There will be a number of changes to the way the festival is run this year in order to keep everyone as safe as possible and help combat the spread of Covid-19. There will also be a few additional things we ask of you, our fantastic audience, to aid us with this endeavour. So let’s start there…
LATERAL FLOW TESTING
Everyone in Scotland is encouraged to take a LatFlow test twice a week. If this is something you have not been doing then we strongly urge you do to so. Free LatFlow tests can be ordered from this government website. Follow the steps on screen to order your pack and make sure to test yourself regularly in the run up the festival. If you have a positive test or are experiencing any Covid like symptoms then please please do not travel to the island. In such a case refunds may be available. Get in touch with Keir to discuss options.
Everyone over the age of 12 will need to wear a face mask while in the village hall (unless you can prove exemption). This includes the merchandise room, the bar, the entrance hallway, and most importantly, the main hall itself. Masks must be worn throughout concerts. The exception is of course when eating and drinking. If you are enjoying a beverage during a concert then it will be fine to remove your mask while you do so, but please replace it when you have finished. You must have a face mask on when moving around the hall, regardless if you are also eating or drinking. This will be strictly enforced.
In order to avoid a crowd in the entrance area of the hall, we are making some changes to way tickets are exchanged for wristbands this year:
AT THE SHOP
If you are on the island before proceedings get under way at 3pm on Thursday, then please pop into the shop any day between 9am and 1pm to get your wristbands.
AT THE HALL
On Thursday and Friday all banding will take place in gazebos set up outside the hall. In the case of inclement weather there will be the chance to queue inside an open sided marquee, or indeed wait in your vehicle.
After the main concerts are underway on Friday (and the vast majority of people have received their bands), banding will take place inside the hall as usual.
ENTRY AND EXIT
Seating will not be allocated, but as a rough rule of thumb, those wishing to sit in the front half of the hall should enter and exit through the fire door by the stage and those wishing to sit in the back half of the hall should enter and exit through the main doors.
Those exiting through the stage fire door should access the bar and merchandise rooms from the side door of the hall (near the marquee), rather than going through the hall, and return the same way.
We will still be asking people to leave the hall in between each concert so that soundchecks can be performed. However, if the weather proves to be particularly nasty then anyone who wishes to remain in their seat will be allowed to do so.
Don’t worry if this all sounds a little confusing; volunteers will be on hand to show you the way. And likewise do not fret if you occasionally go the wrong way – we’re merely trying to stop too many people passing each other inside the hall.
It is well within the rules for us to run the usual Late Night Ceòl Ceilidh, but we thought it may just be a risk that isn’t worth taking on this occasion. So for 2021 the ceilidh will unfortunately not be taking place. It seemed a bit odd to ask everyone to stay masked for the duration of the evening’s concerts, only for the chairs to be cleared, the masks to come off and have everyone dance with one another. It would make the efforts of the first part of the night rather pointless…
Tables and chairs will be provided in the bar, as well as dotted around the outside spaces – please make use of these rather than standing cheek to jowl in what is quite a small space.
Please do not linger in the merchandise room or entrance hall. Ceòl Cholasa is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, but please do so outside the hall as much as possible.
The hotel bar only has a licence to 2am this year. Please respect the rules in place at this venue.
Everyone in the hall must have a seat. Standing space at the rear of the hall will be strictly reserved for staff and artists only.
As such numbers will be slightly more limited than in previous years and it is unlikely tickets on the door will be available for all of the evening concerts.
Finally, a big thank you in advance for taking the time to read this and for following these rules. Your support with this is ultimately allowing the festival to take place this year. Moran Taing!!