When it comes to long summer days and warm evenings, we Brits love nothing more than a music festival. With some of the best musical acts on the scene, a fantastic atmosphere of friendship and fun, and great pals around you to enjoy it with, a festival is one of life’s greatest experiences – and summer is the perfect time for it.
If summer is the perfect time, where is the perfect place? Scotland’s combination of luscious scenery and slightly cooler summer temperatures makes for the ideal festival experience. With so many brilliant festivals to choose from, we’ve selected our favourites. Whether you’re looking for family fun or to let loose with your friends, here are CrossCountry’s picks for the best summer music festivals in Scotland.
Hosted in the gorgeous Scottish countryside, this Perthshire festival is unlike any other - undoubtedly one of the best music festivals Scotland has to offer. Otherlands prides itself on offering a multi-layered sensory experience, with not only great music but immersive art installations, comedy stages, workshops, and wellness classes available too. Otherlands’ taste in music is full of energy, previously hosting artists like Jamie XX, Biig Piig, and Tom Misch – so be sure to expect a party. There are plenty of options for enjoying Otherlands, too; you can go for a full weekend or just a day, and you have the option of camping in Perth’s glorious countryside or choosing a non-camping ticket if you prefer.
Getting to Otherlands Festival by train:
You can reach the festival by travelling to Perth. Take your local CrossCountry service to Dundee train station, and from there, you can hop on board a connecting service to Perth.
Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival
Tartan Heart Festival is a celebration of Scotland, so what better way to spend a Scottish summer weekend? Every July, Inverness hosts thousands of music fans flocking from far and wide to see musical acts like Bastille, Travis, and Scottish heartthrob Lewis Capaldi. With crowd-pleasing classics to sing along to with your friends and family, a weekend at Tartan Heart is never a disappointment. If you love the traditional festival vibe, camping tickets are available. If you like the more luxurious things in life, fret not – there are VIP and Glamping tickets to choose from, so you can sleep well before hitting the main stage.
Getting to Belladrum Tartan Heart by train:
You can get to Inverness by taking a CrossCountry train to Aberdeen station, followed by a connecting service to Inverness.
You may have heard of TRNSMT, as it is one of Scotland’s biggest music festivals. When T in the Park festival came to an end, TRNSMT stepped into its place to entertain the people of Glasgow each July. With past acts, including Sam Fender, Stormzy, George Ezra, and Wolf Alice, TRNSMT is a great festival for spotting your favourite chart-topping artists all in one place. This also makes it a great first festival for younger attendees, accompanied by parents of course. Standard tickets offer a classic festival experience where you can get busy dancing with your friends and enjoying the tunes. But why not opt for a VIP ticket, including perks like access to backstage areas, to get the experience of a lifetime?
Getting to TRNSMT Festival by train:
Hosted in Glasgow, you can easily reach TRNSMT by taking a CrossCountry train to Glasgow station.
Connect is a festival that rocks, with some of the greatest rock acts in the world playing there in previous years. From Scottish legends Primal Scream to the Beastie Boys and Self Esteem, Connect is well known for hosting electric performances from the UK’s favourite acts. But there’s more to it. Hosted in Edinburgh in August, Connect offers exclusive performances from some of Edinburgh Fringe’s top comedians, as well as showcasing innovative art installations and offering mini wellness retreats throughout the weekend. If you want a truly unique experience, take part in the Chef’s Table pop-up feast. Award winning chefs craft a fine dining experience, including a four-course meal and expertly chosen wine.
Getting to Connect Festival by train:
Held just outside of Edinburgh city centre, the best way to reach Connect Festival by train is to take a CrossCountry service to Edinburgh Waverley station, where you can find connecting bus and train links.
Arran Folk Festival
If you’re new to Scotland, or are simply trying to see more of it, the Arran Folk Festival is an ideal event to get you to the heart of Scottish folk history and culture. One of our favourites of Scotland’s summer festivals, it takes place on the gorgeous Isle of Arran, with musical and cultural events taking places in local venues across the island. With hosting split among plenty of local pubs, musical venues, and hotels, the Arran Folk Festival lends you the opportunity to see more of the Isle. As it is laid back in style, you can also spend time exploring the stunning natural landscapes, making it a holiday and festival all in one!
Getting to the Arran Folk Festival by train:
You may guess that the Isle of Arran involves taking a ferry across water, but you can complete most of your journey on a CrossCountry train to Glasgow Central station. From there, you can find connecting transport links.
If you’re planning to enjoy one of the best summer music festivals in Scotland, don’t forget to book an Advance ticket via our website or our Train Tickets app. You can also find information on how to get cheaper train tickets via our special offers page. If you need more information, you can contact us here.
The UK is bursting with fun activities. Whether you’re visiting one of the best historical places in the UK, the best forests in the UK, or the best cinemas in the UK, you can always travel by train. CrossCountry has services running up and down the country to ensure you can get to the places you need to be.
Written by Julia