Local News for Thursday 23rd August 2018

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.
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.
For the full programme and tickets visit: http://lanntair.com/year-of-young-people

Scientists seeking to discover whether seas around the Hebrides are a mating ground for basking sharks have gathered new footage showing the sharks being sociable, including a first look at groups forming on the seabed. These data has been gathered by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the University of Exeter as part of a new camera tagging project which launched earlier this month in the sea off the Western Isles.
Basking sharks are the second largest fish in the world, reaching lengths up to 10m. Despite their size and prevalence in Scotland’s seas, little is understood about their social behaviours.
Dr Suzanne Henderson, Policy and Advice Officer at SNH said:
‘A large number of sharks appear each year just off the western coast of Scotland. However, there’s been limited research to show exactly what they’re doing here.
Researchers from SNH and the University of Exeter spent a week off the coast of Tobermory tagging three basking sharks using towed camera tags

The Blas Festival features homegrown talent alongside internationally renowned traditional musicians. Gaelic plays a prominent part in every Blas event, making it a key Highland cultural event.
2018 marks the 14th Blas festival, which was created as a result of The Highland Council’s desire to have a festival, in its area, which would match the vitality of Cape Breton’s Celtic Colours.
Fèisean nan Gàidheal was asked by The Highland Council to develop and deliver the festival, which it has done successfully in partnership with local Fèisean and promoters.
The Blas Festival primary funders and supporters include The Highland Council, Creative Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Fèisean nan Gàidheal. Thornton’s Investments are providing sponsorship of £5,000 towards the new music commission.
Blas, which means ‘taste’ or ‘sample’, will take place from 7-15th September. It aims to celebrate Gaelic culture and the thriving Scottish traditional music scene over nine days of concerts, cèilidhs and larger events in venues across the Highlands and Islands.
The full programme of events can be found at www.blas-festival.com along with details of how to purchase tickets, including special prices for Young Scot cardholders.