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Belladrum guide: Tartan Heart Festival gets under way

Tens of thousands of music fans are expected to descend upon the Highlands for the event.

Belladrum: The festival will begin on Thursday.
Belladrum: The festival will begin on Thursday. Paul Campbell

Tens of thousands of music fans are set to adventure into the Highlands as one of Scotland's biggest festivals gets under way.

Set within Beauly, Inverness-shire, Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival kicks off on Thursday and will see 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.

Manchester band Elbow will headline the opening night of the event - which is set to be out of this world as it takes on a sci-fi theme this year.

Scottish synth-pop group Chvrches will headline the Garden Stage on the Friday, while Jess Glynne will bring the festival to a close on the Saturday.

Ahead of the arena opening, festival promoter Joe Gibbs said: "We're really looking forward to welcoming our wonderful Belladrum audience to our most exciting edition yet."

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

It has now grown to attract a 20,000-strong crowd - which includes more than 10,000 campers.

To ensure your festival experience is as fun and as stress-free as possible, here is STV News' guide to the next three days.

Thursday line-up highlights

Elbow: The band will headline on Thursday.
Elbow: The band will headline on Thursday.

Garden Stage: Elbow // Tom Odell // Dodgy // Torridon // Luna the Professor

Hothouse Stage: Let's Go Back to 80's // Hawkwind // Stone Broken // Scooty & the Skyhooks // Fat Suit // The Dazed Digital Age // Stephanie Cheape

Grassroots Stage: Rhythm N Reel // Davy Cowan & The Storm Chasers // Gleadhraich // Hoodja // The Carloways // Calum Mackenzie Jones & the Trad Project

Off Axis Seedlings Stage: North Atlas // Vuromantics // Dakota Avenue // Campfire Social // Jumanji // Jack Found // Tranqua Lite // Bedroom / Boredom // The Northern Threads

Friday line-up highlights

Chvrches: The band will headline on Friday.
Chvrches: The band will headline on Friday.

Garden Stage: Chvrches // Johnny Marr // Dodie // Elephant Sessions // Royal Sounds // Swampfog // Fun Box // Lional // Highland Voices Choir

Hothouse Stage: The Cuban Brothers // Glasvegas // Soak // The Rezillos // BombSkare // King Nun // Bis // Paris Monster // Vistas // Indigo Velvet // King Kobalt

Grassroots Stage: Sensational David Bowie // Richard Thompson // Lucy Rose // The Strange Blue Dreams // My Darling Clementine // Sam Kelly & the Lost Boys // The Poozies // Wildwood Kin // Kim Carni // Awkward Family Portraits // Moteh Parrot & Friends // Fiddle Forte // Big Fish Little Fish

XpoNorth Seedlings Stage: Iain McLaughlin & The Outsiders // Solareye // Hyyts // Broken Chanter // Chuchoter // Swim School // Mark McGowan // Emiah // Ivy Flindt // Scarlett Randle // Conchur White // The Dihydro // Quiche

Saturday line-up highlights

Jess Glynne: The singer will headline on Saturday.
Jess Glynne: The singer will headline on Saturday.

Garden Stage: Jess Glynne // Lewis Capaldi // The Selecter // Skerryvore // Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 // The Local Honeys // The Dangleberries // Tamzene // Rionnagan Rois

Hothouse Stage: Headphone Disco // The Coral // The Sugarhill Gang // Self Esteem // Maisie Peters // The Ninth Wave // Paws // Be Charlotte // Man of Moon // Black Cat Bone // Josephine Sillars

Grassroots Stage: MacFloyd // Julie Fowlis // Scott Matthews // Coco & the Butterfields // Ferris and Sylvester // Round Mountain Girls // Peat & Diesel // JC Stewart // The Captains Beard // Assynt // Keir Gibson // Feis Rois Ceilidh Trail // Big Fish Little Fish

XpoNorth Seedlings Stage: Astrid // Walt Disco // WuhOh // LaKyoto // Scholesy // VanIves // Liimo // Hannah Slavin // Boy Division // Aaron Smith // Shears // The Roov // Freak Wave // The Novacs

What to pack

Camping: Don't forget your sleeping bag.
Camping: Don't forget your sleeping bag. Pixabay

The most important item to make sure you've got is your e-ticket or printed ticket - along with a parking pass if you need one.

Make sure you have a rain jacket or poncho you can throw on if the elements turn. Due to the volatility of the Scottish weather, also pack some sunscreen to avoid burning in the sunshine.

Although there will be a cashback facility at the tokens booth, take some money just in case you need it in an emergency.

A portable phone charger will also come in handy if your battery begins to drain from all the pictures and videos you'll be taking.

If you're camping, don't forget a sleeping bag and torch.

Gas camping stoves and portable BBQs are also allowed in the campsite if used safely and correctly.

Prohibited items

Organisers have warned that anyone found with drugs at the festival will most likely be arrested by police.

No drugs - other than prescription medication - will be allowed on site.

Legal highs and laughing gas have also be banned, along with glass bottles, flares, Chinese lanterns, fireworks, drones, weapons and dangerous objects.

Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated - with those acting out most likely to be ejected from the event.

Serving up a treat

https://www.instagram.com/p/BzfE4OtAShn/ | instagram

Lov Bella - a brand new fine dining experience - will launch at the festival this year.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the wooded dell, guests will be invited to pull up a seat at the long banqueting tables and enjoy mouth-watering menus showcasing the finest ingredients.

Kickstart the day with the Belladrum Brunch Club or enjoy three courses with the Belladrum Supper Club.

Fraser Potter, managing director of Lov Events, said: "We're super excited to be bringing our pop-up restaurant to Belladrum.

"Our team have created a menu which will allow us to showcase some of Scotland's great larder at this stalwart of the Scottish event scene."

Weather forecast

It is expected to be cloudy on Thursday, aside from some brightness in the afternoon.

On Friday and Saturday, it will be dry with plenty of sunny spells.

Travel information

Travel: Car share is available.
Travel: Car share is available. Pixabay
  • The A862 and A833 main roads to the festival are not safe to walk along.
  • Car parking passes can be downloaded via the festival website.
  • Stagecoach is running buses to and from Inverness.
  • Ross's Mini Buses will be running a local service.
  • Car share is available via GoCarShare and Liftshare.

Health message

Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water.
Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water. Pixabay

NHS Highland and the Highland Alcohol & Drugs Partnership have joined forces to urge festival-goers to "pace" themselves.

NHS Highland's health improvement specialist Eve MacLeod said: "This is a weekend-long festival so pace yourself by drinking slowly, having non-alcoholic spacers, having lower strength alcoholic drinks and avoiding mixing drinks.

"All of these can help to have a memorable weekend for all the best reasons."

In memory of Scott Hutchison

Frightened Rabbit: Money will be donated to charity in memory of Scott Hutchison.
Frightened Rabbit: Money will be donated to charity in memory of Scott Hutchison. Atlantic Records

Once again, Belladrum will donate money to charity and the main benefactor for 2019 will be the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

Donations will be collected in memory of Frightened Rabbit's Scott Hutchison after the band was due to headline the Hothouse Stage in 2018.

Following the singer's death last year, the festival instead paid tribute by playing the band's 2008 album, The Midnight Organ Fight, in full accompanied by a video message.

For more information and the complete line-up, go to tartanheartfestival.co.uk.

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