Party On

Summer Festivals Special

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This article is from 2009.

Party On

The promise of sunshine, good vibes and quality entertainment is too much for most of us to resist, which is why festivals are just so damn popular nowadays. That’s why we’ve dug out the details of the most delectable from across the globe and Claire Sawers explores the history of the festival from druids to Download

Our love of a good festival is by no means new. The desire to recharge – or more often, decharge our batteries – goes back to prehistoric times when people felt confused and scared by the forces of nature, so tried to keep on their good side by placating them with celebrations and rituals.

From the ancient druids, Greeks and Romans, right up to hippies, ravers, Full Mooners or Burning Man ‘burners’, people have always felt a need to break the monotony of daily life and get a little buckwild. Be it a religious, political or musical event, a festival is a time for getting together with like-minded sorts and letting off steam – whether that means calling for global change, celebrating the seasons, giving thanks to the gods, or just letting people unleash the beast and get out of their nuts on drugs.

The ancient Egyptians enjoyed a good knees-up, and filled their calendar with feast days and processions revolving around tides and harvests, or the gods they worshipped. The Romans were also legendary party-lovers; putting on elaborate feasts to remember the dead, praise the goddess of flowers, or honour their god of wine, Bacchus. Bacchanalia began as secret cult meetings with a strictly women-only door policy, but soon spread in popularity and men joined in the action too. Wine, rich food and sex were all on the menu at the orgy nights, and things generally descended into a drunken, debauched free-for-all.

Life in the Middle Ages seems like a picnic compared to the modern day, and medieval peoples got almost eight weeks per year off work to celebrate holidays and festivals. After a hard day ploughing the fields, Middle Agers let their hair down at giant banquets. Other fans of a good old-fashioned binge blow-out were the Tudors. When they weren’t indulging in extravagant, multi-course feasts, the Tudors liked a bit of festive dancing. May Day had long been celebrated as the beginning of summer by Celts and Romans, but in modern times, villagers adopted the festival as a day for ensuring fertility in the crops. The modern equivalent is a local festival like Leith or Pittenweem festivals, where all the facets of the local culture are drawn together in one unifiying celebration. Similarly, events like the Festival of History in Lanark seeks to recreate the craft and culture of everyone from the Vikings to Napoleon, happily without and bloodshed.

In turn of the century America, Mardi Gras had become a regular fixture in New Orleans. What began as a religious carnival marking the run-up to Lent has now morphed into a gay-friendly parade that attracts tourists by the thousand. It was the inspiration in part celebrations for like Gay Pride and our own queer culture celebration, Pride Scotia.

The peak (in scale and influence terms at least in the last century has to be Woodstock, the landmark 1969 folk music and art festival that epitomised the climax of the hippie movement, and attracted almost 400,000 people. With Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, The Who and The Grateful Dead on the bill – it was an era-defining moment where free love, skinny-dipping, mind-expanding drugs and bohemian ideals came together over three days.

The Altamont Festival in California, headlined by the Rolling Stones’ some four months after Woodstock, signalled a sea change for festivals when the event descended into chaos with a crowd member murdered by the Hell’s Angels operating as crowd security. The hippy ethos of getting down (and out) together has always been in conflict with the need for safe, secure and ultimately lawful behaviour. Nowhere has this been more apparent than at Glastonbury – which, after kicking off in a dairy farm with Marc Bolan playing and a £1 entry fee, has morphed into a monster-sized music and performing arts festival. Organiser Michael Eavis has continually strived to balance ethics with staying on the right side of the law – such as when the 100,000 capacity event swelled to quarter of a million thanks to fence jumpers.

Today, Glasto and T in the Park arguably stand as the two biggest events of their kind in the UK, but the list of festivals runs into the hundreds. With more popping up every year, it seems our love of muddy fields knows no bounds.

Ultimately however, they are all about the same thing: a collective experience, a sharing, an indulgence, a celebration. So whether it’s modern day pagans and hippies stripping off and throwing down at the Burning Man Festival out in the Arizona desert or a meet and greet with your favourite author amid the quaint surrounds of Wigtown Book Festival, this summer, as with every summer, you’re in for a treat.

Piteeweem Arts Festival, 1-9 Aug,; Festival of History, Lanark, 22-23 Aug. For details of all other festivals mentioned, see timeline below.


