SEALL’s Summer Programme Goes Ahead Outdoors Under Canvas at Armadale Castle

Pictured: Armadale Castle Bluebells © Simon Larson.

Ponds at Armadale castle.

The beautiful gardens of Armadale Castle will provide the stunning venue for SEALL’s 2021 summer programme.

Over 30 events in music, theatre, dance, literature and children’s shows, will take place this year between 5 July and 11 September.

All events will be held outdoors under canvas and the programme is designed to celebrate the unique maritime heritage of Skye, Raasay and Lochalsh.

The 2021 summer programme is supported by Creative Scotland and the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 event fund and will be part of a nationwide celebration showcasing Scotland’s unique coastal heritage and encouraging its protection for future generations.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said:

“We are delighted to be supporting the SEALL 2021 Summer Programme as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21.

“Scotland offers the perfect stage to showcase the arts and SEALL’s summer-long programme of events will celebrate the unique culture of Skye and its relationship with coasts and waters.”

Highlights this summer are music from Karine Polwart, Charlie McKerron, Dàimh, Blue Rose Code, Adam Sutherland and Rant.

There is theatre from the Walking Theatre company; puppetry shows and workshops for the children; spectacular dance from Oceanallover; and aerial performances on five-metre-high swings.

Also heading to Armadale in August is a three-day literature event with a visit from the Story Wagon — a creative reading and writing space for adults and children.

Alongside this, guest authors Gavin Francis and Alastair McIntosh will talk about their books and the “remarkable” poem, And so Somersault, by Skye’s Gaelic poet Myles Campbell will be the focal point of a unique event in English and Gaelic with a panel discussion and the launch of a Skye-made poetry pamphlet.

SEALL creative director, Marie Lewis, said:

“During our long absence from live events we have been looking at ways in which to continue our work and keep our audiences, staff, volunteers and performers safe.

“It was our intention to launch the new-look Skye Festival this year, which would have taken place over 10 days in the beginning of July, but we decided against it.

“Instead, we took the programme and spread it across three summer months.

“We were determined not to miss out on the theme of coasts and waters and many of our events have a strong coast and waters angle.”

Throughout the programme, social distancing will remain in place and tickets for the seated concerts are being sold in blocks of 2, 4 and 6 benches or tables with a few single seats available.

Marie added:

“Safety is our main concern and, in order to host in-person events in line with the Scottish Government Strategic Framework for Covid-19, we decided to play it as safe as possible and put on socially distanced outdoor events with enhanced health and safety procedures in place.

“We have reduced our audience numbers, arranged for socially distanced seating on benches and tables, one-way systems and hygiene stations and, thanks to funding from the SCVO Adapt and Thrive Fund, purchased a massive stretch tent wherein all our concerts will be held.

“We hope this will give audiences the confidence to return to live events over the summer.

“We are certainly ready for it.

“Tickets for all our July events are on sale now and August will be following soon.

“All we need now is the good weather.”

For details of the summer programme, tickets and to download a brochure please click here.