A discussion of Scotland’s rising festival scene.

When someone thinks of the Scottish music scene, they normally think about legendary festivals like T in The Park, Glasgow Summer Sessions or newer successful events such as TRNSMT. However, in recent years the Scottish Highlands is becoming more of a hotspot for music lovers. 

Belladrum Tartan Heart festival is held in Beauly, half an hour outside Inverness and every year boasts an unusually impressive line-up. Huge artists such as Ed Sheeran, Paloma Faith, Tom Jones, Two Door Cinema Club and many more have all performed at this northern festival. Belladrum is well known for its yearly themes ranging from ‘Summer of Love’ to 2019’s sci-fi theme. After catching up with Canopy 19’s drummer Cameron Wilson, he had this to say about performing at the festival in 2016: 

“First of all, it was totally surreal. The first day it was mainly just our pals who watched which was nice but the second afternoon we had hundreds of people there, so it was pretty crazy and surreal, especially coming from Dornoch. It felt like we had started something, or at least made it noticeable that there is musical talent or “a scene” in the Highlands. On top of that a band from Glasgow ‘Bloodlines’ headlined one of the stages and they were incredible and made an effort to come and see us and support us so it’s cool that other Scottish bands were making an effort to help us out.”. 

Growing up in the highlands meant looking forward every year to being one year closer to being old enough to go to Rockness, the music festival held in the grounds of Loch Ness.

That moment never came for me because in 2013 Rockness had its last weekend, however all was not lost. Groove, the one-day dance music festival held in the Loch Ness grounds soon came to take its place in 2015 and has been going strong ever since. Groove is described as Scotland’s biggest nightclub under the stars so if that doesn’t sound cool enough, the amazing acts performing definitely are. Previous headliners of the festival are Hannah Wants, Ben Nicky, Camelphat, Duke Dumont and possibly the next candidate for 007 Idris Elba.

The 2019 line-up is yet to be announced for the festival but if previous years are anything to go by, you won’t be disappointed. 

A brand-new festival is coming to Inverness this yearlaunched by the successful teams behind Belladrum and Groove. The Gathering makes its festival debut on June 1st 2019 celebrating the best of what the Highlands has to offer in music, food and drink. Headlining the festival is Tide Lines, The Vatersay Boys and Torridon as well as other acts taking the stage on June 1st.

The city centre festival is celebrating the growing popularity of contemporary traditional and folk music as well as showcasing what the Highlands has to offer in a truly unique way.