The Hebridean Celtic Festival is an annual international music event based in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. The main arena is located on the Castle Green at Lews Castle, with concerts taking place in other venues across Lewis and Harris. The festival is a ticketed four-day gathering which has seen its audience grow from around 800 to 18,000 since its inception in 1996.
HebCelt has attracted top name artists such as Van Morrison, Runrig, Deacon Blue, The Waterboys and The Saw Doctors to the Hebrides. But it is also renown for championing young and emerging talent and providing a stage for the stars of tomorrow.
System2 has enjoyed working with the Hebridean Celtic Festival for 16 years. In that time, we have helped raise the festival’s profile amongst the traditional media and, more recently, via social media platforms. HebCelt enjoys an enviable reputation locally, nationally and internationally as a family-friendly, community-orientated event that supports the islands’ culture and traditions as well as being a key driver for the economy and tourism.
System2 is responsible for a whole range of materials to help promote the festival and keep the audience up to date. This includes news items, blogs, artist interviews, website content, images and videos to highlight the festival’s economic, cultural, social and environmental impact.
We also work as media liaison managers and collaborate with sponsors in both the public and private sectors.
In 2018, Saturday and weekend tickets sold out early, with all Friday and Thursday tickets also snapped up the week the festival opened - making it the most successful ticket sales year in the festival’s history.
Social media plays a huge part in the promotion of the festival. Every year, System2 creates a series of key messages to distribute via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Live videos are also utilised to broadcast performances.
The goal for 2018 was to increase the following on the Instagram channel. Using posts on Twitter and Facebook to encourage this, the HebCelt Instagram following grew by 37%. Twitter saw an increase of 12% and Facebook 17%.
For the 2018 festival, followers were highly engaged with the HebCelt channels in the run up to and throughout the event, with almost 6K engagements via Twitter and 117.6K on Facebook.
Live footage taken during the festival allowed HebCelt fans unable to attend, to follow events over the four days and collectively these have had 108,803 views to date.
After a fantastic festival in 2017, System2 worked closely with HebCelt to highlight its success and this was rewarded with five accolades in various awards events: