Tens of thousands of music fans are set to adventure into the Highlands as one of Scotland’s biggest festivals gets under way.
Set within Beauly, Inverness-shire, Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival kicks off on Thursday and will see performances from the likes of unstoppable Scottish artist Lewis Capaldi, solo superstar Tom Odell, fan-favourites Colonel Mustard & The Dijon Five, and iconic guitar legend Johnny Marr.
Manchester band Elbow will headline the opening night of the event – which is set to be out of this world as it takes on a sci-fi theme this year.
Scottish synth-pop group Chvrches will headline the Garden Stage on the Friday, while Jess Glynne will bring the festival to a close on the Saturday.
Ahead of the arena opening, festival promoter Joe Gibbs said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming our wonderful Belladrum audience to our most exciting edition yet.”
Home-grown in the Highlands, the festival was founded in 2004 as a one-day event.
It has now grown to attract a 20,000-strong crowd – which includes more than 10,000 campers.
To ensure your festival experience is as fun and as stress-free as possible, here is STV News’ guide to the next three days.
Garden Stage: Elbow // Tom Odell // Dodgy // Torridon // Luna the Professor
Hothouse Stage: Let’s Go Back to 80’s // Hawkwind // Stone Broken // Scooty & the Skyhooks // Fat Suit // The Dazed Digital Age // Stephanie Cheape
Grassroots Stage: Rhythm N Reel // Davy Cowan & The Storm Chasers // Gleadhraich // Hoodja // The Carloways // Calum Mackenzie Jones & the Trad Project
Off Axis Seedlings Stage: North Atlas // Vuromantics // Dakota Avenue // Campfire Social // Jumanji // Jack Found // Tranqua Lite // Bedroom / Boredom // The Northern Threads
Garden Stage: Chvrches // Johnny Marr // Dodie // Elephant Sessions // Royal Sounds // Swampfog // Fun Box // Lional // Highland Voices Choir
Hothouse Stage: The Cuban Brothers // Glasvegas // Soak // The Rezillos // BombSkare // King Nun // Bis // Paris Monster // Vistas // Indigo Velvet // King Kobalt
Grassroots Stage: Sensational David Bowie // Richard Thompson // Lucy Rose // The Strange Blue Dreams // My Darling Clementine // Sam Kelly & the Lost Boys // The Poozies // Wildwood Kin // Kim Carni // Awkward Family Portraits // Moteh Parrot & Friends // Fiddle Forte // Big Fish Little Fish
XpoNorth Seedlings Stage: Iain McLaughlin & The Outsiders // Solareye // Hyyts // Broken Chanter // Chuchoter // Swim School // Mark McGowan // Emiah // Ivy Flindt // Scarlett Randle // Conchur White // The Dihydro // Quiche
Garden Stage: Jess Glynne // Lewis Capaldi // The Selecter // Skerryvore // Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 // The Local Honeys // The Dangleberries // Tamzene // Rionnagan Rois
Hothouse Stage: Headphone Disco // The Coral // The Sugarhill Gang // Self Esteem // Maisie Peters // The Ninth Wave // Paws // Be Charlotte // Man of Moon // Black Cat Bone // Josephine Sillars
Grassroots Stage: MacFloyd // Julie Fowlis // Scott Matthews // Coco & the Butterfields // Ferris and Sylvester // Round Mountain Girls // Peat & Diesel // JC Stewart // The Captains Beard // Assynt // Keir Gibson // Feis Rois Ceilidh Trail // Big Fish Little Fish
XpoNorth Seedlings Stage: Astrid // Walt Disco // WuhOh // LaKyoto // Scholesy // VanIves // Liimo // Hannah Slavin // Boy Division // Aaron Smith // Shears // The Roov // Freak Wave // The Novacs
The most important item to make sure you’ve got is your e-ticket or printed ticket – along with a parking pass if you need one.
Make sure you have a rain jacket or poncho you can throw on if the elements turn. Due to the volatility of the Scottish weather, also pack some sunscreen to avoid burning in the sunshine.
Although there will be a cashback facility at the tokens booth, take some money just in case you need it in an emergency.
A portable phone charger will also come in handy if your battery begins to drain from all the pictures and videos you’ll be taking.
If you’re camping, don’t forget a sleeping bag and torch.
Gas camping stoves and portable BBQs are also allowed in the campsite if used safely and correctly.
Organisers have warned that anyone found with drugs at the festival will most likely be arrested by police.
No drugs – other than prescription medication – will be allowed on site.
Legal highs and laughing gas have also be banned, along with glass bottles, flares, Chinese lanterns, fireworks, drones, weapons and dangerous objects.
Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated – with those acting out most likely to be ejected from the event.
Lov Bella – a brand new fine dining experience – will launch at the festival this year.
Set against the stunning backdrop of the wooded dell, guests will be invited to pull up a seat at the long banqueting tables and enjoy mouth-watering menus showcasing the finest ingredients.
Kickstart the day with the Belladrum Brunch Club or enjoy three courses with the Belladrum Supper Club.
Fraser Potter, managing director of Lov Events, said: “We’re super excited to be bringing our pop-up restaurant to Belladrum.
“Our team have created a menu which will allow us to showcase some of Scotland’s great larder at this stalwart of the Scottish event scene.”
It is expected to be cloudy on Thursday, aside from some brightness in the afternoon.
On Friday and Saturday, it will be dry with plenty of sunny spells.
NHS Highland and the Highland Alcohol & Drugs Partnership have joined forces to urge festival-goers to “pace” themselves.
NHS Highland’s health improvement specialist Eve MacLeod said: “This is a weekend-long festival so pace yourself by drinking slowly, having non-alcoholic spacers, having lower strength alcoholic drinks and avoiding mixing drinks.
“All of these can help to have a memorable weekend for all the best reasons.”
Once again, Belladrum will donate money to charity and the main benefactor for 2019 will be the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).
Donations will be collected in memory of Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison after the band was due to headline the Hothouse Stage in 2018.
Following the singer’s death last year, the festival instead paid tribute by playing the band’s 2008 album, The Midnight Organ Fight, in full accompanied by a video message.
For more information and the complete line-up, go to tartanheartfestival.co.uk.