Do you know what kind of entertainment you like, but not where to go and see it in Scotland? Then you’re in the right place! Scotland is the perfect stage for all kinds of events, so here’s a round-up of just some of what you can experience this year, including music, theatre, dance, art and comedy festivals.
Please note that due to the current COVID-19 advice, any large events are subject to cancellation. If you are planning to visit in 2020, please check the event website for the latest information.
If laughter is the best medicine…
*COVID-19 Update: Due to the current situation, all shows part of Glasgow’s International Comedy Festival have been postponed. Ticket holders will be contacted as soon as possible regarding new dates for these rescheduled shows, please check the event website for the latest information.
…then you might like the Glasgow International Comedy Festival from 12 – 29 March.
Glasgow crowds are known to be amongst the best, when comedians can get them on side, that is! So join some of the loudest laughers and funniest hecklers to watch the likes of Alexei Sayle, Bridget Christie and Richard Herring at the Glasgow International Comedy Festival. It’s the largest of its kind in Europe.
If you can’t make it, fear not, the funnies keep coming at the following festivals:
- That’s Fife Comedy Festival 3 – 28 April
- Clyde Comedy Festival 7 June
- Edinburgh Festival Fringe 7 – 31 August
- Aberdeen Comedy Festival 3 – 13 October
If music is your food of love…
…then you might like the St Magnus International Festival in Kirkwall from 19 – 25 June.
*COVID-19 Update: Due to the ongoing and rapidly changing Covid-19 situation, the sale of tickets for the festival has been paused. For more information please visit https://www.stmagnusfestival.com/
Orkney in midsummer is a magical place full of everlasting light – so throw in a high-calibre arts festival and you’re definitely on to a winner. Previously there have been performances at the St Magnus International Festival from the Edinburgh Quartet, Gildas Quartet, Trondheim Soloists and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. Though it’s a musical festival at its heart, St Magnus also includes drama, dance, literature and the visual arts.
If that isn’t quite what you’re looking for then perhaps one of these music events, which range from rock to folk, might strike a chord:
If you’re a poetic soul…
…then you might like the StAnza Poetry Festival in St Andrews from 4 – 8 March.
StAnza is returning for its 21st year and will be exploring the themes of ‘Borderlines’ and ‘The Self’. Cross borders through verse and explore identity and character in poetry at some of the performances, workshops, discussions, gigs and screenings that are taking place during this vibrant festival. UK poets appearing at this year’s festival will be joined by international poets from countries including Germany, Ireland, Estonia, the Netherlands and Belgium.
It’s not just poetry – here are literary events taking place across the country where you can enjoy prose in various forms:
- Borders Book Festival in Melrose, 11 – 14 June
- Wigtown Book Festival in Dumfries & Galloway, 25 September – 4 October
If you’re a film fanatic…
…then you might like the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival in Hawick from 30 April – 4 May.
Based at the Heart of Hawick, which is the festival’s central venue, Alchemy is an international festival of experimental film. Be immersed in a diverse range of short and feature-length screenings – expect world premieres, film art installations and… the unexpected!
For more film fun you should check out:
- Glasgow Film Festival 26 February – 8 March
- Hippodrome Silent Film Festival in Bo’ness, October 2020 (Dates TBC)
- Edinburgh International Film Festival (Dates TBC)
If you’re looking for more drama in your life…
…then you might like the Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival from 22 – 31 May.
Covering a range of high quality performance arts, including dance, theatre, music, comedy and spoken word, Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, Scotland’s largest rural multi-arts festival, isn’t only for theatre lovers – in fact fans of all things thespian will find plenty to tickle their fancy here.
For dramatic entertainment featuring up and coming talent pick one of these:
- Puppet Animation Festival various locations, 28 March – 18 April
- Perth Festival of the Arts, 21 – 30 May
- Garioch Theatre Festival in Inverurie, 23 June – 9 July
If dance stirs your soul…
…then you might like the Edinburgh International Festival from 7 – 31 August.
Needing little by way of introduction, the Edinburgh International Festival has been bringing world-class arts to the capital since 1947. The programme will be released on 14 March and feature leading international dance, theatre, music and opera companies.
And if that’s got your feet tapping, then these will too:
- Ullapool Dance Festival 12 – 15 March
- Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival Oban, 30 April – 3 May
If the visual arts are alluring…
…then you might like Spring Fling in Dumfries & Galloway from 23 – 25 May.
Scotland’s premier arts and crafts open studios event sees over 90 artists and makers open their doors across the south west of Scotland in 2020. Pop in to have a nosy and discover how the artists work and what inspires them. Also look out for the Spring Fling Fringe, which accompanies the event with a programme of music and arts performances.
For more artistic endeavours head to:
- Glasgow Festival of Visual Arts, 24 April – 10 May
- Dundee Design Festival, 21 – 28 May
- Pittenweem Arts Festival in Fife, 1 – 8 August
If you want to get creative…
…then you might like the Colonsay Festival of Spring from 27 April – 17 May.
Combining art and nature, this festival celebrates the wonderful island of Colonsay with an array of events. At the Colonsay Festival of Spring you can join wildlife walks with the RSPB, attend a foraging workshop, listen to evening talks and try crafts such as tapestry and Colonsay wool dyeing.
You can try out all kinds of activities at festival workshops at the following events too:
- Edinburgh International Magic Festival, 27 December – 5 Jan 2020
- Shetland Wool Week 26 September – 4 October