We all know about T in the Park, but recent figures revealed that Scotland’s smaller ‘boutique’ festivals have grown in popularity. This year the calendar is even more packed with new additions, so here we run through a few of the best.
Eye o’ the Dug
Homegame is on hiatus in 2012, but it was inconceivable that Fence Records could go a whole year without some form of festival action. And far from putting their feet up, the Fife collective have gathered together what looks like a greatest hits line-up of their previous guests for a weekend which also sees Fence alumni KT Tunstall return to her St Andrews roots.
• Eye o’ the Dug takes place in St Andrews on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 April. Tickets are priced at £45 but are now sold out (so hopefully you already have yours). www.fencerecords.com/gigs/eye-o-the-dug/
Brew at the Bog
It might not have the most alluring of names, but Scotland’s newest music festival has already shown a fine committment to the best new sounds around. A collaboration between craft beer upstarts BrewDog and Bogbain Farm (hence the name), the one-day event plays host to an array of native pretenders, including uber-talented singer-songwriter Beerjacket and Americana outfit Three Blind Wolves, fresh from their exploits at SXSW in Texas. But be warned: if you show up with a crate of cheap lager you won’t be welcomed with open arms.
• Brew at the Bog takes place at Bogbain Farm near Inverness on Saturday 5 May. Tickets are priced £45 and you can camp from Friday till Sunday for an extra £10. www.brewatthebog.com
Kelburn Garden Party
Yet another boutique festival which has gone from strength to strength in recent years, the Kelburn Garden Party is surely the only festival in the world which can boast a graffitied castle wall as a backdrop. As well as unusual artwork, the organisers also promise a relaxed atmosphere and diverse sounds (ranging from Balkan folk to deep dubstep). Expect great bands, party-starting DJs and even the odd bout of ceilidh dancing at this open-minded shindig.
• Kelburn Garden Party takes place at Kelburn Castle, near Largs, on 30 June and 1 July. Weekend tickets cost £65. www.kelburngardenparty.com
Doune the Rabbit Hole
A small festival with big ambitions, Doune the Rabbit Hole also promotes the teaching of creative arts to the less well-off, when the organisers aren’t busy preparing for their August weekender. After a few years at Doune Castle in Stirlingshire, the event is moving to Duncarron Fort, but is still easily accessible from the central belt. The line-up features the cream of cutting edge Scottish music, with highlights including The Phantom Band, Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells, and Edinburgh-based talent Withered Hand, who featured in The Scotsman recently.
• Doune the Rabbit Hole takes place at Duncarron Fort, Carron Valley, 24 - 26 August. Weekend tickets range from £58 to £78 and day tickets are £30. www.dounetherabbithole.co.uk
Look at the name of this festival in the mirror and you’ll be able to guess its location. Over the past few years Loopallu has been attracting some surprisingly high profile names, including Franz Ferdinand, Paolo Nutini and Mumford & Sons, to the wee Highland coastal village. The line-up for 2012 has yet to be announced, but if you like the idea of good music, jaw-dropping scenery and tasty food to round off your summer, then this is the one for you.
• Loopallu takes place in Ullapool, 21-22 September. Weekend tickets start at £60. www.loopallu.co.uk
Not enough for you? Here are a few more suggestions...
• Shetland Folk Festival, Shetland Isles, 3-6 May
• The Big Stooshie, Giffordtown, Fife, 4-6 May
• The Big Beach Ball, Aberdeen, 6 May
• Knockengorroch World Ceilidh, Galloway, 31 May - 3 June
• The Insider, Aviemore, 15-17 June
• Eden Festival, Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway, 15-17 June
• Hebridean Celtic Festival, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, 11-14 July
• Big Tent Festival, Falklands, Fife, 21-22 July
Do you have a favourite Scottish festival? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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