Music festival Connect to return to Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh in August 2023

Organisers of Edinburgh’s new pop and rock festival have revealed it will be returning for a second year at the home of the Royal Highland Show.

Promoters DF Concerts say Connect will be staged at Ingliston across the same weekend in 2023, as the city’s summer festivals draw to a close.

The grounds of the Royal Highland Centre were transformed over the weekend for the three-day event, which will be returning from August 25-27.

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Music festival Connect was staged at the Royal Highland Centre at Ingliston over the weekend. Picture: Ryan Buchanan

Idles, The Chemical Brothers, The National, John Grant, Ride, Mogwai, Idlewild, The Twilight Sad, Caribou and Swim School were among the acts to perform at the inaugural event.

The revival of the festival, which was previously staged for two years in the grounds of Inveraray Castle in Argyll, was the second major music event to be staged by DF Concerts at the Ingliston complex this summer following a series of “Big Top” concerts in June featuring the likes of James, Fatboy Slim, Madness and Biffy Clyro.

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The Royal Highland Centre previously said Connect would help it re-establish the site as “a major Scottish music venue”. Ingliston has a long history of hosting gigs dating back to the 1970s, including appearances by David Bowie, Genesis, Queen, The Jam and Iron Maiden.

Other acts to perform at the rebooted Connect over the weekend included Bombay Bicycle Club, Little Simz, Self Esteem, Lizzie Reid, John Hopkins, Jessie Buckley and Bernard Butler.

The Chemical Brothers were one of the Connect headliners over the weekend. Picture: Ryan Buchanan

Event manager Katt Lingard said: “After many months of planning, we’re so glad to have finally relaunched Connect and what an incredible comeback weekend we’ve had.

"With a fantastic line-up of more than 80 artists across six stages and thousands of incredible fans every day, it's been special.

“We’ve created something truly unique at the Royal Highland Centre site.

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"Connect is about music, discovery, experiences and memories, showcasing an eclectic line up of comedy, spoken word, wellness and grassroots talent in a dazzling collection of intimate settings.

"It was just as special for the artists as it was for the fans, with some of the most positive feedback we've ever heard from across the line up.

“We’re so grateful to fans for their passion and commitment to live music, allowing us to bring Connect back in 2023. We’re already thinking of ways to make it even better and I’d like to thank the artists, the fans and everyone who has worked extremely hard behind the scenes to make this festival happen.”

An official announcement from DF Concerts about next year's event said: “As Connect Festival’s inaugural year draws to an epic close, we set our sights on summer 2023 when the festival will make its grand return.

“Presale for 2023 tickets will be available from 9am on Wednesday, August 31.

"Connect fans have exclusive first access to next summer’s tickets by signing up to the Connect database at www.connectmusicfestival.com with general tickets on sale at 9am on Friday.”

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Franz Ferdinand, Björk, Mogwai, Teenage Fanclub, Jesus & Mary Chain, Kasabian, Goldfrapp, Elbow, Bloc Party, Paolo Nutini, Sigur Ros, Amy Macdonald and the Beastie Boys performed at Connect when it was staged at Inveraray Castle in Argyll in 2007 and 2008.

DF Concerts had pledged the "remastered" Connect will retain many of its previous qualities and ethos, but would also be "an entirely new festival experience".

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