Hampton Court Palace Festival
2–13 Jun, Hampton Court Palace, Surrey, 0844 811 0050,
A host of acts get the party started in this picturesque palace, including Russell Watson, Level 42, The Four Seasons, Beverley Knight and Lemar.

Middlesbrough Music Live
4–7Jun, Centre Square, Middlesbrough,
Ash, The Fratellis, Estelle and Zutons rock it up.

Coastline Bluegrass Festival
5–7 Jun, Llanudno, Wales,
4 Wheel Drive, The Toy Hearts, Chill Until Blue, Jaywalkers, Feet First, and Wicked Soles bring their laidback sounds to proceedings.

Sellindge Music Festival
5–7 Jun, Hope Farm near Ashford, Kent.
Supergrass, Thomas Tantrum, The Holloways, Ten Bears, The Ryes, Silvery, Young Knives, Lee Saunders, Ben’s Brother and Lucy and the Caterpillar showcase their wares.

Strawberry Fair
6 Jun, Midsummer Common, Cambridge,
This annual funfest doesn’t announce their line-up until the day, so surprises all round.

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
1–14 Jun, Manchester, Tennessee,
The mighty Bruce Springsteen joins the Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, Snoop Dogg, Paul Oakenfold and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

London International Music Show
11–14 Jun, ExCeL Exhibition Centre, London Docklands, Greater London,
Jan Akkerman, The Swans featuring TM STevens & Marco Mendoza, Phil Hilborne & guests, plus Albert Lee & Hogans Heroes.

12–14 Jun, Donington Park, Castle Donington, Derby,
A roster of the good, bad and ugly of rock as Limpbizkit, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Pendulum, Deaf Lepard, Whitesnake, ZZTop, The Prodigy and Motley Crüe.

Rock Ness
12–14 Jun, Loch Ness, Highlands,
This one goes from strength to strength, mixing dance and indie in considerable style with Basement Jazz, Flaming Lips, Biffy Clyro and Orbital, on the bill.

Isle of Wight Festival
12–14 Jun, Isle of Wight,
Prodigy, Basement Jaxx, Stereophonics, Razorlight, Maximo Park, The Ting Tings, The View, Pigeon Detectives and Paolo Nutini are just some of the acts on this year’s line-up.

12–14 Jun, Lynton and Lynmouth, Devon,
DJ Skitz, Dub FX, First Degree Burns, David Holmes and RSVP – Bhangra head to Devon for weekend dance music frolics.

Raglan Music Festival
12–14 Jun, Raglan, Monmouthshire,
Line-up includes Dave Swarbrick, Ashley Hutchings, Lark Rise Band, Three Other, Barbershop Quartet and Cambria String Quartet.

Wimborne Folk Festival
12–14 Jun, Wimborne, Dorset,
Michael McGoldrick Band, Kris Drever, Boo Hewerdine and Heidi Talbot, Steve Knightley and The 2Duos are all Dorset bound.

Leamington Peace Festival
13–14 Jun, Pump Room Gardens, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire,
Centre your chi at this annual peace fest.

West End Festival
13–28 Jun, Glasgow, West End,
Aw, the Weeg. Never one to hide their light under a bushel, the West End Festival makes a welcome return with a treasure trove of artforms.

Edinburgh International Film Festival
17–28 Jun, Various venues, Edinburgh,
Sam Mendes Away We Go kicks off this bumper programme. See The List next issue for festival previews and interviews.

Borders Book Festival
18–21 Jun, Harmony Garden, Melrose, www.bordersbook
Joan Bakewell, Michael Palin and James Robertson are just a clutch of the literary talents on display.

Kelburn Garden Party
20-21 Jun, Kelburn Castle, Ayrshire,
This great new addition to the Scottish festival calendar has The Bays and The Aliens topping off a tremendous weekend of good music and good vibes in spectacular setting. See next issue for more details.

Big Session Festival
19–21 Jun, De Montfort Hall, Leicester,
Levellers, Billy Bragg, Oysterband, Kathryn Tickell Band, Edward II, Eliza Carthy Band, Adrian Edmondson & The Bad Shepherds, Peatbog Faeries, Breabach, Blyth Power … the list just keeps on coming.

