Edinburgh's Royal Highland Showground to host 15,000-capacity Connect music festival in August

Edinburgh is to get a brand festival this summer after Scotland's biggest concert promoter revealed plans to revive its Connect event at the home of the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh.

Monday, 21st February 2022, 5:59 pm

Organisers DF Concerts have pledged some of the biggest names in the world will appear at the three-day event, which will boast “boutique luxury” camping facilities, including pre-pitched bell tents.

However, most fans are expected to use public transport to get to and from the 15,000-capacity arena at the Royal Highland Centre, at Ingliston, which is also within walking distance of four hotels.

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The Royal Highland Centre is the new home of the Connect Music Festival.

The first acts will be confirmed later this week for the “multi-genre” festival, which will feature bands, DJs, spoken word performers and visual art.

Connect, DF Concerts’ first camping festival since the demise of T in the Park in 2016, is planned for the final weekend of the 75th-anniversary season of Edinburgh' s festivals.

Franz Ferdinand, Björk, Mogwai, Teenage Fanclub, Jesus & Mary Chain, Kasabian, Goldfrapp, Elbow, Bloc Party, Paolo Nutini, Sigur Ros, Amy Macdonald and the Beastie Boys performed at Connect when it was staged at Inveraray Castle in Argyll in 2007 and 2008.

DF Concerts has pledged the "remastered" Connect will retain many of its previous qualities and ethos, but will also be "an entirely new festival experience".

Connect will be staged at the Royal High Centre at Ingliston from 26-28 August.

It was originally launched to a fill a "gap in the market” for an event with a "more chilled" atmosphere than T in the Park, but did not return after the 2008 financial crash.

Connect will be the second major new event of the summer to be staged by DF Concerts at the Ingliston site. Madness, Fatboy Slim, James, Snow Patrol, Biffy Clyro and 50 Cent will be playing shows at The Big Top in June.

DF Concerts chief executive Geoff Ellis said: "The team have worked tremendously hard to bring together a fantastic music line-up worthy of the Connect name and we can’t wait to share that with everyone.

“During initial planning discussions around the relaunch of Connect, we realised we had to make some changes and to remaster the original festival proposition for today’s audiences.

DF Concerts also organise the TRNSMT, Coloutrboxx and Summer Sessions events. Picture: Andy Buchanan

“One of the biggest considerations we had was around public transport and ensuring the event was accessible to festival goers from across the country.

“The Royal Highland Centre provides a purpose-built event site that is readily accessible by public transport for each of the three days. This not only makes it easy to attend, but hugely supports our ambition to deliver a more sustainable festival now and into the future.”

Festival manager Katt Lingard said: “We’re so excited to welcome our guests, showing them everything that Connect has to offer, from incredible artists and entertainment to our focus on wellness and the arts, all served alongside a fabulous of range food and drink.”

Royal Highland Centre chief executive Alan Laidlaw said: “Connect is yet another major event that confirms the Royal Highland Centre is on track to re-establishing itself as a major Scottish music venue.

Connect will be staged at the Royal High Centre at Ingliston from 26-28 August. Picture: Ryan Buchanan

"The centre’s proximity to the airport and motorway, as well as our fantastic tram and bus links to the city centre, mean that it is a well-connected, ideal location for hosting high-capacity events.

“In addition, there are four hotels within walking distance to the site, ready to welcome guests from across Scotland and beyond."

The Connect Music Festival is relocated to the Royal Highland Centre at Ingliston.
The Connect festival was previously held in the grounds of Inveraray Castle on the banks of Loch Fyne. Picture: Jim Dyson/Getty Images
Connect was previously held in the grounds of Inveraray Castle on the banks of Loch Fyne. Picture: Jim Dyson/Getty Images