6 Scottish Summer Music Festivals You Don’t Want to Miss

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Mention Scottish music to a friend, and they’ll probably imagine a bearded man wielding bag pipes. Its true — the Great Highland Bagpipe has been an important part of the Scottish music culture for decades. But ask someone who has been to a summer music festival in Scotland what they think of the country’s music, and they’ll describe anything from jazz, classical and international music to heavy metal, electronic, indie and rock.

 

Visit a music festival in Scotland, and you’ll see why hundreds of thousands of music enthusiasts from around the world travel to the U.K.’s northernmost country to dance the day (and night) away every year. The following are six Scottish music festivals that are guaranteed to make the summer of 2018, one you’ll never forget.

 

Oban Live Festival

Where: Mossfield Stadium, Oban
When: June 8-9, 2018
Genre: Folk, Rock, International

 

As the largest live music event held in Argyll and Bute region, Oban Live attracts thousands of music lovers from around the world. What began in 2015 as a 10th Anniversary celebration for the band Skerryvore — an award-winning folk rock band from Scotland —  has become a showcase for some of the top Scottish and international artists around the globe.

 

Visit for the weekend of June 8-9, and you’ll watch the small tourist town of Oban explode with more than just some of the world’s top musicians. Attendees are encouraged to take in the culture of the region by enjoying its famously fresh seafood, craft ales, Scotch Whisky and of course, plenty of dancing in the warm summer sun at Mossfield Stadium.

 

Glasgow International Jazz Festival

Photo credit: Steve Hodgson

Where: Numerous locations around the city of Glasgow
When: June 20-24, 2018
Genre: Jazz, International

 

Since the summer of 1987, the Glasgow International Jazz Festival has been amplifying the level of excitement in a city that already plays host to a vibrant jazz scene. The festivals combines some of the world’s most famous jazz musicians with upcoming superstars to create a diverse scene that is appreciated by music enthusiasts of all ages, interests and budgets (free shows are plentiful). The Georgia Fame Family Trio, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, Yazmin Lacey and Mr. Jukes are just a few of the dozens of musicians prepared to wow ticket holders at Glasgow’s favourite music venues from June 20 to 24, this year.

 

Solas Festival

Where: Blackruthven, Perth
When: June 22-24, 2018
Genre: Scottish, Folk, Electronic, Everything

 

Solas Festival isn’t for any type of music enthusiasts. It’s for EVERY type of music enthusiast. The lineup is purposely broad and inclusive to appeal to the festival’s desired crowd — people of all ages, religions, musical tastes, sexualities, ethnicities and political stances. Diversity and acceptance are much of what make this outdoor festival at the Bield at Blackruthven so special.

 

Visitors can bring a tent or hire a yurt to stay steps from the action for all three days, and there’s no doubt you’ll want to do just that with headliners like 47Soul, RM Hubbert and Aidan Moffat, Rosanne Reid and more. In addition to music, visitors will enjoy performing arts, workshops, local eats, craft beer, wine, and a bustling marketplace of local produce, crafts and more. This family-friendly festival is the perfect backdrop for a weekend you’ll never forget.

Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival

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Where: Belladrum Estate near Inverness
When: August 2-4, 2018
Genre: Scottish, Folk, Rock

 

The Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival was voted the UK’s No. 1 most popular summer music festival for more reasons than can be counted on one hand. This all-ages event celebrates Scottish music and culture. The festival, affectionally known as “Bella,” even has its own signature tartan for attendees to wear for the weekend.

 

Free “fringe” events taking place before and after the event create a feeling of community that is much of what draws visitors back year after year. Combine that camaraderie with major headliners, like this year’s Paloma Faith and Primal Scream, and you have a festival that has sold out every summer since 2008.

 

Party At The Palace

Where: Overlooking Linlithgow Palace, Linlithgow
When: August 11-12, 2018
Genre: Rock and Pop

 

Scotland’s largest family-friendly music festival also overlooks the ruins of one of the country’s most historic palaces, creating an atmosphere that keeps visitors of all ages coming back year after year. The festival takes place in the town of Linlithgow, just 20 minutes west of Edinburgh and 35 minutes east of Glasgow, drawing attendees from the nearby cities, across the country, and around the globe for renowned headliners like this year’s James, Texas, Gabrielle, Imelda May, Embrace, and dozens more. The festival’s 5-year anniversary is gearing up to be bigger and better than ever.

 

Electric Fields

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Where: Drumlanrig Castle
When: August 30 to Sept. 1, 2018
Genre: Rock, Pop, Electronic, International

 

If you’re looking for an over-the-top music festival with fairytale-like qualities in a fairytale-like setting, Electric Fields will exceed your expectations. Spend a full weekend at the tail end of summer away from the stresses of the real world and completely surrounded by live music on multiple stages,  mouthwatering eats at the the Pitt Food Market, the on-site fairground, an ale festival, acres of gardens, and of course, the grounds of one of the grandest castles in the world (Drumlanrig Castle). This year’s headliners include Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Leftfield, James, Teenage Fanclub and dozens of other acclaimed artists from around the world.

 

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C, Mexico and around the world. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.

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