Skye, using the then new Stables Restaurant as a venue.
A concert with clarsach-player and storyteller Fiona Davidson on 11th May 1991 was the first event Seall presented and now, 23 years on, they are preparing for a celebratory 1,000th event on Saturday 3rd May.
The all-day party in Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s Talla Mhòr will see performances by Shooglenifty; the Fiona Hunter Band; Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Oileanaich Band; Doc Livingstone; the Tarskavaig Blues Band; Anne Martin, Rick Taylor and various friends; Gaelic songs and music sessions. Bringing the night to a close will be Fèis 1000 Céilidh Band with a Porridge DJ set. A barbecue will also be served at the licensed event and the following day there will be a ‘Sunday sounds’ jazz session at Clan Donald Skye.
As part of the party Seall are also organising their 1,000 Shoe Share Challenge, aiming to collect 1,000 pairs of shoes to give to children and adults in need, and those attending are asked to bring a pair of shoes no longer needed to add to the collection.
In addition, an exhibition of posters and programmes from over the years, and a list of every event held, will be on show.
Duncan MacInnes said: “With the support of Seall trustees and the members over the years, as well of course as an estimated 60,000-plus ticket buyers, and the massive support of the arts agencies, Seall has managed to deliver a continuous programme of high-quality events.
“Seall has given a platform to many young musicians and has spurred on several people in the area to pursue a career in the arts. There have been some very ‘interesting’ shows but only one or two disastrous choices!
“All this has allowed local audiences to attend national and international events on their doorstep. Seall has also allowed some big names the chance to play in small venues up close to their audiences, which they love.”
In addition, this summer will see the return of Fèis an Eilein, or the Skye Festival. Also founded in 1991, in conjunction with the annual short courses at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the feis ran for two weeks every July until 2008 and is now being resurrected as a two-month festival in July and August, featuring at least 20 major concerts, theatre and film nights as well as community events.