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!
1-2 September, Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries and Galloway
If you haven’t yet already heard of Electric Fields music festival then it’s maybe time to perk up your ears and take a little note. It is one of Scotland's newest and most exciting, and definitely not one to be missed. Only on its fourth year, Electric Fields is preparing to welcome some giant, big-name acts to its stages this year. The likes of Dizzee Rascal, Glass Animals, Fatherson, Band of Horses and Frightened Rabbit are just a few names that may tempt you. But if the music isn't your thing, then Electric Fields will definitely have something else sure to draw you in. Have a little read to find out what else is on offer...
Set deep within a beautiful forest backdrop in Dumfries and Galloway, the festival provides a unique, intimate and unforgettable atmosphere for goers of all ages and musical tastes. This year, there will be music coming from four different stages; the Main Stage hosting all your favourite acts, the slightly smaller Tenement TV Discover Stage, the electronic Sneaky Pete’s and new this year is Music from The Big Pink, dedicated to showcasing the best new music from across the UK, hosted by BBC Radio Scotland’s very own Vic Galloway.
As promised, music isn’t everything this festival has to offer. Across the weekend there will also be spoken word performances curated by Neu! Reekie! as well as various comedy and animation performances.
Still not tickling your fancy? Then how about some mouth-watering food and drink to tempt your taste buds…
This year sees the expansion of the festival’s food and drink section. Introducing; The Pitt Food Market - an exquisite street-food-inspired taste experience. Electric Fields will also have its very own Ale and Craft Beer Festival this year, hydrating festival goers with a selection of both classic and alternative alcoholic and soft drink beverages.
STILL not enough? What if I told you that you could bring your kids along too? Priding themselves in catering to everyone, EF certainly doesn’t exclude children. Returning to EF is the ‘Our Kids Electric Area’, hosting a large array of arts & crafts, an adventure playground and even a children’s disco. With boutique camping options also available and only one hour south from Edinburgh and Glasgow, it is no surprise that the festival was voted as one of "The Times Top 50 Summer Festivals", with particular focus on its family offering.
Electric Fields has also been chosen by The Guardian as one of “the best UK rock, pop and dance festivals for 2017”, as well as “#1 Festival Under £100” – Gigwise and “The Critics Choice Festival” – Huffington Post.
Now you REALLY have no excuse. So go on, you can purchase your tickets here.