John Lennon Festival Lights Up Highlands Village

An authorised 3 day tribute festival is set to take place

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The John Lennon Northern Lights Festival has been given the go-ahead to take place in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands.

Durness, with a population of 356, will host a three day festival in tribute to the late Beatle from September 28 -30, featuring top music artists, playwrights and authors.

Artists so far confirmed include jazz performer Joe Stilgoe, Nizpoli, King Creosote and Mr Hudson & The Library. Poets attending include John Cooper Clarke and carol Ann Duffy.


Writer Alastair McIntosh, who has inspired Radiohead’s Thom Yorke among others, will also be appearing at the festival. One special event will se him rapping with Nizlopi in Smoo Cave, Britain’s biggest sea cave.

Festival director Mike Merritt has also confirmed that Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, the Queen’s Master of Music, will lead lead the classical programme and present a world premiere of a Beatles Prom with the Royal Academy of Music.

The village of Durness was an area that greatly inspired Lennon – he spent his childhood holidays between the ages of 9 and 13 in the village and returned with his son Julian, wife Yoko Ono, and her daughter Kyoko in 1969.


It is also believed that Lennon asked relatives to try and buy the village, shortly before his death in 1980. The village is also said to be part of the inspiration his song “In My Life.”

The festival has been endorsed by Lennon’s family, and sister Julia Baird will be taking part in the events. She says she’s “delighted to be involved in what is a high quality event which has taste and respect at its core. We are all looking forward very much to coming again to a place that meant so much to my brother.”

The announcement about the festival comes just prior to the 40th anniversary of iconic Beatles LP “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Tickets for the festival are now available here from the North Highland Tourism board


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