VAN Morrison is returning to the Hebridean Celtic Festival eight years after his last visit to the Lewis event.
Morrison, who headlinedin 2005, has confirmed he will play the 18th HebCelt which runs from July 17 to 20.
Fans of Van the Man can expect a collection of classics from a 50-year career as well as songs from his latest album Born to Sing: No Plan B.
He said: “My music has been influenced by the Celtic tradition and I find it inspiring to go back to the places where that tradition is still strong.
“My visit to HebCelt in 2005 is one I remember with great fondness and I have wanted to return to the islands for some time. So I am delighted to be able to take up the invitation this year and look forward to playing at this festival which is so highly regarded among musicians.”
Morrison was born in Belfast in 1945 and was raised on music from his father’s eclectic record collection of blues, country and gospel songs. After early success with the group Them he became an internationally acclaimed solo singer and songwriter with hits including Brown Eyed Girl, Moondance and Tupelo Honey.
His list of awards and accolades include an OBE, six Grammys, a Brit and an Ivor Novello, as well as honorary doctorates from Belfast Queens and Ulster universities, entry into The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the French Ordres Des Artes Et Des Lettres.
HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan said: “People still talk today about Van Morrison’s performance at HebCelt in 2005. It was a magical occasion and ever since then we hoped he would come back.
“He is still one of the biggest artists in the world and I can’t wait to see him on stage again in Stornoway.”
The HebCelt line-up confirmed so far includes Lau, the Anglo-Scottish trio which won best group for the fourth time in six years at this year’s Radio Two Folk Awards and Scottish singer songwriter Karine Polwart, who was nominated in three categories in the same awards.
They will be joined by alternative folk artists The Travelling Band, from Manchester, Glasgow-based emerging act Fatherson, Orcadian eight-piece The Chair and Welsh bluegras- influenced band Rusty Shackle.
Also confirmed are local acts Lewis-born Iain Morrison, singer songwriter Colin MacLeod aka The Boy Who Trapped The Sun, also from Lewis and Celtic rock five-piece Face the West.
Last week it was announced the Scottish singer/songwriter Dougie MacLean will be another of HebCelt’s headline acts, 17 years after appearing in the inaugural event.
Top Scottish live acts The Battlefield Band and The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, as well as Virginian five-piece band The Hot Seats, have previously been announced.
Weekend tickets priced £75 (£57 for concession and £18 for under 14s) are also selling well and day tickets go on sale on March 1.