Preview: Hydro Connect festival, Inveraray Castle, Argyll

They're the kings of the castle
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

"It's an amazing line-up – one of the best I've seen this summer," says Fyfe Dangerfield, lead singer of The Guillemots, who will play the Hydro Connect festival on its opening day. "It's definitely the best one we've been included on, and we've been at quite a few festivals already this summer." He admits to being particularly excited by the prospect of seeing Manic Street Preachers perform live.

Fields, beaches, parks and even airfields have played host to festivals in the UK this summer, but the stunning setting for Hydro Connect – in the grounds of a Scottish castle on the banks of a loch – surely eclipses all of these in rarity and beauty.

The boutique festival, now only in its second year, comes courtesy of Geoff Ellis, the man responsible for T in the Park, which perhaps goes some way to explaining the impressive array of talent, which most festivals would struggle to attract on only their second outing. The similarities between the two events, however, end with Ellis's involvement. In terms of its line-up, scenery and attractions – there are champagne, whiskey and oyster bars – Connect is T's more mature and astute sibling.

Seven stages with performances by Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, Kasabian, Sigur Ros, Glasvegas, Goldfrapp, Grinderman, Sparks, The Roots, Elbow, Camera Obscura, Mercury Rev, Spiritualized and Karl Bartos should certainly ensure that a diverse spectrum of tastes – from rock to hip-hop and electro – are sated.

The festival, which has adopted the Hydro prefix this year in reference to its partnership with Scottish Hydro Electric, a renewable energy company, offers the added incentive of appeasing even the most environmentally conscious festival goer as it's a carbon neutral event. All the food that will be on sale – oysters, mussels, salmon and venison – is sourced locally, and there are buses to the campsite from Glasgow airport and train station to encourage shared travel.

29 to 31 August www.connectmusicfestival.com

Comments