Hydro Connect Festival @ Inveraray, 29-31 Aug
Connect returns to Inveraray with a new name and a new approach
A funny thing happened last year: people started using the word "boutique" to describe a music festival. Now, according to ye olde dictionary, a "boutique" is "a fashionable, usually small shop, especially one selling clothes". The first Connect Festival, to which this epithet was attached, had a conglomeration of such small shops, but the real truth to the claim is that it was more compact and more fashionable than many of its competitors. The "boutique" notion also rested upon the availability of oysters and wigwam accommodation, not forgetting the curated feel to the line-up, which boasted artists chosen to appeal to the more discerning music fan, like Björk, The Jesus & Mary Chain and The Beastie Boys.
Although this year's headliners are decidedly safer choices - Kasabian, Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand - if you look further there is still that diverse array of international talent: The Roots, Santogold, Asobi Seksu, Grinderman and Sigur Ros, to name a few. So expect another weekend of oysters, ridiculously impractical costumes, Highland scenery, quality music and – because it's the West Coast – beware of bloodthirsty midges and big dirty rain clouds. Beastie repellent and wellies, check. But don't expect a sparkling display of overpriced Manolo Blahniks - that would just be ridiculous. [Nick Mitchell]
Ticket prices vary, see website for various optionshttp://www.connectmusicfestival.com