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There’s a new kid on the block in the schedule of summer festivals, with a belter of a line-up of top-line acts announced today (Monday 12 December).

The Midnight Sun Weekender is set for Thursday 25 to Saturday 27 May 2023, in the grounds of Lews Castle, and is described as ‘three days of artfully curated music at one of the most idyllic locations in the UK ….a festival of the kind dreams are made of.’

Launching for the first time in 2023, the Midnight Sun Weekender is a collaborative event organised by Charlie Clark and Ian MacArthur.

Founder of successful Scottish indie band Astrid, Charlie Clark was also part of the Reindeer Section (with members of Snow Patrol, Belle & Sebastian and Mogwai) and worked as music manager for Houston Hospitality in Los Angeles.

He is currently the head booker for Glasgow institution Nice’n’Sleazy and, with co-organiser Ian MacArthur, a Scottish chartered accountant and barrister who has also worked for Virgin Records and The Big Issue, Charlie has set up the Outer Hebrides based indie label No Big Deal Music.

Charlie said the Midnight Sun Weekender would be ‘the first ever major pop and rock Festival to be held in the Western Isles’ and would be held annually.

Also ground-breaking will be the festival’s strides towards addressing ethical imbalances across the wider festival industry. 

It’s pledged to be eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable, completely powered by hydrogen produced on the Isle of Lewis and leading the way to becoming one of the greenest festivals of our generation.

Promoters also intend to lead in addressing the gender balance that has crept into more established festivals, guaranteeing a 45% to 55% female to male ratio of performers across the weekend.

Of greatest interest to festival-goers, though, will be the line-up, with the first two nights of the festival already boasting a festival opener from rock icon Chrissie Hynde with The Pretenders, on a UK exclusive headline appearance.

The band will select from a six-decade repertoire of hits, and air preview material from their 2023 album release, Relentless.

Following-up on Friday night will be a Scottish act of equally formidable pedigree, Primal Scream, with a choice line-up of acts across the whole three days, including Britpop favourites Ocean Colour Scene, former Orange Juice founder Edwyn Collins and indie-electronica experts Public Service Broadcasting. 

There are more names still to be announced, with full details of what’s on offer to date at and tickets available from this Wednesday (14 December).

The picture shows Chrissie Hynde during her UK tour in October and is by Elspeth Mary Moore.