Glasgow International Jazz Festival
19-29 Jun, Various venues, Glasgow,
Yolanda Brown, Kyle Eastwood Quintet, BBC Big Band, Ryan Quigley Big Band with Justin Currie bring a dose of chewing to the Glasgow festival circuit.

Lowdham Book Festival
22–30 Jun, Lowdham Village and Broadway Cinema, Nottingham,
Liam Browne, Patricia Duncker, Lesley Glaister, Tim Pears, John Lucas, Paul Jones and Dave Kelly ask: are you sitting comfortably?

Broadstairs Dickens Festival
20–24 Jun, Venues throughout Broadstairs, www.broadstairsdickens
All things Dickens give cause for celebration.

24–28 Jun, Glastonbury, Somerset,
Lily Alllen, Neil Young, Blur, Bruce Springsteen, Doves, Franz Ferdinand and The Ting Tings are just some of the names to rock up at one of the grandaddy’s of the festival circuit.

Dent Folk Festival
26–28 Jun, Buck Bank Farm, Under the Howgill Fells, near Sedbergh, Cumbria,
Adrian Edmondson and the Bad Sheppards, Solas, Andy Irvine, Karine Polwart, Kila and Transglobal Underground showcase some top notch folksy musings.

The Big Pride Party
27 Jun, CC Blooms, Edinburgh, 0131 556 9331.
Lee Ryan, formerly of Blue dons the headphones and DJs the Heaven and Hell themed Pride Party as a side event to the main Pride Scotia shindig. Find more about that go to

The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival
Portsoy, Banff.
Boat lovers and non will find little to disappoint – weather permitting – at this annual shindig.

Manchester International Festival
2–19 Jul, Venues around Manchester,
Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Kraftwerk and De La Soul rock into town as part of this tip top line-up.

The Big Tent Festival
25-26 Jul, Falkland, Fife.
The perfect synergy of eco awareness, musical hedonism and family fun with holistic goodnes and culinary finery. An eco festival like no other.

Cheltenham Music Festival
3–18 Jul, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire,
Archduke, Birtwistle, Copland, Different Trains, Esterhazy, Felix, Goa, Hoffnung, Isserlis, John Williams.

4 Jul, Ragley Hall, Warwickshire,
Happy Mondays, Supergrass, Reverend And The Makers, Neville Staple, Kid British, My Tiger My Timing, Official Secrets Act.

4–5 Jul, Hyde Park, London,
Kanye West, Paul Oakenfold, The Streets, Basement Jaxx, N-Dubz, Tommy Sparks, Frankmusik, Flo Rida, Lady Sovereign, Daniel Merriwether and N-Dubz offer something for everyone.

Stonehaven Folk Festival
9–12 Jul, Stonehaven, North East Scotland,
Peatbog Faeries, Ralph McTell, Karine Polwart Trio, Martin Simpson, Cara Dillon and John McCusker showcase their rootsy wares.

Summer Series
9–18 Jul, Somerset House, London, www.somersethouse.
Lily Allen, The Enemy, Grace Jones, Pendulum, Super Furry Animals and Athlete are just some of the chart topping lovelies to grace the stage.

T in the Park
10–12 Jul, Balado Airfield, Kinross,
Aw TiTP, we love you. The Killers, Blur, Kings of Leon, Snow Patrol, Franz Ferdinand. Lily Allen, The View, The Manic Street Preachers, Lady Gaga …the top class name dropping can and does go on. Don’t miss the List next month for previews and features of some of the main events.

10–12 Jul, Guildford, Surrey,
Imelda May, The Stranglers, The Charlatans, Will Young, Motorhead and Pendulum afford a suitably eclectic mix.

Ely Folk Festival
10–12 Jul, Ely Football Club, Ely Outdoor Centre, Downham Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire,
Peatbog Faeries, Edward II, Eric Bogle & John Munro, Baka Beyond, Tanglefoot, Lockwood and Cuckoo Oak all feature.

10–12 Jul, Abersoch, Cardigan Bay
Moby, Chicane, Zane Lowe, Goldierocks, Little Comets, The Zutons, Lazy Boys, Norman Jay, Walley Lopez, Mission District and Red Light Company are just some of
the names bringing their party piece.

