With the absence of two of Scotland’s largest music festivals, T in the Park and the Wickerman Festival in 2017, music fans will need to look elsewhere to get their fix. Thankfully, Scotland has an enormous range of festivals on the horizon, with interests as diverse as folk, jazz, rock and pop comfortably catered for. Read on for our run-down of the top 10 festivals north of the border in 2017.
1. Montrose Music Festival
When: 26th – 28th May 2017
Where: Montrose, Angus
Held in a variety of venues across the small town of Montrose in Angus, the Montrose Music Festival, or ‘MoFest’ as it is affectionately known, has been home to perhaps the largest musical diversity in this list since its inception in 2008. The lineup this year features West Coast old timers The Beach Boys.
2. Shetland Folk Festival
When: 27th – 30th April 2017
Where: Shetland, Northern Isles
Though by no means the only festival on the list to feature folk, Shetland Folk Festival is the most prestigious venue on the Scottish folk calendar. The journey itself will be an adventure but when you arrive you’ll be richly rewarded with some of the biggest names in both British and International folk music. Membership of the Shetland Folk Festival Society is a must to make the most of your trip.
3. Doune the Rabbit Hole
When: 18th – 20th August 2017
Where: Cardross Estate, Stirlingshire
A small, independent affair, Doune the Rabbit Hole has been a must visit for anyone who likes their music with a side of the arts since it began in 2010. Theatre, DIY arts and spoken word are all well represented.
4. Party at the Palace
When: 12th – 13th August 2017
Where: Linlithgow, West Lothian
Looking down over the stunning Linlithgow Loch and its namesake palace, Party at the Palace attracts some big names in rock and pop. 2016 saw The Proclaimers headline, with Erasure and Big Country also playing.
5. Solas Festival
When: 23rd – 25th June 2017
Where: The Bield, Perthshire
One of Scotland’s most open and inclusive festivals, Solas has something for everyone, particular those with an open mind – spoken word events include poetry, philosophy and politics. Why not hire a yurt to take your festival experience to the next level?
6. Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival
When: 14th – 23rd July 2017
Of the multiple jazz festivals that have arrived on the Scottish music scene in recent years, Edinburgh is still by far the biggest. Held across the city and featuring some of the world’s finest it really is not to be missed.
7. Hebridean Celtic Festival
When: 19th – 22nd July 2017
Where: Stornoway, Outer Hebrides
The biggest event of the year in the Hebrides never fails to disappoint. Held on the island of Lewis, ‘HebCelt’ is in touch with the essence of what it means to be Scottish, and their diverse array of rock, indie-folk and world music clearly show that.
8. Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival
When: 3rd – 5th August 2017
Where: Belladrum Estate, Inverness-shire
Proud to be Scottish to their core, Tartan Heart is a unique experience in the wilds of the Highlands. The 3-day festival is surrounded by two weeks of fringe events that provide a truly immersive experience into Scottish culture.
9. Eden Festival
When: 8th – 11th June 2017
Where: Raehills meadows, Dumfries and Calloway
Once named as one of the top 10 festivals in Europe by Lonely Planet, Eden have carved out a unique, boutique niche in the Scottish festival scene. The Kids Arena and Drive-In Cinema offer experiences you won’t find anywhere else.
10. Kelburn Garden Party
When: 30th June – 3rd July 2017
Where: Kelburn Castle and Estate, North Ayrshire
If you want to do something different this summer – go to the Kelburn Garden Party. Hosted in and around the spectacularly painted Kelburn Castle, something different hides in every nook. A fantastic blend of local acts and bigger names lets you mix it up.
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