There were just too many festivals to fit in our last issue, so here’s the overspill of the bountiful Scottish festival chalice. The August Edinburgh Festivals will have a whole entire issue of SNACK to themselves so we’ve focused elsewhere for the moment. Autumn and winter festivals? Let’s get to summer and then we’ll talk. Cheers to that, and drink up part two of our festival guide.
STAG & DAGGER
29th April, Edinburgh; 30th April, Glasgow
Scotland’s original and biggest multi-venue festival is back (and no animals were harmed in the making. Get it, stag and dagger? No?). With a focus on both local and international upcoming talent, it’s a great festival for those stuck in a music rut, looking to find the next band to be awestruck by. Do not be deterred by the multi-venue format: all venues are both within walking distance and well-covered, so no need to worry about drowning on your way from gig to gig in the inevitable April showers.
Peaness and Crystal Castles’ Alice Glass are obvious line-up highlights. SNACK favourites abound this year at Stag & Dagger: Glasgow rock outfit her.picture will be performing, along with No Windows, whose EP Fishboy impressed us with its eclectic experimentalism.
Expect dreamy lyricism from Fright Years, and Midnight Ambulance will be on hand to deliver their trademark balance of soft and brooding. Not forgetting Majesty Palm, whose single ‘Self Control’ we described with ‘self-reflection has never sounded so shimmering or infectious’. But we’re equally excited for those on the line-up we’re yet to discover.
The queen herself, Lady Leshurr, will be gracing Glasgow with her presence and we’re excited to be re-acquainted with SNACK 30 cover stars Swim School.
If you can’t hack the train ride between Glasgow and Edinburgh, there are plenty of acts playing both days so you lucky folk won’t have to miss out, and the East/West divide will not grow deeper.
Royal Highland Showgrounds
25th till 27th August
Here’s to more connections. We’re pleased to see Connect come back for another year, and with the line-up, it’s almost as though they’ve been scanning the pages of SNACK for prospective picks, because our tastes are aligning pretty closely. We see you, Connect!
Primal Scream have popped up in yet another line-up, and we worry that they may be a bit knackered when it comes to the end of August. Any excuse to see Free Love again is a good one. The same goes for our girl TAAHLIAH (we encourage you to listen to her ‘I LIKE YOU A LOT’ mix on Soundcloud – you’re welcome). Biig Piig sold out her King Tut’s gig in March, so those who didn’t manage to get a ticket (myself included) are going to be buzzing that she’s coming back for more. Collab/supergroup of the moment, boygenius, head up the Sunday night – gloomy girls rule the world.
The whole weekend is entirely solid: David Holmes, Franz Ferdinand, Confidence Man, Young Fathers, Róisín Murphy, Friendly Fires, Eclair Fifi, Arab Strap, Public Service Broadcasting, Beth Orton, Daniel Avery… The list goes on.
They’re also expanding their camping area, so you can bring your own tent and won’t have to come and go from the city. The more bougie among us have the option to splash a little more cash for pre-pitched boutique tents, plus there’s a spot for live-in vehicles.
JUPITER ARTLAND: LINDSEY MENDICK
Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh
Jupiter Artland has some news! Their fabulous weekend festival is now going to be biennial (i.e. occurring every 2 years). But don’t get too down in the dumps: they’ve still got a very special event lined up for August. For one night and one night only, Lindsey Mendick, multifaceted artistic visionary and Jupiter Artland’s resident artist for 2023, is doing a takeover. We’re not quite sure what she has up her sleeve yet, but it’s definitely a date to keep free. You don’t want to be the chump who missed it.
Scone Palace, Perth
11th till 13th August
If at Otherlands festival 2023 everything is not as it seems, it’s because it’s supposed to be that way. This year’s theme promises bigger and better, with an eclectic line-up that solidifies it as a baby festival (it’s turning two years old this year!) that’s in it for the long haul. Resisting the urge to specialise in any particular genre of music, the line-up boasts both live and electronic music artists, with some SNACK favourites sprinkled in.
Piquing our interest this year is of course Vlure, the black-beret-wearing Glasgow five-piece who always deliver on live performances and excellent outfits. We’re looking forward to ‘boogieing with the devil’ with the one and only BEMZ, whose new EP, Nova’s Dad, just dropped and is well worth a listen, or 12. Plus, all you techno heads out there will be interested to know that the festival is partnering with Boiler Room. Speaking of which, Skin on Skin will be performing, and if his Boiler Room x AVA Festival set is anything to go off, there’s going to be some serious skin on skin contact – dancing, I mean.
What a perfect segue into introducing everyone’s favourite dance-pop duo, NIMMO. They promise feel-good energy and timeless queer excellence.