10–12 Jul, Punchestown Racecourse, Punchestown, Co. Kildare, Republic of Ireland,
Bloc Party, The Script, Pet Shop Boys, Manic Street Preachers, Nine Inch Nails, Yeah Yeab Yeahs, Snow Patrol and Razorlight, amongst others, give ample reason to be cheerful.

Hebridean Celtic Festival
15–18 Jul, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland,
This annual festival is not only beautifully located but always rich in talent.

Larmer Tree Festival
15–19 Jul, Salisbury, Nr London, www.larmertree
Pianomeister Jools Holland sets his stall and gets down with nature.

Latitude Festival
16 –19 Jul, Henham Park, Halesworth, Suffolk,
Pet Shop Boys, Grace Jones, Doves, Editors … need we say more?

16–19 Jul, Matterley Bowl near Winchester, Hants,
Booka Shade, Squarepusher, Freeland (aka Adam Freeland), The Japanese Popstars, The Qemists all appearing.

2000 Trees
17–18 Jul, Upcote Farm, Withington, Cheltenham, www.twothousand
Featuring Randall Stevens, Orphans & Vandals, Big Blue Sun, Che, Babel, Attack! Attack!, Fightstar, Red Light Company and Wild Beasts.

BBC Proms Literary Festival
17 Jul–12 Sep, Royal Albert Hall, London,
Music and literature merge with a breath-taking programme.

Treefest and Wood Market
18–19 Jul, Edinburgh, Inverleith Park,
Get down with nature and enjoy some fun with all the family.

18–19 Jul, Victoria Park, London,
Dananananaykroyd, Duran Duran, Florence and the Machine, Groove Armada, Ladyhawke, Mr Hudson and N*E*R*D offer up plenty of reasons to smile.

Secret Garden Party
23–26 Jul, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire,
Bicycle Thieves, Little Comets, Caspa, Cocosuma, Daedelus, Decoder Heloise And The Savoir Faire and Envelopes enjoy some covert operations.

Wickerman Festival
24–25 Jul, East Kirkcarswell Farm, Dundrennan, www.thewickerman
One of the best loved festivals on the cultural calendar, this year’s entertainment comes courtesy of The Human League, The Zutons, Candi Staton and Billy Bragg.

Camp Bestival
24–26 Jul, Lulworth Castle in Dorset,
Phoenix and PJ Harvey are among the entertainment at this proper dress up silly and party in a field shindig.

The Gathering 2009
Holyrood Park, Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle,
Scotland’s largest ever highland comes to the regal environs of Holyrood with live music, food and drink and the clan parade.

24–26 Jul, Charlton Park, Malmmesbury, Wilts,
Ethiopiques & Badume’s Band with Mahmoud Ahmed, Alèmayèhu Eshèté & Gétatchèw Mèkurya, Solomon Burke, Nneka, Oumou Sangare , Rokia Traoré and Charlie Winston are just some of the acts creating some global flavour.

The Big Green Gathering
29 Jul–2 Aug, Mendip Hills, near Cheddar, Somerset,
Featuring Nik Turner, Dragonsfly, Seize the Day, Quodlings Delight, Emergence and Unity & Devision.

Cambridge Folk Festival
30 Jul–2 Aug, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire,
Lucinda Williams, The Zutons and Saw Doctors perform.

Kendal Calling
31 Jul–2 Aug, Lowther Deer Park, Grate Farm, Helsington, Kendal, Cumbria,
Cheese and Status, Skream, The King Blues, Beardy Man, Fight Like Apes, The Sunshine Underground, Laura James, The Yards and The Travelling Band dress to impress.

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival
31 Jul–9 Aug, Various venues, Edinburgh. One on the many reasons to enjoy your August amidst Edinburgh festival fever, with an array of jazz, soul and blues talent on offer.

Field Day
1 Aug, Victoria Park, London,
Excellent urban one-dayer features Mystery Jets, Mogwai, Eat Your Own Ears DJs, Errors, Fennesz, Final Fantasy, First Aid Kit and Santigold.

1–2 Aug, Knebworth, Hertfordshire,
This newbie sets its stage down in Knebworth with a finely line-up including Metallica, Linkin Park, Machine Head, Feeder, Thin Lizzy, Killing Joke, Taking Back Sunday, Corey Taylor, Bullet For My Valentine and Dirty Little Rabbits.

