Scotland’s festivals set to steal the show this summer

The Wickerman Festival has plenty of music and dance this summer.
The Wickerman Festival has plenty of music and dance this summer.

The festival season is well and truly underway as Scotland celebrates its creative people, places and events as part of the Year of Creative Scotland 2012. While Glastonbury takes a year out to welcome London 2012, Scotland is set to revolutionise the festival experience with the wealth of talent lined up - including Snow Patrol, Kasabian and the Scissor Sisters.

Jenna Ciancia, PR Executive from VisitScotland, said; “Scotland is taking the outdoor gigging scene by storm. Home to an eclectic music scene of every possible genre, the region’s beautiful scenery coupled with some of the industry’s biggest names and up-coming talent makes it the perfect destination for music lovers during the Year of Creative Scotland 2012.”

The Belladrum festival. Picture: Paul Campbell

The Belladrum festival. Picture: Paul Campbell

In July, Perthshire will host T in the Park, Scotland’s biggest and most successful music festival attracting over 85,000 gig goers to the idyllic Balado Country Park. Taking place from July 6 to 8, headline acts for 2012 include Snow Patrol, the Stone Roses and indie Rock band Kasabian who will perform across seven stages.

For a more alternative sound the Wickerman Festival in Dundrennan, Dumfries and Galloway, will bring a stunning music line up with headline acts the Scissor Sisters and homegrown stars Texas on July 20 and 21. Now in its eleventh year, the festival comes to a spectacular climax with its legendary Saturday night lighting of the Wickerman: followed by a DJ set from ‘The Streets’ singer Mike Skinner.

If a musical mash-up is what you’re after then Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival on August 3 and 4 brings Scottish indie stars Travis and Liverpool rockers The Wombats to Inverness-shire. Offering boutique camping in the form of yurts and music for all ages this leading independent festival is perfect for a highland fling to remember.

If Scottish tradition is what you’re after Lomond Folk Festival from July 27 to 29 is the home of all things folk and has been described as Scotland’s friendliest family festival, welcoming Skerryvore and Mary Kathleen Burke along with workshops and lots of family fun. Alternatively, the Hebridean Celtic Festival - held between July 11 and 14 - has venues across the picturesque Outer Hebridean Islands of Lewis and Harris, with highlights this year including the Waterboys, Roddy Woomble and Kassidy.

But festival-goers would be well-advised to remain aware of personal safety. Helen Chalmers, Wickerman Festival Coordinator, has the following top tips to surviving Summer Music Festivals:

- Settle In - The best and biggest festivals always involve camping. Arrive early for the best choice of pitches. Pitch your tent within sight of landmarks you’ll remember and that will still be visible when you wake up to a field covered in thousands of other tents.

- Pack what you need - Don’t bring more than you need and never leave things you can’t afford to lose in your tent. Keep valuables, like keys, money, cards, phone, camera and photo IDs on your person, even if it means wearing a bum bag (or equivalent).

- Carry a cheap camera - Of course you’ll want pictures of stunning Scotland but you don’t want your digital SLR going walkies. Invest, in a cheap pocket digital or a couple of disposable film cameras.

- Watch Your Drink - Alcohol is usually available at music festivals. Take it slow, you’ll want to remember your festival experience.. Please drink responsibly.

- Stay safe - Keep in touch with your friends, don’t rely on mobile phone signal, identify a meeting place and check in with your group every now and then. Via your mobile phone, check in every now and then and arrange meeting points in advance. Stick together with a group and tell your friends where you expect to be and when. Don’t wander off into dark corners of the crowd on your own.

- Get your beauty sleep – it can be tempting to stay awake into the small hours but sleep is important to recharge the batteries. Ear plugs are a good buy or perhaps even better use an ipod with some appropriate easy listening.

- Personal Hygiene - The use of wet wipes, a supply of your own personal toilet roll, a small mirror, chewing gum, mints, dry shampoo and deodorant will keep you feeling human even if there are no showers on site.

- Keep Hydrated - Drink plenty of Scotland’s natural mineral water, try and drink between two and three litres of water each day and it is especially wise to follow these quantities whilst being at a festival. Get a plastic water bottle and fill it up every time you pass a drinking tap – and make sure you have a good supply back of water back at your tent (first thing in the morning you could be gagging for a drink). If you are drinking alcohol try alternating each drink with water – the perfect recipe for happy times during and after.

- Keep dry & warm - if last year’s festivals are anything to go buy there could be a skiff of rain, be prepared with wellie boots and waterproof mac. Remember it can get cold later on so bring a jumper or hoody.

- Be tolerant – A few days away can test even the closest of friends or family so make sure you stay in the festival spirit and make the most of the mud, madness and mayhem.

For more information on events and festivals as part of the Year of Creative Scotland 2012, visit www.visitscotland.com/creative.