Tens of thousands soak up the sun at Belladrum festival

Home-grown in the Highlands, the festival attracted a 20,000-strong crowd to Beauly.

Chart-topper: Jess Glynne closed the main stage. <strong>Paul Campbell Photography</strong>
Chart-topper: Jess Glynne closed the main stage. Paul Campbell Photography

That’s it for another year – Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival once again went out with a bang.

Although chart-topper Jess Glynne brought the main stage performances to a close on Saturday night, the much-loved Highland music event continued into the early hours of Sunday.

There had been concern over whether Glynne would perform at the festival or not – given that she has cancelled a number of gigs in recent months amid an ongoing throat problem. However, the singer battled through to perform her smash hits for the sold-out crowd.

Manchester band Elbow headlined the opening night of the event, while Scottish synth-pop group Chvrches brought the Garden Stage to a close on Friday.

Chvrches: The synth-pop band headlined the Garden Stage on Friday night. Paul Campbell Photography
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Over the weekend, the main stage saw 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.

The 20,000-strong crowd – which included more than 10,000 campers – were blessed with warm weather throughout the event.

Soaking up the sun: The festival-goers were blessed with warm weather. Paul Campbell Photography

Despite the blistering heat, music fans packed out the XpoNorth Seedlings Stage tent to watch rising star Scarlett Randle in action.

Randle – who got the crowd going with an Abba number – entertained the audience with tales of the inspiration behind her songs.

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Although it was her first time at Belladrum, she hopes it wasn’t her last.

She told STV News: “It was such a diverse festival and I felt very at home. I feel like Belladrum is leading the way and maybe others need to take note.

“I have never felt so represented at a festival. It felt like Belladrum wasn’t defined by genre or gender.

“Having never been to Belladrum before and not playing too many gigs up north, I wasn’t sure how the reception would be but the tent was packed with all types of people and it was potentially the best gig we have ever played.

“There’s no greater feeling than looking out into the crowd and seeing everyone enjoying it as much as me and singing along.”

Scottish Highlands: The festival closed with a bang. Paul Campbell Photography

Randle, who enjoyed watching Chvrches, Glasvegas, Riley, Chuchoter, Hyyts and Emme Woods at the festival, has got a busy month ahead.

As well as performing in Glasgow at Saint Luke’s All Dayer on Saturday, she will also be supporting Hyyts at King Tut’s in the city on August 29.

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Randle added: “I also have my music video for my single Her coming out at the end of this month and I can’t wait to show the world what we have been working on.”

Superstar: Lewis Capaldi played to the Garden Stage crowd. Paul Campbell Photography

Vistas also drew a large crowd into the Hothouse Stage tent.

The band said: “We really enjoyed playing Belladrum. We always get a great reception up in the Highlands.

“It’s a festival we always look forward to playing and we love how family-friendly it is. It’s just a great vibe.”

The band – who couldn’t stick around too long after their set on Friday as they had a long drive back to Edinburgh – will soon be heading back into the studio.

As well as performing at Reading and Leeds later this month, they’ve also scheduled a headline tour around the UK this autumn.

Fellow Edinburgh-based band Indigo Velvet also packed out the Hothouse Stage.

Bassist Laurie Adam said: “This year, Belladrum was unreal for us.

“This was the third year in a row that we played the festival and is definitely up there with one of our favourites.

“After being locked away in the studio for a few months writing, it was great to finally play new music to a packed out tent and see the crowd react to them in the same way as they did with our more well-known songs.”

Songstress: Tamzene loves the Highland festival. Paul Campbell Photography

The band’s favourite act from Friday was Edinburgh’s Swim School, who performed on the XpoNorth Seedlings Stage.

Adam added: “It is great to see another amazing local band play to such an energetic crowd.

“It’s lovely to see Belladrum support so many up-and-coming bands.”

Singer-songwriter Emme Woods brought her shoegaze blues to the Belladrum Bar.

Woods, who released it’s ma party last month, played several tracks from the EP.

During her set, her pet pup Bubbles had an accident on stage.

Belladrum Bar: Emme Woods performed on Saturday. STV

Woods said: “The sun was shining, the pints were in.

“I ran from the van straight to the stage, Bubbles in hand.

“It was an absolute treat to see all the sunned faces out on the hay bales.

“The show was fab, but Bubbles got kicked off for pooing on the stage – rock ‘n’ roll.”

Out of this world: The festival’s theme this year was sci-fi. Paul Campbell Photography

The festival was truly out of this world this year as it took on a sci-fi theme.

As well as festival-goers dressing up as astronauts and aliens, a flash mob also broke out their best synchronised moves to dance along to the likes of Babylon Zoo’s Spaceman and David Bowie’s Space Oddity in front of the main stage.

Home-grown in the Highlands, the festival was founded in 2004 as a one-day event.

Next year, the event will take place a week earlier to avoid clashing with the Black Isle Show.


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