Midnight Sun Festival: How to get tickets for Scotland's newest island music festival, how to get there and who's playing - including Primal Scream and The Pretenders

Lews Castle will provide a historic backdrop to the festival.Lews Castle will provide a historic backdrop to the festival.
Lews Castle will provide a historic backdrop to the festival.
Big name bands and stunning scenery look set to make this new event a success.

Scotland has a packed musical calendar in 2023, including several new events that will bring big name bands to parts of the country for the first time,

One such event is the Midnight Sun festival, billed by organisers as “the most idyllic music event in the UK”, which will see a historic island setting transformed for a weekend of merriment.

Here’s everything you need to know.

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Where does the Midnight Sun festival take place?

The Midnight Sun festival will take place in the stately grounds of Lews Castle, in the town of Stornoway - set on the beautiful island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

Lews Castle was built in 1844 as am island retreat for Sir James Matheson who used hi fortune made from the Chinese opium trade to buy the entire island. It was designed by the renowned Glasgow architect Charles Wilson.

In 1918 the castle was bought by industrialist Lord Leverhulme who gifted the castle to the people of Stornoway in 1923. It’s now run by the local council and contains a museum, cultural centre, holiday apartments, a ballroom and a cafe.

Lewis is the jewel of the Western Isles, renowned for its natural beauty, serenity, and unique culture and history. An island of long days and dark starry skies on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

When is the Midnight Sun music festival?

The first ever Midnight Sun festival will take place from Thursday, May 25 to Saturday, May 27.

It will end on Saturday night to honour the island’s tradition of keeping the Sabbath.

Who is playing?

The Pretenders will kick off proceedings on Thursday, May 25, with one of music’s most iconic frontwomen leading the charge as Chrissie Hynd and co are set to delight fans with a journey through their iconic repertoire including hits from ‘Brass In Pocket’ to ‘Back On The Chain Gang’, before Scottish legends Primal Scream take to the stage on Friday, May 26. From ‘Screamadelica’ classics to ‘XTRMNTR’ grooves, the band are world-renowned for their formidable live shows showcasing frontman Bobby Gillespie’s unmatched energy and their Friday night set at Lews Castle will be no different. To round off the first ever Midnight Sun, none other than John Fogerty will take to the stage for a sunset Saturday night show, taking the audience on a journey through some of his biggest hits from a career spanning almost 50 years.

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Other artists on the bill include Ocean Colour Scene, Edwyn Collins, Public Service Broadcasting, Honeyblood, Ado Matheson, The Choir, The Joshua Hotel, Izzie Yardley, The Lewis Allstars, Awkward Family Portraits and Hearty Har.

How do I get to Lewis?

Calmac operate regular ferries from Ullapool to Stornoway, while LoganAir offer schedules flights to the island.

There are three care hire companies to choose from on the island – Car Hire Hebrides, Stornoway Car Hire, and Stornoway Vehicle Hire.

Scottish Citylink run buses from across Scotland that connect with the ferries.

Where can I get tickets and how much are they?

Tickets can be bought here.

Full adult three-day festival tickets cost £219.15, while day tickets start at £65.15.

There are reduced prices for teenagers (£164.15 for three days and day tickets starting at £46.45) and children (£109.15 for three days and day tickets starting at £32.15).

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