University to set campus at Belladrum

The University of the Highlands and Islands will be setting up campus at the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival again this year as one of the event’s main sponsors. Festival-goers are invited to find out more about their local university by dropping into its trailer in the Walled Garden or getting involved in the activities students and staff have organised around the Bella site.

At the university trailer, both kids and adults can explore their creative sides by helping to make a dynamic art installation using kinetic energy, friction and resistance. Guided by artist Adrian Eaton, the masterpiece will be produced with monster vehicles, remote control cars and paint.

Ruairidh Greumach, drummer of ‘electrad’ live act Niteworks, will also be based at the trailer where he will be running free rhythmic hand percussion workshops in English and Gaelic. University psychologists will be in attendance too, with clever tricks to show how drugs and alcohol can affect people’s mood and reactions.

Festival-goers are also invited to pop into the trailer to find out about University of the Highlands and Islands’ courses, including those which still have places for September 2013 entry.

The university’s presence isn’t limited to the Walled Garden, however - there will be lots of events and activities around the Belladrum site too.

Bands made up of students and graduates from the university’s applied music degree will be opening the Seedlings Stage on both days of the festival. Taghta, a traditional group who met while studying in Benbecula, perform at 12:15pm on Friday and FaR, a five-piece with funk, rock, reggae and soul influences, take to the stage from 12:15pm on Saturday.

The university’s psychology and health programme director, Wendy Maltinsky, will give an insight into a topic close to many parents’ hearts on Saturday, with an interactive talk on ‘how the teenage brain works’. Festival-goers should head to the Verb Garden between 4:30pm and 5:30pm to hear the informal lecture.

There will also be a University of the Highlands and Islands’ Gaelic treasure hunt. After collecting a blank answer sheet from the university’s trailer in the Walled Garden, kids are challenged to fill it out with the Gaelic words hidden around the festival site. Children who get all the words will win a prize!

Revellers can look out for the university’s ‘science wizards’ as well who will be conducting fun, interactive experiments from their mobile lab over the course of the event.

For festival-goers who enjoy photography, the university is also offering a chance to win two tickets for Belladrum 2014 through a photo competition. To be in with a chance, attendees have to upload their best photo from this year’s festival to the University of the Highlands and Islands’ Facebook page.

Speaking about the university’s presence at the event, marketing manager Margaret Antonson said: “Belladrum is one of the Highland and Islands’ biggest events so it’s a great opportunity for us to showcase some of the courses and research projects that are going on at our campuses across the region. Our staff and students will give people an interactive and engaging insight into who we are and what we offer.”

Festival organiser Joe Gibbs said: “We are excited that the University of the Highlands and Islands is back on board with Bella this year and we urge each and every festival‑goer to visit its trailer in the Walled Garden or take part in some of the other university activities going on around the site. From free drumming workshops, fun experiments and student bands, the University of the Highlands and Islands has a great range of activities for all. The university’s presence is also a great opportunity for the large number of school leavers who attend Bella to find out more about the fantastic education opportunities that are available right on their doorstep.”

Belladrum takes place on 2 and 3 August at Beauly, near Inverness. Artists appearing will include James, Twin Atlantic, Seasick Steve, Alabama 3, and Noisettes. For more information, visit



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