Glasgow indie band Belle and Sebastian (Photo: Rachel Keenan)
Glasgow indie band Belle and Sebastian (Photo: Rachel Keenan)

Big names for this year’s Doune The Rabbit Hole festival

US hip-hop instigators Public Enemy (Radio) while award-winning, Mercury Music Prize nominated, award-winning performance poet, rapper, novelist and playwright Kate Tempest are coming to the Doune the Rabbit Hole festival.

This is the only chance for festival fans to see both headliners in Scotland this summer.

The headline acts join iconic Glasgow indie band Belle and Sebastian, provocative Moscow-based activist art collective Pussy Riot and much-loved Stornoway band Peat & Diesel. The family-friendly festival, which has grown to be one of Scotland’s biggest small festivals, takes place from 17-19 July at the Cardross Estate in Stirlingshire.

Also joining the lineup are Velvet Underground founding member John Cale, legendary punk band Buzzcocks and Black Books comedian and musician Bill Bailey. Hotly tipped and newly announced are Tide Lines (who are the first unsigned band to sell out Kelvingrove Bandstand) and South London Grime MC Nadia Rose (MOBO favourite and Stormzy’s cousin). They are joined by much loved Scottish bands such as Sacred Paws, Honeyblood, The Pastels, The Bluebells and BIS.

Glasgow indie band Belle and Sebastian (Photo: Rachel Keenan)

2020 marks the 30th anniversary of Public Enemy’s seminal third album Fear of a Black Planet. Expect a rebellious, unapologetic, anti-establishment performance that is part rally, part punk gig and part civil rights speech. The performance will see Chuck D, PE’s longtime turntablist DJ Lord, Jahi and S1W take classic Public Enemy songs back to their essential DJ-and-MC roots. Chuck D, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, has spent over 25 years delivering socio-political messages that give voice to those who have long been ignored, with few matching his musical and lyrical intensity, eloquence and depth.

A hugely gifted and multi-talented artist, Doune The Rabbit Hole also welcomes headliner Kate Tempest who won the Ted Hughes award for her album Brand New Ancients. Her third studio album The Book of Traps and Lessons was produced by Rick Rubin who helped popularise hip-hop, including Public Enemy, as co-founder of Def Jam Recordings with Russell Simmons. Kate Tempest released her new single Unholy Elixir from The Book of Traps and Lessons in January and her play Paradise will premiere at the National Theatre, London in June.

Festival director Jamie Murray said: ‘Our aim has been to create the most ambitious and progressive festival line up in Scotland and enable more music fans than ever to attend Doune the Rabbit Hole. We think we’re pretty close to that as we announce our final headliners; Kate Tempest and Public Enemy (Radio).

‘They join Belle & Sebastian alongside international acts including Russian activist collective Pussy Riot. The legendary John Cale will also appear alongside tuneful comedian Bill Bailey of Black Books fame, with politicised reggae from The Skints, and C-86 style indie pop from London’s Girl Ray amongst many others.

Moscow-based activist art collective Pussy Riot (Photo: Neil Krug)

‘We continue to celebrate Scottish homegrown talent with previous Scottish Album of the Year Award winners Sacred Paws alongside artists like Honeyblood, BIS, Rachel Sermanni and Stanley Odd. They are joined by Tidelines with their folk and celtic soul sound and Scottish trad acts; Elephant Sessions, Peat & Diesel, plus legendary 1980s band The Bluebells, and loads of other talent across a hugely varied line up.

‘Festival fans will note an amendment to the line-up. Despite our best efforts, we are very sorry to announce that due to a wider contractual issue beyond our control, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas will now not be performing at the festival. We have worked hard to add new and exciting acts to the bill in light of this news.

‘In 2019 we introduced Douniversity which was a great success, this year it will be returning curated by CommonWeal with talks from politicians, academics, activists and journalists. The programme is progressive and in line with our environmentally conscious festival ethos, we’ll be 100% single-use-plastic free on site this year.

‘Doune the Rabbit Hole is an inclusive and welcoming festival for all. We will continue to accommodate young festival fans; encouraging fun, adventure and imagination with a host of activities for the whole family including workshops and special events across the site.’

CommonWeal will be curating the 2020 Douniversity talks space. Talks will touch on topics like STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), social change, the climate and ecological crisis, Scottish culture, activism, LGBTQ+ and feminism. They will be joined by Transition Stirling, Extinction Rebellion Scotland and many others.

The 2020 festival will be brought to life by not only music, festival goers and activities but also many pop-up performances from the likes of Plantopia, Class Post, Team Ryan and Pyroceltica; as well as the 1.5 degrees LIVE and You Call That Radio podcasts on site. See the website for updates on these activities.

Scotland’s own Elephant Sessions

Sasan-Gasana (the rabbit pose in yoga), the festival’s yoga and wellness area will be curated by Edinburgh Community Yoga. This area will include yoga, massage and other wellness treatments – all free to festival-goers.

Doune the Rabbit Hole is one of the UK’s most family-friendly festivals. The festival welcomes Kidding Around Collective back again this year to curate the family field. Highlights include Story Squids, arts and crafts, free play, Doune-on-Sea, Mermaid Cafe mud kitchen and Bubbles vs Balloons, Seed heads and kite making workshops included with much more to be announced. The festival’s family camping area is quietly sited away from the hurly burly of late night events. Tickets are once again FREE for those who are 12 and under.

If that’s not enough to keep festival fans busy, workshops range from music to crafts and learning and include Aardman Animations, the creators of Wallace & Gromit, Woodcraft Folk, Transition Stirling, Wee Rebellion, Lowdef film, singing with Zoë Bestel and the Fierce Collective DJ workshops alongside so much more to be confirmed.

VIP festival glamping (yurts on the lawn of the Cardross Estate) is back for 2020. Luxury ticket add-ons such as lovely loos and showers are also available. See the website for details of festival facilities and add-ons.

Doune The Rabbit Hole is one of the only dog friendly festivals in Scotland and the country’s best independent food and drink purveyors will pitch up offering an assortment of delights to keep hunger at bay.

For ticket information and updates on Doune The Rabbit Hole 2020 visit