The Hot 100 2019: Festivals we love
- David Pollock
- 1 November 2019
Skye Live / credit: Ryan Buchanan
With Scotland's festival landscape having changed beyond recognition in the last half-decade, we take a look at some must-attend music and multi-arts gatherings from 2019
Located midway between Stirling and Loch Lomond, Doune the Rabbit Hole bore an outstanding and varied line-up this year, courtesy of Glasgow promoters 432 Presents, while Kelburn Garden Party continues to offer a bohemian party in a great location amid a forested hillside valley filled with art. With an extra night to accommodate a guest appearance by The Waterboys, Portree's Skye Live also provided an unlikely but workable blend of club beats and contemporary folk in a location which has to be visited.
The urban club festival has now become the destination of choice for large numbers of young festivalgoers, with Glasgow's Riverside Festival having expanded this year to offer a line-up on the banks of the Clyde that's worthy of the Slam Tent (RIP). Yet for all that Glasgow's club scene is thriving, Edinburgh leads the way with such shows. FLY Open Air's spring event at Hopetoun House and autumn party in Princes Street Gardens are big draws, as is the ever-expanding Terminal V at Ingliston.
As for the ghost of T in the Park, it's been broken up into TRNSMT and August's Summer Sessions in Glasgow and Edinburgh, which split high-profile and commercial artists up by their individual audiences: The Cure at Bellahouston Park turned out to be one of this year's most discussed shows. On the more esoteric side of the coin, underground and experimental music are thoroughly celebrated by Glasgow's ever-exciting Counterflows, which has branched out to Edinburgh with some winter shows. Plus, there's Tectonics, a collaboration of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Counterflows while also proving its leftfield worth is Sonica, Cryptic's Glasgow-based celebration of sound art.
Away from music, Scotland has also been hosting an increasing number of eye-catching multi-arts festivals, like UNFIX, an 'evolving festival of ecological performance, dance, music, film and discussion' at Glasgow's CCA, and the increasingly timely, countrywide Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival. For film-lovers, Scotland also hosts the social change and activism-focused Take One Action!, the newly independent Glasgow Short Film Festival, and Glasgow's cult cinema experience Matchbox Cineclub, which has attracted a lot of attention for its events based on Nicolas Cage and Keanu Reeves. And theatre festivals we've enjoyed (which don't involve visiting Edinburgh in August) include the puppetry-themed Manipulate and the young audiences-focused Imaginate.