Fri 8 December 2023

The Western Isles Lottery Team report they are ‘overwhelmed’ at the success and wholly positive public feedback following the recently held Grand Concert and Tattoo Metagama.

Tony Robson of the Lottery Team said:“After two successful Homecoming Tattoos in 2009 & 2014, the question was always “when is the next one”?

“The answer was always there; hold one in 2023 on the Centenary of the Historic Metagama departure to Canada. Many Islanders, particularly from Lewis, have emigrated to Ontario & Quebec over the centuries so a Pipe band from this area was the obvious choice to front Tattoo

Canada’s premier band on the East coast is, of course, the 78th Fraser Highlanders from Toronto, and they didn’t need much persuasion to come to Lewis!”

The Team decided that a variety of acts should join the six pipe bands to provide two days of varied music, song and dance, and the challenge was on to engage with Agencies across the UK to
compile a line up which would be appealing to all ages. That challenge was admirably met with the inclusion of 1920s showgirls, Samba bands, Chinese Lions & Dragons, traditional folk groups & dancers, a mass choir, stunning LED Drummers and a spectacular, world class
Fire Performer who mesmerised the crowds in the 5 hour spectacular show on Lews Castle Green.

Janet Paterson of the Lottery Team said,
“We are delighted that the event has proved so successful and that everybody, performers and audience alike, have clearly enjoyed themselves. The Tattoo ran smoothly from the moment fireworks were fired from the Castle Cannons to when an extravagant fireworks display,
followed by a jaw-dropping fire performance, concluded the Event 5 hours later”.

Around 18 months ago, Tony Robson began researching ahead of the Tattoo, with the help of Stornoway Historical Society, to produce an excellent Exhibition capturing the emigration story of the time so everyone could familiarise themselves with the history. The Metagama Exhibition opened in Stornoway Town Hall in April this year and has since toured the Islands. The book accompanying the Exhibition “Leaving Home – The Story of the Hebridean Emigration 1746-1928 will remain on sale in outlets around Stornoway.

The Lottery Team report “…. and we’re not finished yet!” We are currently designing a souvenir Tattoo MetagamaCalendar 2024 which will go on sale in September. The calendar will do two main
things. Firstly, it will pay sincere gratitude to all our sponsors and volunteers for their
amazing support and hard work ensuring the Event’s success and, secondly, record
on paper the many fantastic performances that will be remembered for many a year!

Funds raised this year


78.03% Complete

3121 tickets of our 4000 ticket goal