IT was a disaster that devastated the Hebrides in the aftermath of the Great War.

Now the tragedy of the HMY Iolaire, which was lost along with more than 200 men from the Isle of Lewis on New Year's Day, 1919, is to be remembered in sound and vision as a special event at next year's Celtic Connections festival.

The Glasgow festival, one of Scotland's most successful and beloved annual music events, is also to stage concerts at the city's Kings Theatre for the first time, and will mark another anniversary: the ten years since the death of revered Scottish singer-songwriter John Martyn.

The festival will run from January 17 to February 3 in venues across the city, including a series of high profile concerts at the 1800-seat King's, which is usually the home for theatre shows.

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The HMY Iolaire tragedy will be marked by An Tres Suaile' (The Third Wave), a new work by acclaimed singer Julie Fowlis and Duncan Chisholm which will mix traditional music, new songs, archive recordings with onstage visuals and projections.

His Majesty's Yacht Iolaire hit rocks known as the Beasts of Holm outside Stornoway harbour in the early hours of New Year's Day, 1919.

The title of the piece is inspired by John Finlay MacLeod, who leapt from the stricken ship - which was bringing troops from Lewis and Harris back from the war - with a rope and was carried on to rocks by the third wave: many of those who did survive the disaster were saved by Mr MacLeod.

The festival's creative producer, Donald Shaw, said it was a "suite to honour those lost, those who survived, and a means to share stories of the three generations of families connected to the disaster."

Mr Shaw said: "The story tells the last 48 hours, and is inspired by lots of stories of the men on the ship.

"It is a disaster which is still resonant.

"A lot of people who may think that Lewis is a religious place, and sometimes its almost mocked for that, but you can see how with this event, the people had taken to religion to deal with what happened.

"Some say it wasn't talked about on the islands for 30 years: it affected generations."

READ MORE: The tragedy of the HMY Iolaire in 1919

Norman MacDonald, convener of the Western Isles Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said earlier this year that the disaster had "subdued the islands of Lewis and Harris for two generations."

The legacy of John Martyn, known for his 1973 album Solid Air, and who died in 2009, will be celebrated in a concert featuring a series of well known musical artists.

Mr Shaw said he could have filled the night's line up twice over, given the popularity and love for the singer-songwriter's work, and the concert will include Paul Weller, the singer songwriter known for his solo career and his time in The Jam, as well as Lucy Rose, Eddi Reader, Ross Wilson, Rory Butler, Eric Bibb, John Smith and Katie Spencer.

They will be accompanied by band that includes bass guitarist Alan Thomson, Martyn’s keyboards player, Foster Paterson and drummer Arran Ahmun as well as friend and double bass player Danny Thompson, who will also be musical director for the evening.

Of the inclusion of the King's Theatre, Mr Shaw said he was glad to fit the festival's concerts around its busy theatrical schedule, and had programmed acts with a loyal following who he would hope could fill the historic venue.

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The festival will use the venue across seven nights, and will include performances by Karine Polwart and Kris Drever, Gretchen Peters, Eddi Reader, Blazin Fiddles and Karen Matheson, the US singer John Grant and, on the final night, Chris Stout and Catriona McKay.

Mr Shaw said one of the festival's highlights this year was a strand of new music called Above the Surface.

He said the "blurring of boundaries" between folk and other kinds of music had inspired the series of events, the first being the Scottish singer Kathleen MacInnes singing with Icelandic musicians Amiina.

The opening concert will welcome up to 70 "emerging young talents" to the stage, who will be selected from the 45 Fèisean now held annually around Scotland, Orcadian youth music project Hadhirgaan, and Galician folk orchestra SonDeSeu.

They will perform newly arranged excerpts of Duncan Chisholm’s 2007 Blas Festival commission Kin, Lauren MacColl’s The Seer, commissioned by Fèis Rois, and Harvest itself, along with material by Dàimh, Aidan O’Rourke and Brighde Chaimbeul.

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Other acts at the festival will include Graham Nash, Loudon Wainwright III, Judy Collins, Ronnie Spector & the Ronettes, Kathy Mattea, Shooglenifty, Benjamin Clementine, and Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert.

Mr Shaw added: "Every year we strive to programme the most diverse and eclectic festival yet and 2019 is shaping up to be just that.

"From artists who have influenced the current scene, to musicians who are re-defining the music of tomorrow, Celtic Connections 2019 will continue to embrace a huge range of styles and genres that showcase artists and cultures from across the world."