The best music festivals in Scotland this summer

With summer now upon us, music fans will be looking to spend their weekends soaking up the sun with some live music - and Scotland is spoilt for choice on the festival front, writes Alex Nelson
TRNSMT takes place in Glasgow Green (Photo: Contributed)TRNSMT takes place in Glasgow Green (Photo: Contributed)
TRNSMT takes place in Glasgow Green (Photo: Contributed)

Despite the demise of T in the Park and Wickerman amongst others, there's still a healthy array of smaller, boutique festivals rubbing shoulders with more mainstream big-hitters.

Everything from folk to classic rock (and even Tom Jones) is covered as we take a look at some of the best music festival to grace Scotland this summer.


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What is it? The spiritual successor to T in the Park returns for its second year, having picked up the Best New Festival award at the UK Festival Awards for its debut outing. Taking place in Glasgow Green, last year's edition saw headline performances from Radiohead and Biffy Clyro among others. 2018 sees another line-up of big hitters, as well as a strong supporting cast of up and comers.

Who's playing? Stereophonics, Liam Gallagher, Arctic Monkeys, Queen + Adam Lambert, The Killers

Where? Glasgow Green

When? June 29 - July 1, July 6 and July 8

Tiree Music Festival

What is it? The folk festival situated on Tiree in the Inner Hebrides is only accessible by plane or by boat, but it's well worth the trip for the intimate atmosphere. The capacity is a modest 1,500, but since it's situated on an island of 30 square miles (and one which you should definitely explore between acts), it can feel a lot bigger than it is.

Who's playing? Hannah Rarity, Trail West, Skipinnish, Elephant Session, Rura

Where? Island of Tiree, Inner Hebrides

When? July 13 - 15

Rewind Festival

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What is it? The annual Rewind Festival celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, so it's looking to provide punters with one of the best line-ups of bands of yesteryear. You certainly won't stumble across many new bands here, but you're sure to hear some classic tracks over the course of the weekend.

Who's playing? OMD, Status Quo, Gipsy Kings, UB40, Boomtown Rats

Where? Scone Palace, Perthshire

When? July 20 - 22

Belladrum Tartan Heart

What is it? This music and arts festival is one of the best for families, offering a friendly atmosphere and a large campsite that's slightly less raucous than many of the bigger festivals. It's sold out every year since 2008, and tickets for this year's edition are in similarly high-demand, with a line-up that caters to nearly taste, from the indie of Primal Scream to the folk rock of Amy Macdonald.

Who's playing? Paloma Faith, Primal Scream, Amy Macdonald

Where? Scone Palace, Perthshire

When? August 2 - 4

Summer Sessions Edinburgh

What is it? More a series of concerts than a festival 'proper', the Edinburgh edition of Summer Sessions is the more laid-back of the two (see below for Glasgow), with the legendary Tom Jones, electro-popper Bastille, Beach Boys icon Brian Wilson and British country duo The Shires headlining. Kasabian will bring some rowdiness to proceedings, while Rag 'n' Bone Man and Paloma Faith also headline their own nights.

Who's playing? Tom Jones, Bastille, The Shires

Where? Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

When? August 6, 9 and 11

Summer Sessions Glasgow

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What is it? The Glasgow edition of Summer Sessions features more contemporary acts, mixing up guitar bands with hip-hop for a more diverse line-up than its Edinburgh equivalent.

Who's playing? Kings of Leon, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Kendrick Lamar

Where? Bellahouston Park, Glasgow

When? August 22, 25 and 29

Electric Fields

What is it? Nestled deep within the stunning countryside of Dumfries and Galloway (but not actually too far from the Central Belt), Electric Fields is one of the more unique festivals in Scotland, with a burgeoning reputation. A unique setting, combined with an eclectic line-up of acts both new and old should, make for a memorable weekend. Another weekender that's great for families too.

Who's playing? Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, James, Leftfield

Where? Drumlanrig Castle, Thornhill

When? August 30 - September 1

More Scottish festivals to try this summer:

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• Glasgow Jazz Festival - Glasgow, 20-24 June• St Magnus Festival - Kirkwall, 22-28 June• East Neuk Festival - Fife, 27 June - 1 July• Fiesta X Fold - Glasgow, 30 June - 1 July• Music at Paxton - Paxton House, Berwickshire, 13-22 July• Hebridean Celtic Festival (HebCelt) - Stornoway, 18-21 July• Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival - Edinburgh, 13-22 July• Groove Loch Ness - Loch Ness, 18 August• Piping Live - Glasgow, 13-19 August

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