Staying out for the summer: Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival

It seems like forever ago that we first gave you the lowdown on what music festivals to look forward to (or avoid) in Scotland this year. Back then summer seemed so far away – the days were short, drivers scraped frost off their windscreens, children built snowmen. It was nearly May after all. Seeing as the current heatwave – that’s 22 degrees, folks – has turned everyone into a darker shade of pale, it’s time to get back in the festival spirit with this Highland fling…

What’s it called? Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival.

Where’s it at? Belladrum Estate, by Beauly, Inverness-shire.

When’s it kicking off? August 8-9.

Who are the headliners? Scouting For Girls, The Waterboys.

And the flatliners? Scouting For Girls.

How do the organisers describe it? “It’s homegrown heaven in the Highlands. The craic’s amazing, the people are friendly, families love it, the setting is stunning, the music blows you away and it’s all on a relaxing human scale you can enjoy without that Times Square sensation of being over-thronged.”

What’s its pedigree? This is the 5th year.

What’s the damage? £56.50 for Saturday only (tickets), £87.50 for Friday & Saturday (tickets).

Most likely to be attended by: We would assume all the gig-starved people who live in beautiful Inverness. As the fastest growing city in Europe it’s time touring bands started taking it seriously as a concert destination. Music fans do exist north of the Central Belt, you know.

Verdict: Where else could you play football with Biffy Clyro and befriend Polish hitchhikers? That’s what happened in The Pop Cop’s last visit to Belladrum two years ago when we were charmed by the festival’s relaxed atmosphere, the genuine, warm enthusiasm of the punters and the complete absence of neds and posers. It doesn’t cost a penny more to camp or use the car park and kids under 13 get in for free – what a breath of fresh air to find organisers who aren’t desperate to fleece their customers for everything they’ve got. Oh, and the line-up is pretty decent too.

4 InfadelsFree Things For Poor People
4 The Wallbirds8 O’Clock Blues
4 IdlewildFaster
4 Del Amitri (Justin Currie) – Roll To Me
4 Angus And Julia StoneBella
4 Frightened RabbitFast Blood
4 Kathryn WilliamsWe Dug A Hole
4 Broken RecordsLies
4 The Brute ChorusThe Cuckoo & The Stolen Heart
4 The LemonheadsDifferent Drum
4 Cold War KidsHospital Beds
4 Sons And DaughtersBroken Bones

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