Scotland is a pretty great place for LGBT folk. The country became the 17th in the world to legalise same-sex marriage last year, was recently named number one in Europe for LGBTI rights, and is on the whole very warm and accepting – something we demonstrated to the world at the opening of last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
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This summer, why not come and celebrate Pride with the Scots in Glasgow or Edinburgh? Both cities are hosting colourful parades, live music and other fun events celebrating their LGBT communities and culture. Open to all, they’re a great excuse for a weekend away, or maybe even a fun start to a longer trip in Scotland!
Photo courtesy of Pride Scotia
When is it?
As always, Pride Edinburgh gets started with its annual march, which sees a colourful parade travel through the city’s beautiful Old Town. After that, it’s off to Potterow in Bristo Square for music on the Main Stage from 1.30pm to 7pm: more than a dozen acts are featured on the bill, including Pop Idol alumnus Michelle McManus and Glasgow/Edinburgh boyband Rewind.
Over the road in Teviot Row, you can see Edinburgh’s finest and fiercest lip-sync for their lives in Battle of the Drag Queens at 3pm. For something a little more traditional, join in the Pride Ceilidh with the kilted Gay Gordons dancers from 4-6pm. There’ll also be Youth and Trans spaces with special events, a Pride ‘Fringe’ featuring an intimate performance of stage show Thief and more. Check prideedinburgh.org.uk for times and details of all events.
It’s free! VIP wristbands, which include a drink, something to eat, discounts and more, are also available for £20.
What else is on that weekend?
Loads! See (and more importantly, sample) an edible map of Edinburgh at the city’s first ever Cake Fest at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, or catch Tom Harlow’s free musical cabaret, Disney Made Me Do It, at Woodland Creatures on Leith Walk, both on Sunday 21 June.
It’s the first weekend of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, so head to cinemas such as the Filmhouse and the Dominion to discover a host of films from around the world. Highlights include Dominican drama Sand Dollars and Last Days in the Desert, starring Ewan McGregor as Jesus Christ.
The Leith Festival also comes to a close this weekend. Check out comedy from Keara Murphy on Saturday, or witness the festival’s very own Tattoo, featuring music and dance from Scotland, Ireland, Poland and beyond, on Sunday.
Photo courtesy of Pride Glasgow / Manic Dante Photography via Flickr
When is it?
22 + 23 August 2015
Glasgow’s Pride festivities kick off at Glasgow Green on Saturday 22 August with the traditional parade, a fun family affair that always attracts a great crowd. This year’s theme is happiness, so wear bright colours and a smile! 🙂
Over the weekend, the main stage (also on Glasgow Green) will keep the crowds happy with great live music, comedy and more. Saturday’s line-up includes boyband Union J and singer/actress Heather Peace, star of the Glasgow-set TV series Lip Service. On Sunday, Katrina – who rose to Eurovision glory with the Waves in 1997 – will take to the stage, before Scottish superstars Texas close the show with old and new favourites from their latest album, Texas 25.
Around Glasgow Green you’ll find bars and catering, a community expo, marketplace and a funfair, including lots of rides and attractions for kids. There’ll also be a Youth Space outwith the arena, offering free activities for people aged 13-25. Check pride.scot for more information or to book tickets.
How much does it cost?
£8 for a day ticket or £10 for the weekend (earlybird price). VIP passes are available for £55 and include a drink, access to the exclusive VIP area, meet and greets with certain acts and more.
What else is on that weekend?
Glasgow’s museums, galleries and venues offer a brilliant variety of shows and exhibitions all year round. On the 22 and 23 August, check out Comic Art: Millarworld and Beyond at Glasgow Print Studio, an homage to some of the world of comics’ most influential artists, including Mark Millar (KickAss, Kingsman: Secret Service) and Dave Gibbons (Watchmen, Judge Dredd).
Go on a walking tour of Glasgow’s music scene to discover the history of the city’s most famous venues, such as King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut or the Barrowlands. Hear Georgian music with a ghoulish edge from the zany Australians of the Spooky Men’s Choral, performing at Cottiers Theatre on Sunday 23, or catch the theatre adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at King’s Theatre (18 – 22 August).
For the over 18s, you’ll find fun LGBT bars and clubs in both Glasgow and Edinburgh that are sure to be packed during the cities’ Pride weekends. Check out our LGBT section for more info, and be sure to browse visitscotland.com for ideas on more things to see and do while you’re in Scotland, from walking and cycling to island-hopping, tours and more.