The Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival is a music and arts festival, held on the Belladrum Estate near Inverness, in Scotland. It is normally held at the start of August. Founded in 2004, the festival has rapidly grown in popularity. The festival has sold out in advance every year since 2008.
The festival is well known for its wide-ranging musical scope, as well as its family friendly atmosphere, with a large dedicated family camp-site, as well as free entry for children under the age of 12. Previous acts that have played at the festival include Madness, Tom Jones, Two Door Cinema Club, Kaiser Chiefs, Ed Sheeran, Ben Howard, James, Manic Street Preachers, Deacon Blue, Texas Embrace, The Automatic, The Proclaimers, The Wombats, Travis, and many more.
Stages include, The Garden Stage (Main Stage set in Italian Gardens), The Hot House (Rock Indie, Alternative, Singer-songwriter), The Grassroots(folk, roots, acoustic), Venus Flytrap (comedy, wrestling, cabaret), The Seedlings (emerging and buzz new acts), Mother's Ruin (Dance and Electronic), The Verb Garden (talks, debates, films), The Burke and Hare (cabaret, performance, dj's), The Bella Bar stage, Free Range Folk Stage (singer-songwriters, traditional, acoustic based bands), Jazz Bar (new for 2016) and an array of busking stages.
Other areas of the festival include a dedicated children's area, with puppet workshops, arts and crafts, circus skills, dance and music classes and much more. The Walled Garden hosts a variety of alternative therapies, the Burke & Hare and Free Rage Folk stages, and re-enactment groups.
Over the years the festival has also hosted Ice-rinks, roller discos, Danny Maccaskills Drop & Roll, and a zip line.
In previous years as well as the festival itself there was also a Festival fringe which centered around the 2 weeks surrounding the festival. This finished in the early hours of Hootananny's on the Thursday prior to the festival. The fringe's gigs had no entry-fee in some bars/pubs however others may charge, the fringe showcased a variety of Acts and Music Genres. The Fringe set the mood in the run up to Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival on 8 and 9 August 2008, offering a musical trail around the Highlands for the intrepid music lover.
It all began back in 2004 with 2,000 like minded people gathering for one day in Belladrum’s Italian Gardens, the stunning terraced arena that still forms the main stage. Since then, Bella has become a key fixture in the Scottish cultural calendar growing to its current capacity of 18,500 people over two and a half days (3 - 5 August 2017), with an additional headliner being added to the ceilidh warm up on the Thursday night in 2015.
In 2005 the festival was on Friday the 12th & Saturday the 13th of August. This year it had five stages, ranging in size from the Grassroots Tent, which has a capacity of approximately 250 and is dedicated to small acoustic and folk acts, through to the Garden Stage, which is a natural amphitheatre that can hold several thousand people
In 2005, new features include the Seedlings Stage for new or unsigned artists and the Venus Flytrap Palais, a stage totally dedicated to the wonderful and sometimes, frankly, weird in music, theatre, cabaret and performance art.