2 Aug, Victoria Park, London,
Santigold, The Chapman Family, Golden Silvers, Goodshoes, Marina And The Diamonds, Patrick Wolf, The Horrors and The Whip play their little hearts out.

Great British Beer Festival
4–8 Aug, Earls Court, London,;
Beer, beer, beer. Nuff said.

Edinburgh Art Festival
5 Aug –5 Sep, Various venues, Edinburgh
The great and the good of the art world set their stall in the capital.

The Big Chill
6–9 Aug,
Guest turns from Optimo and Sub Club DJs.

Moor Music Festival
6-9 Aug, Heslaker Farm, Skipton, North Yorkshire, www.moormusic
Featuring Badly Dressed Boy, Jake Flowers, Pulled Apart By Horses, Bob LE Funk, Rare By Luck, Brothers Grime, Japanese Fighting Fish, Red Stars Parade.

Edinburgh Mela
7–9 Aug, www.edinburgh-mela.
This multi- arts festival just grows and grown year on year, with food, dance and so much more.

Belladrum Tartan Heart Music Festival
7–8 Aug, www.tartanheart
Editors and Ocean Colour Scene offer their contribution to a hefty line-up of acts.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe
7–31 Aug, Various venues, Edinburgh,
The greatest show on earth rolls into town.

Piping Live
10–16 Aug, Various venues, Glasgow,
Put that in your pipe and smoke it! The pipemeisters take a deep breath and get ready for action.

Edinburgh International Festival
14 Aug–6 Sep, Various venues, Edinburgh,
Classical, dance, theatre and visual arts in this international bonanza of talent.

Edinburgh International Book Festival
15–31 Aug, Various venues, Edinburgh
Literary giants from around the globe show up in Charlotte Square.

EH1 Festival
15 Aug, Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh
Big dance music festival packed with quality DJ action over nine arenas. Line-up includes Carl Cox, Above & Beyond, Adamski, Nightmares on Wax, Frankie Knuckles, Derrick May, Danny Rampling, Darren Emerson, Fergie, Herman Cattaneo, Roger Sanchez and many more.

Deep Fried Film Festival
17–22 Aug, Various venues, Lanarkshire.
Film buffs shouldn’t miss this week-long underground movie love in.

Green Man Festival
Glanusk Park, Brecon Beacons, www.thegreenman
Animal Collective, Wilco, Bon Iver, Roky Erickson, British Sea Power and Dirty Three feature.

22–23 Aug, Hylands Park Chelmsford. Weston Park Staffordshire.
Lemar, Ocean Coloured Scene, The Saturdays, Natalie Imbruglia. Biffy Clyro, James, Fatboy Slim, Taylor Swift, James, Alesha Dixon and James Morrison put the P into Pop.

28–30 Aug, Bramham Park, Near Wetherby, Leeds,
Chart topping line-up with Fall Out Boy, Kings of Leon, Radiohead, Artic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs, Lost Prophets, Jamie T, Glasgvegas, The Maccabees, AFI and Maximo Park.

28–30 Aug, Little John’s Farm, Richfield Avenue, Reading.
Fall Out Boy, Kaiser Chiefs, Ian Brown, Artic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend, Glasgvegas, The Maccabees, AFI and Maximo Park ensure the party never stops.

29–30 Aug, Daresbury, Halton, Cheshire,
Did someone say dance? Basement Jaxx, Mylo Live, David Guetta and Laurent Garnier add their kudos to the bill.

Orkney Beer Festival
21–23 Aug, The Stromness Hotel, Orkney The beautiful Orkney island proves a glass half full but a life half-filled.

Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill, London.
The legendary party in the street remains untouchable.

Burning Man Festival
31 Aug–7 Sep, Black Rock City, Nevada.
Go express yourself at this free thinkers paradise.

Bristol Poetry Festival
3–13 Sep, Bristol Old Vic and other venues in the city,
A roster of literary lovelies.

Braemar Gathering
Braemar, Nr Balmoral,
An opportunity for you the noble pauper to get down with the Royals.

Jersey Live
Jersey, Channel Islands,
Basement Jaxx and The Dirty Aces are just two of the names gracing this year’s stage.

11–13 Sep, Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight,
Isle of Wight proves that it still has ample pulling power with Kraftwerk and My Bloody valentine just some of the names on the bill.

