An Lanntair launches #winterinthewild with big winter programme announcements

  • Published on: 5th September 2019
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Hebridean premieres of brand new work by Karine Polwart, Alan Bissett and Julia Taudevin are set to attract new visitors to the Isle of Lewis this winter, as part of an exciting new off-season tourism campaign led by An Lanntair arts centre in Stornoway.

The #winterinthewild campaign is a partnership between An Lanntair and Visit Scotland, Outer Hebrides Tourism, Hebridean Hopscotch Holidays, Loganair, Calmac, Glasgow Airport, Cala Hotels, and Lews Castle, with support from Creative Scotland, Event Scotland and Outer Hebrides LEADER.

The campaign is launched today with a new trailer promoting the Isle of Lewis and An Lanntair’s winter programme, directed by Lewis film-maker John Macdonald and featuring music by Mairi Campbell and Mike Vass. Mairi will appear in two events at An Lanntair in the coming months – Soil and Soul, at Faclan: the Hebridean Book Festival in October, and her own solo show Auld Lang Syne in January.

#winterinthewild will highlight some of the compelling reasons why the Outer Hebrides is a perfect getaway outside of the summer season – extraordinary scenery, wildlife, stargazing in some of the darkest places in Britain, locally sourced food, the opportunity to get away from cities and crowds, the beautiful empty beaches, and a programme of high quality cultural events this winter at An Lanntair.

An Lanntair’s winter programme includes two major festivals: Faclan, which runs from 30 October to 2 November, and the Hebridean Dark Skies Festival, which returns for its second year from 7-22 February. Tickets for individual events at Faclan are on sale from this week, and the Hebridean Dark Skies Festival will announce its programme on 1 October.

Winter programme highlights revealed today include:

The full programme for Faclan: the Hebridan Book Festival and Faclan Fringe – tickets for individual events are now on sale. Faclan will open on Wednesday 30 October with an exclusive work in progress performance of Soil and Soul, Alan Bissett’s stage adaptation of Alastair McIntosh’s acclaimed Lewis-set memoir, following a week of rehearsals at Aras Nam Fir Chlis on Lewis – the cast will be announced shortly. The festival programme also includes appearances by land artist Julie Brook, global adventurer Dan Richards, Atlantic rower Niall Iain Macdonald, top historian James Hunter, award-winning food writer Ghillie Başan, cult musician Momus, and more. The festival runs from 30 October to 2 November and tickets for individual events are on sale now.

In February 2020 Karine Polwart will stage The Only Light Was Stars, an exclusive “work-in-progress” performance of a brand new theatre show, on the opening weekend of the Hebridean Dark Skies Festival. Inspired by the science of supernovas, constellation myth and the legacy of nuclear technology for future generations, The Only Light Was Stars will be Polwart’s follow-up to her widely acclaimed show, Wind Resistance. Tickets will go on sale on 1 October when the Hebridean Dark Skies Festival announces its 2020 programme.

Award-winning playwright and theatre-maker Julia Taudevin (Blow Off, Chalk Farm) will premiere Move-Gluasad, a new multi-lingual work about migration, grief and empathy. Move-Gluasad is created in collaboration with acclaimed writer and theatre-maker Kieran Hurley (writer of Mouthpiece, Heads Up, Square Go and Beats – both the film and the original stage show). The show will be the first production by Kieran and Julia’s brand new company Disaster Plan, and will premiere on Lewis in partnership with Hebridean production company sruth-mara and in association with An Lanntair. It will be staged at community centres across the island in January 2020, before transferring to Glasgow. Full details to be announced in September.

Mairi Campbell will perform her hit solo show, Auld Lang Syne, in January as part of An Lanntair’s Burns Night celebrations.

Willie Campbell of Astrid will help Stornoway see in the New Year with a special Hogmanay show at An Lanntair.

Elly Fletcher, CEO of An Lanntair, said: “What an incredible programme of world-class events this will be. We are looking forward to welcoming new visitors to truly experience ‘Winter in the Wild’ here in the Outer Hebrides this year. Winter time in the isles can be wild and stunning in equal measure, from the breathtaking dark skies to wildlife spotting, hiking through rainbows, even cold water surfing.  I am delighted that, along with all our partners, we have been able to create and launch today such an exciting, inspiring and multi-layered programme of events to entice new people to experience these beautiful islands this winter.”

For updates follow #winterinthewild on social media, or visit for programme information and to purchase tickets.

To request interviews or images, please contact Andrew Eaton-Lewis at An Lanntair on or 01851 709488