We take a look away from the main stages of Belladrum 2017

You’ve scrutinised the line-up, agonised over time clashes and debated whether to camp out on Saturday night or just bugger off home after the fireworks. But what about those periods when the main stages don’t have anything on that you like? Yes you could go to the bar, get hammered and lounge about at the Garden Stage or you could go and explore the rest of the site.

Belladrum has made a name for itself over the years of not simply being ‘just’ a music festival but one that offers plenty of alternatives if you’re not quite as interested in the music. So rather than sitting at your tent drinking cheap cans of Tesco lager it is more than worthwhile getting off your bum and seeing what else the festival has to offer.

The Venus Flytrap Stage is generally a good spot to go and visit if you want to see a bit of comedy and anything that falls into an edgier side of things. On Friday Night you’ll find the Circus of Horrors. Expect things to be nailed to appendages and horrific things swallowed, pierced and imbibed… It’s generally not a place to go if you’re a wee bit sensitive although they do have a few more sane and sedate acts on across the weekend. Also announced is Live Wrestling where you can see grown men pretend to beat the living crap out of each other. Keep an eye on the blackboard that they usually have posted outside the tent for updates on acts performing over the weekend.

On Saturday if you’re feeling a wee bit glum then Laughter Yoga could be the cure. Likely a haven for people who smell strongly of incense and… other types of incense… it’ll be on between 10:00 – 10:30 AND 18:15 – 18:45 at the Dell Entertainment Yurt.

Children’s area Tir nan Ogg will be a centre of hyperactivity and Haribo overdoses… and that’s just the parents. The traditional Kids Parade originates here and winds its way down to the Garden Stage Arena on Saturday. It’s usually a riot of colour and noise and you really can’t miss it when it arrives at 5pm. If you want to get involved there’s a series of workshops that will be run in Tir nan Ogg and the Eden Court Snapdragon. This is where your kids can make things to go along with the parade.

For the grownups the Tomatin Bothy is a great spot to hang out. It’s always busy and occasionally has guest appearances from acts on the Bella lineup. This year they’ve introduced a VR Whisky Experience that they’ll be running from 12-2pm each day. Over the years we’ve seen Nina Nesbitt perform behind the bar and a quite spectacularly drunk Prides do an acoustic session there a couple of years ago.

If you want to get away from it all then take a walk over to the Temple. Nestled in a copse of trees in the festival site you’ll see at least a couple of weddings and it’s a lovely place to stop and just take it all in. Gaelic choir Trosg will perform there over the weekend and according to reports, their past performance in the same venue was genuinely spin-tingling. Our congratulations of course go out to Bloodlines’ Jamie Coltart as he marries his fiancee Kirsty at the Temple shortly after Bloodlines performance on the Hothouse stage. We wish them all the very best for the future.

That’s just a potted version of what you’ll find at Bella, there’s much, much more, from perusing the flowers by Wild Gorse Studio to getting involved in the Verb Garden which is always a hive of discussion and debate (Remember to check out Bella Soup on Saturday).

Or you could just hide in your tent I suppose….

Belladrum 2017 will be held on the 3rd to the 5th of August.


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I've always loved music and spent my late teens and early twenties playing guitar in various bands on Lewis and Aberdeen. Other than playing in some truly terrifying pubs in Aberdeen not much came of it and life became focused on family and having a 'proper' job. Inverness Gigs is an outlet for me to quell my inner frustrated musician and the caliber of local acts has even inspired me to take my own music more seriously again. Who knows, one day I might venture back on stage under the fierce scrutiny of an Inverness Gigs reviewer! You can contact Toby direct at Toby@Igi.gs