2017 Music Festivals

20 July 2017

electric fields

Photo: Electric Fields

It’s not too late to plan your festival adventure for the summer. Unless you have booked your tickets, ferries and accommodation a long time ago then it’s unlikely you will be heading to Stornoway this weekend for Hebcelt, however there are a huge number of alternatives taking place throughout the country.  With T in the Park taking a break this year and The Wicker Man Festival also deciding not to continue there has been explosion in the number of smaller music festivals all around the country to meet the demand for has become for many, an essential part of the summer.

Loopallu has been for over 10 years one of the highlights of the Highland festival scene with headliners as diverse as Franz Ferdinand, Paolo Nutini and The Undertones. The festival has had to depart its traditional home on the campsite in town so will temporarily relocate this year to the pier in Ullapool. It promises to be a unique venue for sure but with all the same friendly atmosphere that drew people back year after year. It’s uncertain whether the festival will continue after this year so if you want to experience the special atmosphere first hand then this could be your last chance. For those holidaying on the west coast then An Nead is only an hour’s drive away. The journey is actually one of the most scenic parts of the NC500 and takes in Lochinver and the amazing beaches of the west coast but An Nead has such amazing views (and a hot tub) you will probably not want to leave its comforts.

Electric Fields is taking place in the grounds of Drumlanrig Castle and is an attempt to plug the gap left by the demise of the much loved Wicker Man Festival. It is aiming to be one of the biggest and most eclectic festivals in the south of Scotland and with a line up this year that includes The Jesus and Mary Chain and Dizzee Rascal it could well pull it off. Dumfries and Galloway is a brilliant place to spend some time before the festival and also fantastic to wind down and relax after a hectic few days of partying. Craigie Knowes is less than an hour south and sits on a quiet corner of the Solway coast. Luxurious and with amazing sea views it is perfectly tranquil but still within reach of plenty of amenities.

Belladrum is now well established as the biggest festival in the Highlands, tickets have sold out for this year but for those who missed out Groove Loch Ness is looking like an exciting alternative. The idea behind this festival is to create a huge nightclub under the stars on the shores of Loch Ness, just beside Dores. The festival is advertising a stellar line up of the very best in dance music and camping and shuttle busses from inverness mean you don’t have to worry about driving. House by the Loch is just a few miles away and would make an ideal venue for a large group travelling up for the festival. In addition to the cinema and games room there is a brand new hot tub with views over the loch, after a long nights dancing what could be a better way to relax?

Scottish music festivals come in all shapes and sizes, jumping around to loud rock music in a muddy field surrounded by teenagers is not everyone’s idea of fun so fortunately there are festivals out there to cater for almost every taste. The Skye Swing Jazz Festival takes place from 27 to 29 October in three venues in south Skye. The programme promises a winning combination of some of Scotland’s most talented jazz and swing musicians and a real community spirit and sense of fun. For weeks leading up to the festival free swing dance classes are organised (and are usually over subscribed) and locals attend in full period costume. Teangue House is ideally located for attendees as well as being convenient for the ferry to Mallaig. The delights of Skye are myriad but with so much to occupy you on the Sleat Peninsula, you will have to come back to explore the rest of the island.