Get set for Madness at Bella!

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Legendary ska band Madness are making their first appearance at the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival on August 4-6 next year in Beauly, Inverness-shire).

They will headline the main stage on the Saturday night, while cult glam rockers The Darkness top the Thursday night main stage bill at the event

Madness spent 214 weeks on the UK singles charts in the eighties and have had 15 UK top ten singles. The band have won two Ivor Novello awards.

The Darkness’s 2003 debut album ‘Permission to Land’ went quadruple platinum and they are currently on their fourth album.

Promoter of 16,500 capacity event Joe Gibbs said: “What a party we’re going to have. It’ll be ‘Don’t let the Bella’s end’ when those consummate live entertainers The Darkness play on Thursday night and on Madness Saturday, the festival will become one big ‘House of Fun.’ This year is shaping up to be another ‘I was there’ moment for Bella fans.”

Also making a first appearance at the event is American alternative hip-hop group Arrested Development.

Billed for a return as Hothouse stage headliners are Belladrum favourites Alabama 3, while the Highlands’ own Rachel Sermanni makes a very welcome return to the Black Isle Brewery Grassroots Stage. And of course The Dangleberries will be there to keep the afternoon audience at the garden stage jiving.

Mercury nominated Scot C Duncan will be on the Bella bill for the first time, joined by returning Scottish Folk favourites Breabach & Tweed Ceilidh Band.

It will be first appearances from Ayrshire duo Bella and the Bear, who won best newcomer at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards, and Galloway sisters The Mermaids. Charlotte Brimner will be returning under her new moniker Be Charlotte along with The Dolly Parton Story who brought the house down in the Grassroots tent last year.

Now in its 13th year, the theme of the 2016 festival will be ‘Superstition.’

E-tickets to the event are on sale via the festival website at www.tartanheartfestival.co.uk and via www.skiddle.com. And printed tickets are available from the usual agents including: in Inverness – The Ironworks, Eden Court Theatre, Caffery’s and Hootananny’s; Kiltarlity – Post Office; Beauly – Morrison’s; Dingwall – Sweet Treats; Elgin – Sound & Vision; Aberdeen – Aberdeen Performing Arts; Edinburgh and Glasgow – TicketsScotland.

For the second year running, there will be an option to buy three day tickets to include a programme of artists on the main stage on the Thursday night, in addition to the traditional two day tickets. Campervan/caravan and electric hook-up tickets will also be available.

Thursday car parks and camping areas will be open from 0800 in 2016 are arenas at 12 noon in an effort to encourage patrons to arrive in a steadier flow throughout the day and to reduce traffic congestion. Arena opening times will also be brought forward for the Thursday and details will be released in due course.

When buying tickets on-line with Skiddle, Bella patrons are being given an opportunity to contribute to the Archie Foundation, a charity which is helping to improve hospital facilities in the Highlands.

Bella sold out in record time in January in 2015, and has sold out each of the last seven years, often months before the event so fans are urged to buy early to avoid disappointment. E-tickets are more customer-friendly and less easy to scam, but printed tickets are also be on sale via the usual retail outlets.

Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival takes place in the beautiful Highland surroundings of Belladrum Estate, near Beauly in Inverness-shire. The independent festival has built a reputation for its eclectic line-ups, its offbeat non-musical entertainments and its all-ages approach. The festival won a VisitScotland Thistle Award in 2009 and is a past winner of the Grassroots Festival Award at the UK Festival Awards, the festival industry’s ‘Oscars’.