THE Mercury Prize is one of the most coveted awards in British music, recognising the 12 best albums of the year.

The 2023 shortlist was announced yesterday and with half of the shortlist on the lineup for Connect Festival this August, music lovers have the chance to see performances from acclaimed musicians over the course of one weekend in Edinburgh.

The Connect lineup features a number of first-time Mercury nominees including Saturday headliner Fred again.., who has been nominated for his third album ‘Actual Life 3’ and RAYE for her debut album ‘My 21st Century Blues’ after rising to Number 1 with her single ‘Escapism’ earlier this year. Olivia Dean and Jockstrap have also bagged their Mercury Prize shortlist debut and can be seen performing at Connect Festival next month.

Returning Mercury Prize nominees on the Connect lineup include Young Father’s who won the award in 2014 and have secured another nomination with their fourth album ‘Heavy Heavy’ and Loyle Carner with album ‘Hugo’ who is joint headliner with boygenius on Sunday of Connect.

With at least one Mercury Prize nominee taking to the Connect stage on each day of the festival, Edinburgh Royal Highland Showgrounds is the place to be on the last weekend in August.

In addition to fantastic music, festival-goers can expect top-quality food featuring some of the best local traders thanks to Neighbourgood Market, along with Chef Barry Bryson who will bring his sell-out concept menu – Barry Fish and Barry Field – to the Chef’s Table. For those looking for something more zen, the Rest & Be Thankful wellness programme is returning this year, offering attendees a space to rejuvenate with workshops including Soul Water Sauna, breath work, sound healing and yoga.

More information + tickets here.