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Enchanted Forest

As if all that music and gorgeous food wasn’t enough, they go and put on a whole wealth of other delectable nuggets for your delectation, as Malcolm Jack discovers

As that posh woman off the Ferrero Rocher ad might say: at this Hydro Connect Festival, you are really spoiling us. As well as three stages of musical delicacies and multiple vendors peddling better eats than you could swing a Michelin-starred chef at, there’ll be all kinds of additional attractions on offer by Loch Fyne.

If dancing and dressing up is your bag (but not in a freaky way or anything), check out Vegas!, voted ‘Best Club Night In Scotland’ three times by readers of The List. Taking place in the Unknown Pleasures tent, it promises showgirls, gambling and DJs ‘serving up an intoxicating cocktail of hip tracks for hepcats’, ideally the type wearing (muddy) spats, monocles, bow ties and feather boas. If more dancing is your bag, as is dressing up again (actually in a freaky way this time) Club Noir, the world’s biggest burlesque club, will tastefully set pulses racing with stripteasers, fetish artists and vaudeville acts performing to the sound of retro and modern dance music from across the decades, also in the Unknown Pleasures Tent.

Your Sound, man, is not only a favourite phrase popular amongst those obsessed with embracing complete strangers at festivals, but also the title of legendary Glasgow venue King Tuts’ monthly new music exposé. Twenty of the very best bands unearthed during the last few months by the scheme (which is supported by the Scottish Arts Council’s Youth Music Initiative) will perform on the Your Sound Bandstand througout the weekend.

Yet more fresh artistic rumblings – musical, comedic and literary – will be showcased in The Speakeasy Café. A peaceful milieu full of rugs and sofas, it’s the ideal place to shake off your wellies, sip coffee, skim the paper and soak up readings and perfomrnaces from musicians, stand-ups and writers, all teetering on the brink of greatness plus a few cheeky wee acoustic appearances from the other stages’ artists.

Expect kicks of a more surreal, ambient nature at the Red Bull Forest Party, a kind of rustic, time travelling journey of discovery set deep in the woods. ‘Music, dancing, drinking and merrymaking’ will all be on the agenda at the ‘party that forgets it’s 2008’. Whether that means Mediaeval, Roman or Neolithic hedonism, it’s sure to be fun. Further sweet treats will abound at Koppaberg’s One Big Tree, a giant natural canopy situated in the Grand Pavilion tent, under which chilled out tracks from live DJs and gallons of fruity Swedish cider will flow in the ‘ultimate fairytale atmosphere’.

If all this festival malarkey is too much to take, the Rest and Be Thankful Spa will be on standby to lovingly knead those hard-partying aches and pains away inside their teepee treatment rooms. Massages, manicures and pedicures can all be enjoyed at a modest price, as well as the simple pleasure of a shampoo and blow dry, to remove the sweat, booze, dirt, leftover pot noodle and other such detritus which make music festivals so very enjoyable. Eccellente!

Connect

Returning for a second year after its successful debut the boutique festival has corralled headliners Kasabian, Manic Street Preachers, Bloc Party, Paolo Nutini, Grinderman, Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Ros and Goldfrapp. There will be five stages: 'The Oyster stage', 'Guitars and other Machines', 'Manicured Noise', 'Unknown…

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