UHI Verb Garden Spoken Word Stage provocative and entertaining at Belladrum 2014

Monty Hall makes a spot off at Belladrum's Verb Garden
Monty Hall makes a spot off at Belladrum's Verb Garden

Festival-goers wanting to tweak their synapses and rest their musical ears will find plenty to provoke, excite and entertain them in the UHI (University of Highlands & Islands) Verb Garden spoken word stage at Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival this year (August 8th and 9th).

A range of talks, topical debates, artist interviews and fun demonstrations have been programmed to ensure there is something for all ages over the course of the festival.

To embrace this year’s theme of wildlife, TV presenter, explorer and marine biologist, Monty Halls is making an appearance, while music artistes are also being interviewed.

They include Billy Bragg, no stranger to outspokenness; Adrian Edmondson on his experiences with Masterchef; and Grandmaster Flash on a career in hip hop. Meanwhile Scots media personality Lesley Riddoch will talk about her latest book as will four young Scottish authors under the auspices of the Scottish Book Trust.

Tommy Sheridan, co-convenor of the left-wing Solidarity Party, who needs little introduction to Scots will be in conversation with Sir Maxwell Macleod.

A series of four discussions chaired by BBC Radio Scotland presenter Gary Robertson cover topics such as: the recent killing of birds of prey on the Black Isle; the independence debate; weight issues associated with the fashion industry; and climate change.

Meanwhile sessions brought to the stage by Moniack Mhor Writers’ centre feature Scots crime writer Christopher Brookmyre and Katie Morag creator Mairi Hedderwick.

As part of the festival’s commitment to young musicians, and in keeping with UHI’s music degree courses, there will be an industry panel for unsigned artists with guidance from Peter Noble (UHI Popular Music Performance lecturer) along with other industry professionals including; Michael Lambert (from recently established music management company ‘A Modern Way’) and Ally McCrae (radio DJ best known for presenting the BBC Introducing show on BBC Radio 1).

The focus will be on how new artists can develop their audience, manage their digital strategy, start to build an effective team, better monetise their output and attract interest from industry partners.

Festival-goers who would like to find out more about the university and its courses can visit the University of the Highlands and Islands trailer, which will be located next to the Verb Garden.

To find out more visit www.tartanheartfestival.co.uk