I’ve just returned from my first ever Scottish music festival and the tenth stop of the 100 Nights of Summer 2016 Tour. The Tartan Heart Festival in the Highlands hosted me for three wonderful days of music and fun. As always, you can see my favorite bits from the festival below.

The Beardyman Dream Team

Beardyman has assembled a top notch team of improvisers that puts together a completely different show every time they perform. Just an absolutely amazing act for a festival performance. I was especially partial to their on-the-spot creation of “Some Kind of Wizard” inspired by a fan.

Meet a Festival Fan: Kevin and Craig From Inverness

I shared a few laughs and a few drinks with these two brothers who told me that “The Darkness is our favorite band to see live.” They then proceeded to sing every word to every single song.

Favorite Festival Act: Tannara

So many great sets to choose from this weekend, but I’m going to go with the first artist I saw and the one that set the tone for Tartan Heart. Tannara is a traditional folk band that had my feet (and the rest of the Grassroots Tent) stomping.

Home, Sweet Scotland

I’m from Vermont, a fiercely independent Northern state which is as pretty as a postcard and is constantly being undermined by a much larger national government. It also rains nearly every day. What I’m trying to say is that I’m feeling very comfortable here in Scotland.

Make Flowers, Not War

Creative art pieces decorated the festival grounds of Tartan Heart and this tank blasting out a bouquet of flowers was my outstanding favorite.

The Highlands Police Steal the Show

Cops at the Show

Photo Credit: Highland & Islands Police Division Facebook

I missed this, but it was the buzz of the festival when two on-duty police officers working backstage ended up playing with band Rhythm ‘N Reel. Here’s the full story in the Daily Record.

Working On My Whisky Tasting Skills

It’s Scotland, which means Scottish whisky, and I was lucky enough to drop in on a tasting session from Tomatin. Between the story telling, the jokes, and the drinking, I did pick up on key tip for tasting: “A good rule is to hold the whisky in your mouth one second for each year.”

Poetry and Pints

When you live in a tent, you start to appreciate the finer things in life like sitting on a comfortable sofa which may explain why I found myself the Word Tent most mornings sipping coffee. One of the treats was listening to gifted poets read pretty words to me in that musical Scottish brogue.

Super Furry Animals @ The Main Stage

Boom! #festivalfireworks