Blas Festival launch is one for the history books

Blas 2010 Festival launch - (L-R) Cllr. Dr Michael Foxley, Blas board member and festival co-founder; Susan Beckley, Highland Council Archivist; Arthur Cormack, Blas board member

The Blas Festival, which celebrates Highland culture and Gaelic, is to mark the launch of its 2010 programme by being ‘inducted’ into the Highland Archive and Registration Centre.

The festival’s new programme and those of its five previous years are to be archived at the Centre that is based in Inverness. It also holds the records from Highland county councils and boroughs, the earliest of which dates from 1455.

The new addition of the Blas programmes to the Archive’s records highlights how the festival has become an established part of Highland life.  It comes as Blas organisers announce the 2010 line-up which will see Gaelic, Highland music and culture taken to mainstream audiences (3 - 12 September).

Donna Macrae, Blas Festival Director, said: “Blas brings approximately £800,000 into the Highland economy, and at the same time, extols the attributes of Gaelic, our music and culture to a wide variety of locals and visitors.

“Last year our ticket sales were up by 25%, a sign that people are hungry for the type of entertainment and knowledge which Blas provides. This year we have a very exciting programme of more than 80 events taking place over 10 days, with artistes including Donnie Munro and his band, Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham, Gerry O’Connor and Dochas."

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, the national events agency, said: “Blas Festival is a fantastic and unique celebration of Highland life and culture which entertains and educates people local to the Highlands as well as those living across the rest of Scotland and beyond. It is a cornerstone of Scotland’s events calendar which promotes and celebrates Scotland’s music, heritage, hospitality, lifestyle and more. The festival is also a valuable asset to the Highlands and draws thousands of people to the region each year, generating an impressive economic impact and substantial benefits for local businesses. The Festival is clearly growing in popularity and we look forward to seeing further growth in 2010.”

Image: (L-R) Cllr. Dr Michael Foxley, Blas board member and festival co-founder; Susan Beckley, Highland Council Archivist; Arthur Cormack, Blas board member

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