Do you know what kind of entertainment you like, but don’t know 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, including music, theatre, dance, art and comedy festivals.
StAnza Poetry Festival
9 – 12 March 2023, St Andrews
StAnza is back for another year with lots of performances, workshops, discussions, gigs and screenings that are taking place during this vibrant festival. UK poets appearing at the festival will be joined by international poets from countries including Germany, Ireland, Estonia, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Glasgow International Comedy Festival
15 March – 2 April 2023
The Aberdeen Comedy Festival is here to make you laugh. Returning once again with some of the best comedians and acts, join some of the loudest laughers and funniest hecklers to watch the likes of David O’Doherty, Jack Dee, Daniel Sloss, Hal Cruttenden, Daliso Chaponda and Milton Jones, to name a few.
Hippodrome Silent Film Festival
22 – 26 March 2023, Bo’ness
The Hippodrome Silent Film Festival is Scotland’s first and only festival of silent film with live music. Featuring exceptional screenings, commissions, workshops, community events and touring, the festival sees a range of cinema-goers, music lovers, and industry professionals come together as an international community to enjoy the extraordinary feats of cinema.
Wigtown Book Festival
30 March – 2 April 2023, Dumfries & Galloway
2 events, 1 weekend. Calling all bookworms, head along to the Wigtown Book Festival for a weekend of family-friendly reading, literature and poetry events. Big DoG and Hooked are joining together to bring some of the nation’s favourite children’s authors and illustrators for a weekend of interactive events, workshops and family fun.
Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival
27 – 30 April 2023, Hawick
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!
28 – 30 April 2023, Kirriemuir
Gather around to celebrate Scottish-born musician Bon Scott with this eclectic festival. Frontman of iconic rock band, AC/DC, Scott was born in Forfar and grew up in Kirriemuir, just outside of Dundee. Although having lived a short life, Scott and the AC/DC crew contributed to an immense rock music genre and even now, 43 years after his death, his music and presence lives on for many more to enjoy.
Aye Write, Glasgow Book Festival
18 – 27 May 2023, Glasgow
This year’s Aye Write will feature more than 120 events showcasing a range of established and emerging writing talent. Get your tickets for these lively discussions and debates involving 175 authors from Scotland and around the world, taking place across both the Mitchell Library and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
Get your tickets for Aye Write now
Perth Festival of the Arts
19 – 28 May 2023, Perth
Join in another arts-packed festival with Perth Festival of the Arts this May. Get ready for a range of music, talks, exhibitions and more that invite you to delve into the colourful world of arts & culture. Join Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, listen in to the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, or spend An Evening with Richard E Grant, to name a few.
Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival
20 – 28 May 2023, Dumfries & Galloway
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.
27 – 29 May 2023, Dumfries & Galloway
Scotland’s premier arts and crafts open studios event sees over 90 artists and makers open their doors across the south west of Scotland. 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.
Borders Book Festival
15 – 18 June 2023, Scottish Borders
Get ready for four fabulous days of talks, comedy, live music, food & drink, and more at the Borders Book Festival. Taking place in venues and nooks and crannies across the region, book worms and enthusiasts will be in their element as they delve into a world of new reads and scriptures.
East Neuk Festival
29 June – 2 July 2023, Fife
Head to Fife for the jam packed East Neuk Festival. Celebrating music in all its forms, come together this weekend to meet other like-minded people and to find your new favourite song. Tune into concerts, quartets and more.
12 – 15 July 2023, Stornoway
A festival that has grown to be a popular favourite in the Scottish calendar, get ready for HebCelt to return in 2023 and feature local superstars Peat and Diesel and festival favourites Skerryvore who have joined Scottish duo The Proclaimers as part of the headliner roster.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
4 – 28 August 2023
A festival that needs little to no introduction, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is one of Scotland’s most globally renowned events and sees visitors, performers and audiences from across the world descend on the capital for a month of incredible arts and culture.
Edinburgh International Festival
4 – 27 August 2023, Edinburgh
Running alongside the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Edinburgh International Festival has been bringing world-class arts to the capital since 1947. The programme will feature leading international dance, theatre, music and opera companies.
7 – 18 Sept 2023, East Lothian
Taking inspiration from historic architecture and the surrounding beautiful landscapes, the Lammermuir Festival is an intricate way to experience great music-making. Bringing together the finest musicians with local people and visitors to celebrate music in towns and villages it’s a great choice of festival to explore.
Shetland Wool Week
23 September – 1 October 2023
A world-renowned festival which celebrates Britain’s most northerly native sheep, Shetland Wool Week is a unique event. Taking place across the stunning Scottish island, join in the extensive range of exhibitions, classes and events, covering many different subjects, including weaving, spinning, dyeing, Fair Isle and lace knitting and more.
Findhorn Bay Festival
TBC September 2023, Moray Firth
This coastal festival looks out across the Moray Firth with a ten-day offering of arts and culture, showcasing artists of national and international renown with a programme of events taking place in unexpected spaces and scenic locations.
Seall Summer Programme
October – December 2023, Skye and Raasay
with outdoor events running across Skye and Raasay. The festival also hosts a programme of events running throughout winter from October – December.
Royal National Mòd
13 – 21 October 2023, Paisley
Paisley is set to welcome Scotland’s annual celebration of Gaelic culture in 2023 with the area hosting the Mòd’s week-long programme of music, drama, Highland dance, literature and sport.
Aberdeen Comedy Festival
TBC October 2023
Let the country’s talent tickle you with laughter at Aberdeen Comedy Festival. The event boasts a line-up of gut-busting comedians who grace the granite city for over a week of laughs, stand-up, humour and more. Previous years have seen big names such as legendary David O’Doherty, dead pan master of satire Jack Dee, Netflix sensation Daniel Sloss, Britain’s Got Talent winner Daliso Chaponda and the glorious fast, funny, and absurd Milton Jones.
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