Connect Festival 2022 revels in its eclecticism
With the most recent edition taking place in 2008, it felt safe to assume that Connect Festival wouldn’t be returning, so when DF Concerts announced its resurrection, fans were eager to find out if the event could live up to the lofty expectations set by the two previous events. With a keenly curated lineup and a nod to the more refined festival goer, the 2022 iteration went above and beyond what fans could have hoped for.
Joe Talbot of IDLES onstage at Connect 2022
With its resurrection, Connect moved 100 miles across Scotland, from the beautiful surrounds of Inverary Castle, on the banks of Loch Fyne, to the initially less picturesque Royal Highland Showground, on the very edge of Edinburgh Airport. However, once inside the festival grounds, the industrial exterior faded away, and the landscaping and above all the accessibility, of the venue provided a wonderful backdrop for three days of wonderful eclecticism.
The Unknown Pleasures dance stage at Connect 2022
With a focus on talent rather than trends, Connect has always been known for the diversity of its lineup. The 2022 cut featured stunning sets from Bristol punks IDLES, dance behemoths The Chemical Brothers, soundscape maestro Jon Hopkins, pop legend in the making Self Esteem, and the ambient / drone / punk stylings of Mogwai (who take the crown for the loudest act of the weekend, as well as one of the best). This truly was a festival for all tastes, and I doubt anyone left without a new genre or two to explore.
Self Esteem performs onstage at Connect 2022
As well as the headliners, Connect 2022 featured a host of superb emerging acts, with Walt Disco, Porij and TAAHLIAH in particular making us question just what it is they’re putting in the water these days in Glasgow. The sheer number of promising new bands and artists coming out the city right now is off the charts, and if this is the standard on offer, long may it continue.
Porij onstage at Connect 2022
The final word must go to Sunday night headliners The National. Their closing set was a masterclass in the emotive, devastating and uplifting power of music. Coming on the back of their surprise appearance on the festival’s smallest stage earlier in the day, Matt Berninger and company delivered the perfect end to an almost perfect weekend.
Matt Berninger of The National onstage at Connect 2022
Words: Lynne Thwaites / Thomas Jackson
Photos: Thomas Jackson