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Scottish fest cancelled days before event

Acts including Pretenders, Primal Scream, John Fogerty were due to perform at the Midnight Sun Weekender in Stornoway

By James Hanley on 23 May 2023

Organisers of Scotland’s Midnight Sun Weekender have announced the cancellation of the event just days before it was due to take place.

Acts including Pretenders, Primal Scream, John Fogerty, Spiritualized, Public Service Broadcasting and Edwyn Collins were among the artists lined up to perform at Lewis Castle in the town of Stornoway from 25-27 May.

However, it has now been called off, with promoters citing “rising costs and limited availability on festival infrastructure, as well as the cost of living crisis having an impact on ticket sales means that we are not in the position to deliver the event”.

“As organisers, we have tried everything we can to overcome the challenges we have faced to stage this event, however it has become impossible for us to move forward,” says Midnight Sun Weekender director Ian MacArthur. “We are deeply disappointed to confirm this news, especially at this late stage and would like to reassure our customers that anyone who has purchased tickets will be able to claim a refund.

Western Isles Council reportedly loaned organisers £150,000 three months before the event was called off

“We deeply regret the impact this cancellation will have on the local retail and hospitality sector and the economic impact overall to Stornoway but would like to thank the Safety Advisory Group, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Stornoway Trust, Breedon Hebrides, Stornoway Port Authority, Scottish, Scottish Water and Woody’s Express for all their support to us over recent weeks and months.”

According to the Press & Journal, Western Isles Council loaned organisers £150,000 three months before the event was called off. The authority says it has been “reassured” it will get the money back.

“On the news breaking that the festival was to be cancelled, the Comhairle met with the promoters to seek reassurance that full refunds would be provided for those who had bought tickets and that the Comhairle’s loan investment was safe,” says a council statement. “Reassurance was provided regarding these two issues and repayment of the loan will commence, in due course, to an agreed schedule.”


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