Fresh from the action that was RockNess 2011, I’ve been searching round for an opportunity to get my wellies on again in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. This year’s Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival may provide that very opportunity.

Tickets have sold out, so I may have cottoned on to Belladrum a little late, but the line up, with its mix of grass roots home-grown talent, and big headline acts, has managed to make me more than a little envious of the hoards that will be heading towards Beauly this summer. Great Scottish bands, such as Admiral Fallow, Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers and Texas, along with personal favourites from slightly further afield, such as Guillemots and Echo and the Bunnymen, looks set to make Bella one of the highlights of the festival season.

The whole thing kicks off on Thursday 4th August with an opening night ceilidh, with the majority of the musical action taking place on the Friday and Saturday. Each year, there is a dress up theme, which you can choose to either fully embrace, or completely ignore. This year, the theme is “Space” so expect a heady mix of Buzz Lightyear, Star Wars and little green men, culminating in a catwalk and prizes for the cream of the creations.

Belladrum stands out from other festivals, in that it is particularly child friendly. Along with the fun dress-up shenanigans, those lucky enough to be under 12 will be able to enjoy the weekend for free, and there is a separate, quieter campsite, perfect for families.

As well as great music, Belladrum also offers a much broader range of entertainment, with cabaret, comedy, poetry and street dance being just a few of the treats available throughout the weekend. Plus of course the usual festival supply of food and drink, to aid the enjoyment of the whole thing.

So, with all that’s on offer, I’m hoping to snag myself a ticket, don my glitteriest Ziggy Stardust makeup, and get my party on up in the highlands for the second time this year.

www.tartanheartfestival.co.uk

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