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The best music festivals in Scotland

From Belladrum in the Highlands to Fly Open Air at a country house estate just outside Edinburgh, Scotland boasts some of the UK's best and most picturesque music festivals.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 2nd Mar 2021

Anyone that ever attended T in the Park knows how much Scotland loves a music festival.

And while the nation's most notorious musical gathering is no more (it was put to bed in 2016... with a pint of water and a box of Alka Seltzer), there are myriad events which continue to carry the torch for Scottish music festivals.

From Belladrum, the 'Tartan Heart' music and arts festival in the Highlands, to the country estate-located electronic music gathering, Fly Open Air, Scotland continues to attract some of the biggest and most exciting names in music, as well as cater to the more community-minded festival goer with a wealth of charming, picturesque festival locations.

And of course, Scotland boasts some of the friendliest crowds you'll find anywhere.

Here's a bunch of our favourite Scottish music festivals...

 

 

Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival

When: Thursday 29th July - Sunday 1st August 2021

Where: Belladrum Estate, Inverness

Lineup: Shed SevenEmeli SandePassengerNile Rodgers & ChicStiff Little Fingers

Merging the natural beauty and majesty of the Scottish Highlands with world class live music performances from an exciting selection of names, Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival has grown to become one of the most popular festival's in the Scottish summer calendar.

Following on from the festivals last instalment back in 2019, which saw headliners Elbow, Chvrches and Jess Glynne entertaining thousands of music fans, Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival is set to return this summer, with organisers stepping things up a notch for the big comeback event.

Confirmed to appear are the likes of Scottish natives Emeli Sande and The Fratellis alongside The Magic Numbers, Kyle Falconer and one of the most loved and in demand live acts in the world - Nile Rodgers & Chic.

The rest of the lineup is pretty decent too.

 

Find tickets for Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival 2021 here

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Knockengorroch World Ceilidh

When: Thursday 16th - Sunday 19th September 2021

Where: Knockengorroch, Kirkcudbrightshire

Lineup: Cut CapersMungos Hi FiAfro Celt Sound System, The Poozies, Shooglenifty...

The self proclaimed 'original roots music festival' of Scotland, Knockengorroch World Ceilidh is an event which prides itself on its broad eclecticism, inclusivity and peaceful, nature-nurturing backdrop.

Performances from artists covering a multitude of genres, including world, folk, fusion, dub reggae, electronica, hip-hop and drum n bass, can be heard throughout the four day festival, on the hand-built, timber-framed, open-air stage and the willow-wattled Longhouse venue.

 

Find tickets for Knockengorroch World Ceilidh 2021 here

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The Gathering

When: Saturday 4th September 2021

Where: Inverness Northern Meeting Park

Lineup: Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Peatbog Faeries, Torridon, Rhythmnreel...

Back by popular demand, The Gathering returns for its second, delayed year with another monumental one-day party this September.

Celebrating the very best in Highland culture, from traditional Celtic music to food and drink sourced exclusively from across the region, the festival will welcome and showcase homegrown folk talents to thousands of festival-goers.

 

Find tickets for The Gathering 2021 here

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Kelburn Garden Party

When: Friday 2nd - Monday 5th July 2021

Where: Kelburn Country Centre in Largs

Lineup: Max Cooper, HENGE, DJ Paulette, DJ Aphrodite, The Ragga Twins

Interactive art installations, pop-up parties, waterfall plunge pools, workshops, a 13th century painted castle, a variety of musical performances and so much more can all be found at the magical Kelburn Garden Party festival.

This family friendly, independent event is bursting at the seams with creativity. Turning its back on the standard idea of what a festival should be, entertainment can be found, seen and heard in the most absurd of environments. 

2021 see's the magical garden party returning, bringing it with a host of familiar music names - from London based electronic music and visual art producer, Max Cooper to radio host and British house DJ Paulette, the legendary Ragga Twins with DJ Krucial, East African rising star Kampire and many more.

 

Find tickets for Kelburn Garden Party 2021 here

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Friendly Fest

When: Saturday 22nd May 2021

Where: Kynoch Park in Keith

Lineup: Livin Joy, Janice Robinson, A Northern Soul, Ocean Colour Scheme, The Roov...

Returning in 2021 with its biggest and best lineup to date - Kynoch Park's Friendly Fest is set to welcome one of the '90s most adored dance acts - Livin Joy, with support from a host talented and local, musicians and groups.

Joined by acclaimed singer-songwriter Janice Robinson, the Euro dance collective will perform a headline set jam-packed with bangers - from 'Dreamer' to 'Don't Stop Movin' and 'Follow The Rules'.

Ocean Colour Scene tribute band, Ocean Colour Scheme and A Northern Soul, a one-man tribute to The Verve and Richard Ashcroft, will also appear on the bill over the course of the festival, performing a collection of sing along anthems.

 

Find tickets for Friendly Fest 2021 here

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Terminal V

When: Saturday 3rd - Sunday 4th April 2021

Where: Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh

Lineup: SolardoNina KravizAlan FitzpatrickEats EverythingRichie Hawtin...

