Scottish music festivals, summer 2015

By Kelly Finlay.

Music festivals aren’t everyone’s thing – especially in the changeable climate that Scotland is often subjected to.

But that doesn’t stop us having one of the most vibrant summer festival line-ups out there, with thousands of Scots each year willing to dance in the mud, or slap on the sun cream and enjoy some of the best acts going.

Here’s just a small sample of the music festivals Scotland has to offer in summer 2015.

Iona Village Hall Music Festival – Isle of Iona, 3 & 4 July – a festival that’s certainly leading the way for picturesque settings… though the clue is in the name here, and the weekend it is focussed around the island’s village hall. Here, and at smaller stages around the village throughout the day, the weekend kicks off with a DJ, moves on to bands, and concludes with the grand ceilidh finale. It’s a unique chance to see acts such as Idlewild (acoustic), Admiral Fallow, King Creosote, Sorren MacLean, Roddy Woomble and The Hazey Janes, in an intimate setting.

T in the Park – Strathallan Castle, Perthshire, 10-12 July – now in its 22nd year, TITP is unmistakably the granddaddy in the Scottish festival calendar, and this year marks its first at a new home! Attracting 85,000 people each day, with some 70,000 camping, it’s one of the biggest on the UK festival circuit, let alone the Scottish one. The first headline act announced this year was old school indie outfit, The Libertines and among other headliners there’s Kasabian and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, along with other acts including Avicii, Sam Smith, The Vaccines, and Twin Atlantic.

Gentleman of the Road –Aviemore, 31 of July and 1 August – part of a series of ‘Stopover’ festivals curated by Mumford and Sons, this summer sees them come to Scotland for the first time. From a site at the Dell of Rothiemurchus at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park – although not something that will become an annual feature – this is a welcome addition of another ‘scenic’ festival with some bigger names on the bill, after the apparent demise of Rockness. Alongside Mumford and Sons themselves, star attractions include Ben Howard, Primal Scream, The Maccabees and Simian Mobile Disco.

Belladrum – Belladrum Estate, Inverness, 6-8 August – also known as the Tartan Heart Festival, Belladrum has become an annual sell out. Well known for its wide variety of music, it has a family friendly atmosphere with a dedicated family campsite. It also plays host to a wide number of fringe acts, alternative therapy tents and comedians, and it even plays host to the world’s smallest nightclub! Originally a one day event, this year sees the Kaiser Chiefs, the Proclaimers, Eddie Reader, Kloe, MacFloyd and Coco and the Butterfields all make the journey up north.

Doune the Rabbit Hole – Cardross Estate, Stirlingshire, 21-23 August – billed as one of Scotland’s most intimate music and arts festivals, Doune the Rabbit Hole places host to an array of both Scottish and international talent. With an event capacity of just 1000, this is one of the country’s smaller festivals and with that comes a family friendly party atmosphere, with a musical genre and style for every taste. This year sees a line up including San Francisco indie band Deerhoof and Shooglenifty, an Edinburgh Celtic fusion band, alongside the likes of the Phantom Band, Fatherson, and Zun Zun Egui.

Groove – Clune Farm, Inverness, 22 August – brand new for 2015, this one day dance event will be held on the previous Rockness site. Promising to return to Rockness’ dance roots, Groove promises ‘one night, one stage, one helluva party’. With a spectacular location overlooking Loch Ness itself, they have bagged themselves some legendary DJs as well as Scottish talent, as they try to establish themselves in the annual calendar. This year festival goers can expect Groove Armada, 2 Many DJs, B. Traits, and the likes of Glasgow SubClub favourites Harri & Dominic.

Electric Field – Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries, 29-30 August – in the south of Scotland the second Electric Field Festival is even bigger than the inaugural event last year, with the addition of a brand new stage in association with Red Bull Studios. Focusing on the electronic side of things, this sees this young festival grow, attracting both more bands, and more visitors, with the super early bird tickets now long sold out. Electric Field also plays host to competitions for new bands to win a chance to perform, as they focus on both new blood and established acts. People making the trip down this year can expect the like of the Paws, Hector Bizerk, the Phantom Band, Randolph’s Leap, Esperanza and Miaoux Miaoux.

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