The Tartan Heart Festival, 3rd - 5th August, Belladrum Estate, Beauly
Despite the forecast showing rain for the total duration of Belladrum Festival (Thursday 4th – Saturday 6th), the heavens held off for just enough time for goers to enjoy the acts in relative dryness (at least for the most part). In fact, Saturday saw no rain at all!
Opening the Garden Stage on Thursday was the warm vocals of Louis Berry, Liverpool born folk/rock singer. The festival wasn’t only host to home grown British acts, but also a selection from further afar. Swedish duo First Aid Kit took to the stage with their angelic and ethereal tones along with American music veterans Sister Sledge across the three day event.
The festival definitely lived up to its “Family Festival of the Year” title. The crowds were an equal split of young, old, really young and really old. There really was something for everyone. From stunt shows and fair rides to forest raves and whisky bars, the word “bored” had no true meaning on the beautiful Beauly estate last weekend.
A particular highlight for us was participating in the giant ‘Strip the Willow.’ Despite the torrential rain at the time and extremely squelchy underfoot conditions, we found ourselves there for at least 30 minutes. Swirling, twirling and clapping our hands to the lively ceilidh band that was set up on their own little stage. In true Scots fashion, the weather certainly did not put anyone off.
This review cannot go without mention of Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5. Admittedly, slightly apprehensive when I saw the name on the Belladrum Line-up Lanyard at the start of the weekend, after stumbling across them on the Friday afternoon on the Garden Stage my opinions quickly changed. They had the crowd singing, jumping, and dancing and like true performers had everyone wishing their set was a little bit longer. Known for their bright yellow attire and upbeat songs, their light hearted tongue ‘n’ cheek lyrics were perfect for the Belladrum crowd.
Standing proud as a centre point to the festival was a John Lennon tribute art instalment, consisting of giant eyes, nose and his signature side burns and glasses. Above it read “Imagine…you are here”. Not only did this make a great picture point and meeting point, it was a lovely, colourful artistic display for the eye to appreciate.
I think it goes without saying by now that this year’s Belladrum festival was a real success. This year’s event has shown even more so how the event is going from strength to strength; attracting bigger crowds, bigger acts, and leaving people with even bigger smiles. For the 14th year, the festival proved itself as a great feat to the Scottish events industry and it is highly recommended that you get your tickets purchased early for next year’s event. We already can’t wait!
'Til next year!