Galway International Oyster Festival
24–27 Sep, Galway, Republic of Ireland,
Galway celebrates one of the foods finest aphrodisiacs.

This article is from 2009.

The Borders Book Festival

Taking place in the National Trust's Georgian Harmony Garden, the Borders Book Festival attracts world-class literary figures.

Harmony Garden, Melrose

Thu 15 Jun 2017

Times to be confirmed / prices vary / 0844 493 2257

Fri 16 Jun 2017

Times to be confirmed / prices vary / 0844 493 2257

Sat 17 Jun 2017

Times to be confirmed / prices vary / 0844 493 2257

Sun 18 Jun 2017

Times to be confirmed / prices vary / 0844 493 2257

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival

Scotland's biggest jazz festival presents concerts over ten days all over the capital, in parks, churches, clubs and concert halls. With a programme featuring all jazz styles from early jazz to the avant garde, the EJ&BF usually manages to secure some world premières, new bands, and new collaborations.

Various venues: Edinburgh

Fri 14 Jul 2017

Times & prices vary / 0131 467 5200

Sat 15 Jul 2017

Times & prices vary / 0131 467 5200

Sun 16 Jul 2017

Times & prices vary / 0131 467 5200

…and 7 more dates until 23 Jul 2017

Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival

The majesty of mountains is captured on film in a series of screenings, lectures and exhibitions. Focusing on adventure of all kinds, climbing, mountaineering, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking and exploration are among some of the adrenaline-pumping activities represented.

George Square Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh

Sat 4 Feb 2017

Times & prices vary / 0131 651 2189

Sun 5 Feb 2017

Times & prices vary / 0131 651 2189

The House Folk Festival

Two nights of traditional Scottish music with various artists performing in an intimate and historic setting in the Trossachs. This year's acts include Neil Ewart, Iain Thomson, Murray Willis, Luc McNally, Marc Duff and Craig Baxter & Ada McKay.

Kinlochard, Aberfoyle

Thu 10 Nov

Times vary / £25 for both nights / 07742 621907

Fri 11 Nov

Times vary / £25 for both nights / 07742 621907

MacGregor's Barn, Kinlochard

Thu 10 Nov

£15–£25 / 07742 621907

Pittenweem Arts Festival

In this small and friendly village, the harbour's fishing boats, steep wynds and quirky cottages provide a picturesque backdrop as over 100 artists from all over Britain exhibit their work in houses, garages, halls and shops, and on the pier.

Various venues: Pittenweem

Sat 5 Aug 2017

Times & prices vary

Sun 6 Aug 2017

Times & prices vary

Mon 7 Aug 2017

Times & prices vary

…and 6 more dates until 13 Aug 2017

The Wickerman Festival

The Wickerman festival is quite probably the world’s only family-friendly music event inspired by a cult horror film about human sacrifice. Located in the prime Wicker Man territory of Dundrennan in Dumfries & Galloway, the festival’s unique selling point is its annual climactic burning of a bespoke wicker man (sans a…

Dundrennan Abbey, Kirkcudbright

Fri 21 Jul 2017

Times vary / Cancelled / 0844 884 2920

Sat 22 Jul 2017

Times vary / Cancelled / 0844 884 2920

T in the Park

From relatively humble beginnings, T in the Park has become the acknowledged behemoth of the Scottish festival scene and one of the UK's largest events. In 2015 the festival moved from its longstanding Balado location to the new grounds of Strathallan Castle in Perthshire. Bands appearing in 2016 include The Stone…

Balquhidder Summer Festival

A series of 8 summer classical concerts given by invited professional musicians in beautiful surroundings.

West End Festival

Glasgow's West End arts festival returns once again with more theatre, music, exhibitions, film, and activities including the midsummer street party.

Glasgow International Jazz Festival

Annual international jazz festival with a whole host of big name acts and local stars performing all kinds of jazz, from traditional to mainstream, and blues to world.

Edinburgh Treefest and Woodmarket

Returning bigger and better than ever before, this two day festival offers displays, demonstrations, crafts, activities, games, entertainments, and refreshments for young and old alike.

Glasgow Mela

For over 25 years this huge outdoor festival has been celebrating the traditions of Glasgow's many and varied immigrant communities with a mix of international music, dance, activities and stalls.

