• Published on: 17th August 2018
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Tickets have gone on sale for a brand new festival created by and for young people in the Outer Hebrides.

A group of young creatives is staging a takeover of An Lanntair arts centre in Stornoway for two weeks in October with a festival based around the theme of Change.

The programme of the new Las!/Ignite! Festival has been devised by youngsters between the ages of 16 and 26 and is part of the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People 2018.

The young people have chosen up-and-coming indie folk band, The Elephant Sessions, to headline the festival on Friday 12th October.

A major aim of Las!/Ignite! is to inspire and equip young people to pursue employment that enables them to remain on, or move back to, the islands. The creative sector is crucial to the local economy and a free event involving professionals working in areas like jewellery and game design will look at how to develop and grow careers in the creative industries.

Young artists will also get the chance to exhibit painting, photography and sculptural work alongside highlights of recent artistic exchanges between textiles and film-making students from Shetland and the Outer Hebrides.

Cinema screenings, gaming competitions and workshops will also be on offer too over the course of the Festival, which starts on Friday 12th October and ends on Thursday 25th October.

A series of talks and discussion will explore subjects close to the heart of many island young people today, such as mental health, body positivity and identity.

Reflections on island living will be highlighted with an exhibition of objects chosen by youngsters as important to them at North Uist’s Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre. Collecting for 2048 features items which the young curators believe will have little or no place in a child’s life in 30 years’ time.

Las!/Ignite! Festival director, Ella Macaulay, 23, a native of the small island of Great Bernera off Lewis’ west coast, said: “I bucked the trend by moving back to the island after graduating and I am passionate about seeing young people flourish and contribute to sustainable island communities. That’s what this Festival is all about.”

Elly Fletcher, Chief Executive of An Lanntair added: “We are delighted to have the chance to hand over An Lanntair to young people this October.  It is crucial our local young people have the chance to shape our offer, so we can be relevant and serve our community – now and into the future. We have some incredibly talented and creative young islanders, and I for one cannot wait to see what this exciting new festival has in store for us!”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Scotland is celebrating the Year of Young People in 2018 where the spotlight is shining on young people’s talents and contributions, giving them the opportunity to show the world what they are made of. We are delighted to be supporting Las! / Ignite! Festival as part of the Year of Young People 2018. The festival is really taking the ethos of the year to heart by ensuring young people are front and central to the development and delivery of a varied, innovative and creative programme of activity.”


Issued by An Lanntair

Notes to Editors:

Las! / Ignite! Festival, 12th – 25th October at An Lanntair, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis.

For the full programme and tickets visit:

Follow us on Twitter: @LasIgnitefestival and @anlanntair

An Lanntair is a multi-disciplinary Arts Centre in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in The Outer Hebrides.

An Lanntair welcomes over 200,000 visitors each year to celebrate the unique Gaelic culture of the Outer Hebrides.

An Lanntair is supported by Creative Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Point and Sandwick Trust and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

A global first, YoYP 2018 is a part of the Scottish Government’s themed-year programme which focuses on celebrating Scotland’s greatest assets.

A year-long programme of events and festivals are taking place across the whole of the country for all ages to enjoy, led by EventScotland part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. More information at

Las!/ Ignite! Festival is supported by the Year of Young People 2018 Event Fund, managed by EventScotland, part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate. EventScotland is working with the events and festivals sector to develop an exciting portfolio of Year of Young People 2018 public-facing events which provide opportunities for young people to express themselves through a wide range of activity.

Local authorities, schools, youth groups and organisations are running their own YoYP 2018 activity. Search #YOYP2018 on Twitter for the latest news.

Young people co-designed the Year. A group of young leaders, Communic18, lead on all key decision making.

The Year is delivered in partnership between the Scottish Government, VisitScotland and EventScotland – part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate, Young Scot, Scottish Youth Parliament, Children in Scotland, YouthLink Scotland and Creative Scotland.

More information can be found at, searching @YOYP2018 #YOYP2018 on Twitter or by emailing