The mighty Terminal V returns to the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh for another huge edition in 2021.

Scotland's largest one-day electronic music festival will welcome over 20,000 to the showground close to Edinburgh Airport, boasting five stages and more than 30 of the biggest names in the business.

As well as its hugely impressive roster of talent, organisers have also promised 'next level lights, lasers, visuals, a giant sound system and heart stopping production'.

 

Find tickets for Terminal V Festival 2021 here

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Midstock Festival

When: Friday 4th - Saturday 5th June 2021

Where: Dalkeith Country Park, Edinburgh

Lineup: Dave Pearce, N-Trance, Micky Modelle, Ultra-Sonic, Michael Irvine

Situated on the beautiful and vast grounds of the Dalkeith Country Park, located just south east of Edinburgh, Midstock is billed as 'Scotland's biggest small festival', with community at its heart.

Combining great music with top local food and drink, this family friendly festival has an eclectic mix of daytime fun, well known acts, and late night revelry.

 

Find tickets for Midstock Festival 2021 here

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Butefest

When: Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th July 2021

Where: Isle Of Bute in Isle Of Bute

Lineup: The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Scouting For GirlsElephant Sessions, Wrest, The Filthy Tongues

Looking for a festival that allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life this summer? Head 90 minutes west of Glasgow and hop on a ferry to the remote Isle of Bute for this year's, rescheduled sixth edition of Butefest.

First imagined as a way to bring music, art and cultural experiences to its islanders, Butefest has expanded and moved to a new home in the beautiful Ettrick Bay, offering a weekend chock full of music, craft food and ales, spectacular panoramic views and island charm.

 

Find tickets for Butefest 2021 here

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Party at the Palace

When: Saturday 7th - Sunday 8th August 2021

Where: Lochside Field, Linlithgow Palace, Linlithgow

Lineup: Manic Street Preachers, The Snuts, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5, The Brand New Heavies

Linlithgow's award-winning Party at the Palace festival is back in 2021, for another two-day, Loch-side party.

Located in the historical grounds of the beautiful Linlithgow Palace, between Edinburgh and Glasgow, the two day event attracts a number of household names, emerging talents and local heroes, from The Charlatans and KT Tunstall back in 2019, to the Manics, The Snuts, disco queen Sophie Ellis-Bextor and, er, Johnny Mac & The Faithful Pork Pie in 2021.

 

Find tickets for Party at the Palace 2021 here

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Riverside Festival

When: Friday 28th - Sunday 30th May 2021

Where: The Riverside Museum in Glasgow

Lineup: Jamie XX, Disclosure, Amelie Lens...

Situated in the heart of Glasgow, on the banks of the river Clyde, across from the iconic structure of the Riverside Museum is one of Scotlands most epic electronic music events - Riverside Festival.

The almost-annual, three day rave spectacle, a favourite amongst the city's devoted dance music fans, has previously welcomed some of the biggest names in the electronic genre - names such as Laurent Garnier, Sven Vath, Fatboy Slim, Joris Voorn, Ben Klock, Joy Orbison, Midland... the list goes on. 

Celebrating its delayed eighth-anniversary event this May, the Riverside Festival organisers are planning a huge return to glory with the likes of Jamie XX, Disclosure and techno empress, Amelie Lens already confirmed to perform.

 

Find tickets for Riverside Festival 2021 here

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TRNSMT

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When: Friday 9th - Sunday 11th July 2021

Where: Glasgow Green in Glasgow

Lineup: AJ TraceyLiam Gallagher, Little SimzIan BrownSnow Patrol

Set within Glasgow city centre, TRNSMT continues to attract an impressive roster of indie-rock and pop music heavyweights, with previously headliners including Arctic MonkeysStereophonics and George Ezra.

Appearing throughout this years returning edition, punters can expect to see world-class sets from Rita OraSam FenderBlossomsAitch and many more.

Join the TRNSMT Festival team for three mad days of music in a music mad city.

 

Find tickets for TRNSMT 2021 here

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Fly Open Air

When: Saturday 21st May - Sunday 22nd May 2022

Where: Hopetoun House, Edinburgh

Lineup: Peggy GouFolamourDixonOr:laPalms Trax...

Situated on the grand and picturesque estate of Edinburgh's Hopetoun House, Fly Open Air Festival is one of most Scotland's most sought after outdoor, electronic music events.

Overlooking the Firth of Forth and the impressive Forth Bridge from the country manors pristine gardens, the gathering boasts one of the most atmospheric and scenic locations in the UK, as well as a regular bill of high calibre electronic acts and DJs. 

Initially scheduled to return this May, following last years forced cancellation, the festivals organisers have recently announced plans to further postpone the comeback event until May 2022. Customers who have already purchased a ticket for this years festival can use it to gain entry to next years edition, and will also gain a free ticket to bring along a friend of their choosing. 

 

Find tickets for Fly Open Air 2022 here

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Check out Skiddle's full festival guide here for more events happening across the UK this year

 

 

 

Headline image credit: Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival

Festivals 2021