The Hebridean Dark Skies Festival will return to the Isle of Lewis from 9 – 21 March 2023, with a new programme of live music, film, theatre, art, planetarium screenings, and stargazing events across the island.
The fifth edition of Scotland’s annual arts and astronomy festival will include:
- Two Planetarium weekends with indoor astronomy shows by Dynamic Earth, making its first trip to Lewis, and Cosmos Planetarium. The two planetariums will travel to schools and community venues across Lewis and Harris in addition to their public screenings at An Lanntair.
- David Bowie in Space: The Concert will see Hebridean musicians plus special guest vocalists performing imaginative new arrangements of Bowie’s space-themed songs, from Starman and Life on Mars to Blackstar.
- Lass O’Pairts, a new indoor performance by Mischief La Bas, Scotland’s long-running street theatre company, in which colourful aliens tell you the stories of eight female pioneers in cosmology and space travel with the help of beautifully designed ‘artefacts’.
- You Are Here, an interactive digital map of the stars above the Isle of Lewis, created by Edinburgh design studio Ray Interactive. The map, in An Lanntair’s main gallery, updates live as time passes, the presence of visitors generating unique abstract animations – a reminder that all life originates in the stars.
- Stargazing events at community venues across the island with Stephen Mackintosh of Highland Astronomy, who will take audiences on a walk to some of Lewis and Harris’s best stargazing spots.
- Chasing the Aurora, an opening talk by astrophotographer Wil Cheung in partnership with Outer Hebrides Tourism.
- The Music of the Solar System, an exhibition of interplanetary musicology by Dr Ray Sound, exploring the music scenes on Venus, Mars and more.
Keep an eye on An Lanntair’s website for more programme announcements throughout the winter months.
The 2023 Hebridean Dark Skies Festival is run by An Lanntair with support from Caledonian MacBrayne and Outer Hebrides Tourism, in partnership with Stornoway Astronomical Society, Lews Castle College UHI, Gallan Head Community Trust, Calanais Visitor Centre, Visit Scotland, and Cala Hotels.
Festival director Andrew Eaton-Lewis said: “An Lanntair is thrilled to be bringing the Hebridean Dark Skies Festival back for its fifth year, and we’re very grateful to Caledonian MacBrayne and all of our festival partners for their continued support. The Isle of Lewis is an extraordinarily beautiful place to be in winter, with truly spectacular views of the night sky and the Northern Lights; it’s always a pleasure to celebrate that in the company of so many inspiring artists and astronomers. Hopefully the stars will come out for us once again, but even if the weather is against us, we’ve got a packed line-up of indoor events exploring astronomy, the night sky and our relationship with darkness through music, theatre, film, visual art, workshops and more.”
Hebridean Dark Skies Festival tickets can be booked at www.lanntair.com or by calling 01851 708480. Look out for programme updates throughout the winter.