As a boutique festival, there are various ways you can avoid getting down and dirty (a trademark of British festivals in particular). Retreat into their various wellness offerings and you might even come back from the festival feeling healthier than when you went in (which is not something that can be said for most festivals).
Equally, if you’re not bothered by the salubrious stretching of the mind and body, no one will tell the downward dog police. While away the weekend dancing to music, chuckling at comedians, partaking in the spilling of arts, music, and creative industry tea at the panels and talks, and sample some of the excellent food instead (or as well).
Various Locations, Glasgow
18th till 20th August
There’s a new kid in town (everybody loves you, so don’t let them down). The Eagles sang it, and Core. Festival is living it. Dedicated to ‘heavy’ music, with shows from more than 30 bands of metal, punk, and hardcore persuasion. The first wave of acts joining the festival include San Francisco’s Deafheaven, Oklahoma city’s Chat Pile, and UK’s very own Rolo Tomassi. Mathcore crew Frontierer will ‘bring the sonic punishment’ (their words, not ours) with the help of Cumgirl8, Deijuvhs, and others. Scottish acts include Pïss Bäth (charming), Moni Jitchell (what a name), Party Cannon, and more. Stay tuned for further line-up announcements.
Tramway and The Hidden Gardens
29th till 30th September
Cryptic, Glasgow’s award-winning arts house, has been forging international connections through cutting-edge audiovisual art for three decades, and Sonica Surge are throwing them a party for their honourable service in blowing people’s minds. In classic Sonica fashion, they’re hosting a series of experimental audiovisual artworks and events, plus Cryptic commissions that bask in local talent. They’re also partnering with Glasgow’s Goethe-Institut, showcasing German AV artists. There’s another birthday too: The Hidden Gardens has reached its twenties, and what says entering into adulthood like playful outdoor musical performances and maybe a little over-indulgence? The full programme will be announced in June, and we’re sure it’ll be a belter.
DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY ARTS FESTIVAL
20th till 28th May
Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival has a noble mission: to bring innovative performing arts experiences to those in the region’s most rural areas.
With a specific focus on engaging people of all creeds, there’s something for everyone, from grans to weans. A Play, A Pie and A Pint are showing the new comedy by Grant O’Rourke, Leopards Ate My Face, promising parodied paranoia. A show about reptiles and the relationship between dress, performance, and place you say? Well, that’s got Oceanallover all over it. The other-worldly arts company promises to have ‘the scales fall from your eyes’ with their production of The Scales of the World, which sounds both enticing and terrifying. To top it off, Pop-up Opera are showing bite-sized (30-minute) versions of Die Fledermaus and Eugene Onegin, which might just be the most cultured way to spend your lunch break ever.
12th till 13th May
Oh hello, biggest electronic music festival in Scotland’s North East. Cultivate’s summer edition is here and it’s on the beach (well, beach adjacent), which is still a bit risky, but worth it if the pagan sunshine gods of old are into dirty bleep bloop bops. Hannah Laing, hailed as ‘Scottish superstar in the making’, will be performing, so you’re in luck if you didn’t manage to snatch tickets to her sold-out tour. Queen TAAHLIAH is a busy bee this festival season and will be found blessing the Cultivate audience with her beats. Plus Edinburgh’s Franck and Aberdeen’s very own t e s t p r e s s will be bringing killer rap edits.
GLASGOW ZINE FESTIVAL
8th till 9th July
Glasgow Zine Festival is celebrating 10 years of DIY culture and creativity, zines, community art and heritage. As (in our humble opinion as print-media enthusiasts) one of the best events of the year, the festival will aptly follow the theme of: TEN YEARS OF DIY JOY! There will be talks and workshops, a zine fair featuring makers from across the UK, and an exhibition showcasing ephemera from zine fests from across the world, both contemporary and historic. Confirmed speakers and workshops include Symeon Brown (Get Rich or Lie Trying), queer folklore storytelling with the Stories of Scotland podcast, anthotype printing with A+E Collective, a drag king workshop with Dorian T. Fisk of Shut Up and King Productions, family life drawing with Isobel Neviazsky, a pop culture and social theory talk from the ever-popular Dr Gemma Flynn, plus an alt-text as poetry workshop and zine making with international artist Soofiya. All the good stuff, and can you believe there’s more to be announced? Glasgow Zine Library, you are spoiling us.
CENTRAL SCOTLAND DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL
Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling
2nd till 6th November
Scotland’s only dedicated documentary film festival is back this November. We don’t know if you’re aware, but Stirling is actually the birthplace of the ‘father of documentary’ John Grierson, which is quite the flex and makes it an apt venue for the festivities. This year, without the chokehold of Covid restrictions, it’ll be back to business, and we can’t wait for them to announce the various events, workshops, and (of course) films they’ll have cooked up for us this year. They are currently open for film submissions, so godspeed, creative documentary and non-fiction moviemakers!