EDINBURGH’S clubbing scene has been in varying states of decay for many years now, but for almost a decade one venue has consistently stood out against the city’s prevailing fondness for interchangeable deep house nights. Sneaky Pete’s is a 100-capacity sweatbox in the Cowgate area that in its eight years of existence has thrived as both a club and gig venue under the stewardship of booker Nick Stewart.

Under Stewart, the club has forged relationships with a host of the UK and Europe’s best DJs and producers – Midland is due to play there next month and the likes of Daniel Avery, Matthew Dear, Optimo and the LuckyMe collective are multiple returnees and fully fledged friends of the club. Refreshingly though, Stewart speaks with as much enthusiasm about Sneaky’s in-house nights as he does about the very highest profile guests the club has welcomed over the years.

“It’s more important to be something than to buy something,” is his way of putting it, and from the way he talks about residents-focused nights such as Souljam and Wasabi Disco, you can tell he really means it.

“Chris Wasabi (of the monthly Wasabi Disco night) is so good that he should really be known as a world-class touring DJ,” Stewart says. “But he’s just a cool guy who lives in Leith and who plays at Sneakys, and that’s really what we’re about. He maybe gets three guests in a year, but most of the time there’s no need because he’s so good himself. There are some excellent promoters in Edinburgh right now but a lot of the scene is about going to see a big-name DJ where tickets will cost up to 30 pounds, and that’s never been ‘us’. The heart of what we do is having consistently great music in the club that comes from the club.”

The latest reward for Stewart and his colleagues’ industry has been the invitation to curate a stage at this weekend’s Electric Fields festival at the spectacular Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries and Galloway. It’s an opportunity they’ve grabbed with both hands, tapping the likes of Erol Alkan, Joy Orbison, Factory Floor, Eclair Fifi, Denis Sulta and Dixon Avenue Basement Jams to play their “little tent”.

“I think they got us to do this because they wanted to get a club involved that’s credible but also fun, which is probably the most concise way of summing up what we are,” he says. “Factory Floor playing live is a particular treat for us, because we had them booked about five years ago but they had to cancel at quite short notice because they were finding it very hard to complete their debut album. That album eventually came out a full two years later, so the high hopes we had of rescheduling that show were sadly in vain. They’ve just released another album though and it’s absolutely incredible, so the timing is really good for us finally getting them to play.”

“Erol Alkan is someone we’re really excited about having too. He’s a friend of the club these days, which came about through Daniel Avery recommending us to him. I used to go to Erol’s club Trash in London in the early 2000s and my idea was always that if we were really going to make it as a club then one day maybe we would be able to have Erol Alkan play. He’s actually played three times for us now though, and is coming back for a fourth time soon, so that’s a pretty great feeling for us.”

“Joy Orbison I think also really appreciates Sneaky Pete’s and what we stand for, for the atmosphere of the place and so on. He’s played two shows for us before, both of which were instant sell-outs, and he’ll have had to turn down other big Scottish festivals to come and play for us at Electric Fields, so that’s pretty amazing too. Eclair Fifi is another longtime friend of ours and another amazing DJ, and then there’s Denis Sulta, who I think in the next year or so will be making the jump up to Jackmaster levels of success.”

Having a club with taste like this has doubtless kept more than a few people sane in Edinburgh over the past eight years, and it’s genuine cause for celebration that such a place has survived and thrived in Edinburgh during a time when positivity as regards the city’s nightlife has been in such short supply. “Credible but fun” might sound like a simple enough credo, but it takes something special to carry it off like Sneaky Pete’s does.

Sneaky Pete’s can be found at 73 Cowgate. Electric Fields Festival is on tomorrow and Saturday (Aug 26 and 27) at Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries and Galloway. Weekend tickets £94.50, day tickets £55. www.electricfieldsfestival.com