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Van Morrison to headline Belladrum next year - but event is sold-out.

By Margaret Chrystall

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Van Morrison is added as a headliner to Belladrum next year.
Van Morrison is added as a headliner to Belladrum next year.

AS well as securing 100 per cent of the names announced for Belladrum 2020, the festival postponed until next year has added more names – including the legendary Van Morrison.

Though tickets for the festival – now postponed to 2021 in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown – are sold out, Van Morrison has been announced for the final headliner slot. And there are possibilities of buying tickets through re-sale (see below).

Also joining the bill are Scottish rockers The Fratellis, popular traditional line-up Tide Lines and there’s the return of 80s and 90s Scottish indie heroes Goodbye Mr Mackenzie, among others.

Joining Nile Rodgers and Chic and Emeli Sande as Garden Stage headliners, is one of Northern Ireland’s finest-ever voices, Van Morrison.

In a decades-long career, the singer-songwriter has amassed a vast collection of awards to his name including a knighthood, a Brit Award, an OBE, an Ivor Novello, six Grammys, and an entry into The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Over the course of his career his has penned some of the most memorable songs of the 20tht century including the classic hits, Brown Eyed Girl, Moondance, Jackie Wilson Said and Gloria.

An artist who is a true legend in every sense of the word, say the organisers, Van’s debut at Belladrum is set to be a standout moment in the festival’s history.

Event producer Dougie Brown said: “We were absolutely devastated when we had to cancel Bella this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but are delighted that we have been able to re-book such an incredible line up of artists to appear at our delayed 17thh outing next summer.

“Securing another icon with Van Morrison as our final headliner is the icing on the cake.

“We cannot wait to welcome everyone back to what is sure to be the biggest party in Belladrum history next summer!”

In further line-up announcements, Scottish indie rockers The Fratellis will make their Belladrum debut.

Their debut album Costello Music released in 2006 led to a Brit Award for British breakthrough act and included the anthemic singles Chelsea Dagger and Henrietta.

The band will release their sixth album Half Drunk Under A Full Moon later this year.

Also newly-announced are Tide Lines, whose sound is a combination of Celtic soul, folk philosophy and big guitars with what organisers call the voice of a ’Gaelic angel’ in singer and chief songwriter Robert Robertson.

The band first emerged in the summer of 2016 with the release of their debut single, Far Side Of The World and have been an unstoppable force ever since.

Scottish cult rockers Goodbye Mr Mackenzie make their Belladrum debut.

The band reformed at the end of 2019 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their hit debut album Good Deeds & Dirty Rags which included the single The Rattler.

The band’s original line-up also featured a pre-Garbage Shirley Manson.

Favourites from years past are also part of next year’s line-up, including Shed Seven, The Magic Numbers, Dreadzone and recent Bella favourites Colonel Mustard & The Dijon Five.

Others to look out for are Passenger, electro Afro-funk newcomers Ibibio Sound Machine, The View frontman Kyle Falconer performing a solo set and Mànran.

Plus look out for BBC Music Sound Of 2016 nominee Billie Marten; North London buzz band Kawala; Caithness indie band Neon Waltz; Canadian contemporary folk group The East Pointers; The Hawkmen bring their brand of rhythm’n’blues, soul, and rock’n’roll to the festival; folk artist Beans On Toast and the winners of the 2019 Trad Awards Belhaven Bursary The Kinnaris Quintet.

Also joining the line-up are – Norwegian folk float-pop trio I See Rivers; Another Sky featuring the incredible voice of Catrin Vincent; folk punk act Black Water County; neo-trad trio Project Smok; producer Wuh-Oh; exciting young Scottish singer Luke La Volpe; the Highlands’ own Keir Gibson; and buzz artists Sam Johnson, Noisy and Jack Cullen.

Closing the Grassroots Stage on the Thursday night will be Rhythm n reel, showing off their new line-up.

Also appearing over the weekend are Highland singer-songwriter James Mackenzie; firm Bella favourites The Dangleberrries; Esperanza, the nine-piece ska collective from Glasgow; The Roov, who provided the soundtrack to our official 2019 after-movie; the Calum Macphail Trio, Tweed, Shiehallion, Journey North and – one for the younger family members – Fun Box.

More acts will also be announced over the coming months.

* Though tickets for 2021 are sold out, a monthly resale will take place on skiddle.com for any customers who are no longer able to attend the event and to provide a safe and secure way to sell those tickets to other customers.

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