Edinburgh Art Festival

Scotland’s largest annual celebration of visual art offers work by the best contemporary Scottish artists as well as exhibitions of the most important international artists and movements of the 20th century and other historical periods.

Angus & Dundee Roots Festival

Heritage festival providing a focus for people whose ancestors came from Angus and Dundee to visit the area and find out more about their ancestral homeland. Includes workshops, visits to historic sites, demonstrations and living history re-enactments. See for a full programme.

Southern Fried

This festival of American Roots Music offers country, bluegrass, soul, songwriters, workshops, New Orleans Jazz, talks and family shows. Line-up so far includes Lucinda Williams, Hayseed Dixie, Los Lobos, Booker T, Diana Jones, The Midnight Ramblers, The Felsons, Farmer Jason and Mary Gauthier.

Lomond Folk Festival

A fantastic family music weekend featuring concerts from big folk names such as Capercaillie and Beggar's Row, ceilidhs, workshops, craft fair, kids' music and entertainment.

The Outsider Festival

Festival offering a mix of music, activities, sport, debate, comedy and film with a green agenda in the mountains, woodlands and on water.

The Lanark Medieval Festival

Scotland’s biggest re-enactment depicting Romans to the Napoleonic era with battles, cannon, displays, markets, demonstrators, and children's activities. Part of the 'Festival of Scottish History'.

Orkney Beer Festival

A chance to try out a wide range of guest beers, cask-conditioned ales, and Orkney's very own ales.

The Big Tent 2009

This year's festival includes the Climate Challenge Ceilidh, Climate Champion's Zone, Earth Action Talks with WWF Scotland, a family zone, brand new wood zone, and return of the food village.

Culross Festival Music Weekend

Local music and arts festival boasting a vast array of musical styles.

Arran Folk Festival: Taster Event

A taster of the main Arran Folk Festival

Arran Folk Festival

A week-long festival of music and dancing.

Le Weekend Festival

Scotland's longest running experimental music festival returns to provoke and inspire in equal measure. This year's programme features Helene Breschand, Carla Bozulich & Evangelista, The Duck Baker Trio, Trio Arco, Trembling Bells and many more, as well as a participatory recreation of Thelonious Monk's 'Brilliant Corners'.

The Garden Party

Held at Kelburn Castle, the latest on the boutique festival scene stars Tom Middleton, The Bays, The Aliens, Bonobo, James Yorkston, Mungo's Hi-Fi, Found and Martyn.


Alistair Rutherford's play about the changing face of Leith that was commissioned by Leith Festival in 2008. 'Part of Leith Festival'.

West End Festival - The Mill with Acryllic Iqon & Rossco

Free gig, must get tickets from

Scottish Traditional Boat Festival

As traditional boats congregate in the historic harbour, the seaside town of Portsoy celebrates with a festival of music, dance and traditional crafts and art.

EH1 Live

Multi-venue one-dayer usually taking over the capital with over 50 live music acts drawn from across the indie rock spectrum. This year's line-up includes The Phantom Band, The OK Social Club, The Stagger Rats, Hip Parade, Vigo THieves, Tommy Reilly, Modern Faces, Aaron Wright, The Rahs and many more playing at The Liquid…


You know this one. Awesome line-ups and awesome location make for one of Scotland's favourite music festivals. 2013's line-up includes Example, Plan B, Fatboy Slim, Madness, Basement Jaxx, The Vaccines, Above & Beyond, Madeon, Bombay Bicycle Club, Ben Howard, Skream, Benga, Ellie Goulding, The Temper Trap, Alabama 3…

Arran Folk Festival

The island known for being Scotland in miniature presents a weekend of folk, with sessions, concerts and ceilidhs centred in Brodick.

Aberdour Festival

The picturesque seaside town plays host to an action-packed family-friendly festival. There's something for all ages and all tastes, from a beach day with a sandcastle competition for children and fun run for adults, to a food market and picnic day, as well as sports, magic shows, children's activities and live music over…


1. The Bum-Clocks29 May 2009, 11:18am Report

Still the best kept secret festival ( aye, i shouldnt be telling you this!!) and all FREE!! is B ON THE BEACH 11/12 July...see for details...we're playing alongside Zoey Van Goey, The Low Miffs, Society Of Imaginary Friends and a stack more ( but keep it tae yersel, likes...)

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