THERE is no festival in Scotland quite like Belladrum – nestled in a picturesque Highland village, The Tartan Heart Festival has long been a huge fixture of the live music scene.

Stretched across half a dozen stages, it welcomes dozens of high-profile acts and emerging talent every time. And this year is no exception with a line-up that boasts headliners Nile Rodgers & Chic, along with Van Morrison and Emeli Sandé.

They are joined by an incredible cast of bands including The Fratellis, Passenger, Shed Seven, Kyle Falconer, Sam Ryder, Daytime TV, The Academic, The Magic Numbers, Vistas, Mason Hill, Neon Waltz, Luke La Volpe, Walt Disco, Lucia & The Best Boys and scores more.

Dougie Brown, events producer at Belladrum, tells The Weekender: “Something we are very proud of is just how diverse our line-up is. We do like to cater for everyone because our audience is so varied. We’ve had three or four generations of some families all coming together to Belladrum – toddlers, parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents.

“We just want the festival to be a great feel-good weekend for the whole family and we want something for everybody. Our line-up is a lot of fun to programme and we’re in a fortunate position to have a little fun with.”

One of the most important elements for organisers is giving a platform to not just Highland artists but to all up-and-coming bands looking to make a breakthrough. In recent years, some performers have made their Bella debut as a busker, or on the Seedlings or Grassroots stages only to then come back and play the mainstage or, in some cases, headline.

Dougie adds: “We’ve been very fortunate to have bands play here and go on to big things. Emeli Sande is obviously one, but we had Twin Atlantic on the Seedlings Stage, our new band stage, and they came back to headline a few years ago.

“The absolute dream will be to see an artist from the local area, who started off busking at Bella, to come back and headline. That would be a dream come true for everyone involved.”

One such act for the future is the incredibly talented Tamzene, who spend many a summer among the Tartan Heart faithful. As she hails from Cromarty, Bella will always be her local festival. But it also provided her with the motivation and opportunity to make a name for herself.

She says: “There wasn’t a whole lot of live music in my childhood so Belladrum was always a highlight, every year. My mum would teach salsa there, and my step-dad would play with Orquesta Latina Del Norte.

“Belladrum definitely was a place of real inspiration for me. I would stand and watch the acts there I knew that’s where I want to be. Then you start imagining that you can do that. So, it was a very informative festival for me.

“I started on the busking stage at my first-ever Belladrum and have been around since then,” she adds. “It’s always an honour to be asked; not because it’s my local festival, but because it is amazing. It’s always a killer line-up, so always a pleasure to be included.”

Tamzene has been a regular in the UK music scene playing TRNSMT, Sound City Liverpool, The Great Escape and many more. But there will always be something a little bit extraordinary about playing at Belladrum.

“Every festival has something unique about it,” she continues. “For Belladrum, which is set against the beautiful backdrop of the hills of Beauly, you really feel like you are getting away and are experiencing something special.

“There is a real nice atmosphere around the festival because of that. You can just wander around and meet people. It never feels intimidating; it’s just so open. And it’s beautifully done every year.

“The organisers were great at growing the festival in a way that retains that family-friendly feel. And they really do support Highland artists. Looking at the Seedlings stage, earlier slots on the grass roots stage, they absolutely create and cherish space for those up-and-coming acts. It’s so important as an artist to feel those slots are accessible.”

Belladrum has been unable to run the past two years, much like many other festivals, and so anticipation is at an all-time high. Incredibly, with some people unable to attend this time around, there are a handful of tickets still available for the festival which tends to sell out way ahead of time.

Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival takes place from Thursday, July 28, to Saturday, July 30. Visit for more.