Hebridean Dark Skies Festival

The Hebridean Dark Skies Festival is an ambitious new annual programme of events at An Lanntair and across Lewis, including theatre, live music, film, visual art, food, astronomy talks, and stargazing.

Our next festival will run from Friday 7 February to Saturday 22 February 2020, and will include:

  • Creativity and Curiosity, an exhibition in An Lanntair’s main gallery inspired by collaborations between artists and astronomers.
  • The Only Light Was Stars by Karine Polwart, an exclusive early glimpse of the the singer-songwriter’s supernova-themed follow up to her hit show Wind Resistance.
  • Robin Ince’s Chaos of Delight, an evening of comedy with the co-host of international smash hit science series The Infinite Monkey Cage and the acclaimed Book Shambles podcast.
  • g-Astronomy, an interactive dining experience at An Lanntair and Uig Sands hosted by astrophysicist Roberto Trotta.
  • A Day of Creativity and Curiosity, a packed day of events on the festival’s opening weekend, including Universe (of Music) with Chris Lintott and Steve Pretty, Karine Polwart in conversation with astronomers, a ‘visual moonbounce’ event with media artist and trained radio telescope operator Daniela de Paulis, visual artist Kate Bernstein and Sian Prosser of the Royal Astronomical Society on working together, and lots more in a day-long meeting of minds between artists and astronomers. Early bird tickets are available now.
  • A brand new Dark Skies photography exhibition, consisting of shortlisted entries in this year’s photography competition – including our winner, Callanish and the Cosmos by Scott Davidson, pictured above.
  • Cosmos Planetarium – returning for a second year, the popular portable planetarium will present a new programme at An Lanntair and across Lewis.
  • Dark Skies film programme bringing together four science fiction films – Solaris, Contact, Interstellar and Ad Astra – that explore human connections across the cosmos.
  • Stargazing events across the island presented by Highland Astronomy and Steven Gray from Cosmos Planetarium.
  • To close the festival, a revival of Neosa’s hugely popular production of Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds.

Tickets for all events can be booked via An Lanntair‘s box office on 01851 708480, as well as online.

The Isle of Lewis has some of the darkest skies in the UK. Many astronomical sights can be seen through the naked eye including the Orion Nebula, the Milky Way and the Great Andromeda galaxy. Lewis is also one of the best places in the UK to see the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis (as featured in Casey McIntyre’s winning entry in our photography competition, above).

The Hebridean Dark Skies Festival is led by An Lanntair in partnership with Calanais Visitor Centre, Stornoway Astronomical Society, Gallan Head Community Trust, and Lews Castle College UHI, with additional support from Outer Hebrides Tourism and Natural Retreats.

The Hebridean Dark Skies Festival is part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Outer Hebrides LEADER 2014-2020 programme.