Buy Tickets Now: Belladrum Festival

Belladrum serves up an eclectically enthralling musical meal on one big weekend plate

Article by Billy Hamilton | 15 Jul 2006
The Scottish Highlands is often overlooked by central-belt residing gig-goers. The closest many of us get to a northern musical experience is the annual hour long journey to Balado for a weekend of Buckfast and bedlam. So when a two day festival located deep in the heart of Inverness-shire is announced, the southern tendency is to berate us teuchters with oh-so-witty remarks about a lack of electricity and an abundance of sheep.

But, situated in the idyllic splendour of Beauly, a northern music extravaganza is shaping up to be one of the highlights of the Scottish summer. The Belladrum Festival – now in its third year of existence – is an event with a distinctly Celtic twist. Featuring ninety bands over five stages, the festival has a refreshingly effervescent line-up; combining a number a globally renowned names with the country's most vivacious acts.

With artists like the legendary Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Echo & The Bunnymen and The Automatic, Belladrum has the artillery to cope with this summer's festival wars. But as appealing as these commercially viable acts are, it's the festival's focus on less glamorous bands that truly captures the imagination. Rather than pampering to the generic tastes of neo-tribal indie kids, the organisers of Belladrum have created a festival that appeals to lovers of all musical genres.

From the mutton-chopped Rock 'n' Roll of Vincent Vincent & The Villains to the techno-pipe lunacy of the ingeniously named The Dangleberries, Belladrum serves up an eclectically enthralling musical meal on one big weekend shaped plate. Added to this are a number of cultural stages that cater for the more creatively minded - including the Miniscule Of Sound which intriguingly claims to be the world's smallest disco - ensuring a weekend of continuous entertainment.

Essentially, Belladrum is a pragmatic festival for pragmatic people, offering a fresh alternative to the over-exposed and over-hyped festivals that have saturated the UK. Known as the Glastonbury of the north, it has a diversely deluxe line-up set in the dramatic landscape of the Highlands - seeming a thousand miles away from the urban grind of the city. If you're struggling to decide on a festival to attend this summer then, in the words of Mark E Smith, you really should hit the north.
The Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival runs from the 12th-13th August.
Weekend tickets cost £60 (includes free parking and camping)
Saturday tickets cost £40 (includes free parking and camping)