A SCOTTISH island music festival has taken the “incredibly difficult but necessary” decision to cancel at the last minute and evacuate everyone from the site.

Tiree Music Festival said in a statement on Thursday night, less than one day before it was officially due to begin, that “extreme weather conditions” had forced the cancellation.

In a statement, the festival said: “Due to the extreme weather conditions we have taken the incredibly difficult but necessary decision to cancel Tiree Music Festival 2023 and vacate all campers, glampers, visitors and vendors to safety.

“The safety of everyone on site is our number one priority and this decision is based on the advice of trusted partner authorities and our on-site health and safety, security, medical and event management teams following the extreme weather conditions we are facing.

“We are working extremely hard to make sure this process is safe and all-encompassing and to ensure every single person on site is relocated to safety and escorted to begin a safe journey home.

“We would ask everyone at the festival to please make your way to An Talla [community hall] where our team will be on hand to support you. Anyone who has not started their journey, please do not travel to TMF and if you are on your way to the festival, we would ask you to please make your way home.

“We understand the cancellation is hugely disappointing for everyone involved in the festival but we do not take this decision lightly.

“We will provide further updates as soon as we have them. Our duty of care for everyone at the festival is at the heart of everything we are doing.”

Tiree Music Festival had been due to run from July 7 to 9, but strong rains and winds forecast throughout the weekend have forced the closure.

Around 2000 people attend the event each year – held on an island with a population of just 600.

In a second update issued in the small hours of Friday, the music festival said that lifts to the ferry terminal would begin from 7:30am, with anyone who needs to visit the site to collect belongings taken there first.

Tiree Music Festival further said that CalMac tickets to Oban for across the weekend would be valid on the 10:35am sailing, which would be boarded on a first come first served basis. 

"A huge thank you to everyone for their understanding, effort, and support," the statement added.