This year our great events and festivals are conquering the online world to bring to you the best virtual and digital events, so you don’t have to miss out.
Throughout the year Scotland’s cities, towns and villages host eclectic and welcoming events of all genres, interests and themes that everyone can get involved in and enjoy. From adrenaline pumping sporting events, and captivating storytelling pop-ups, to toe-tapping music festivals, and educational talks and workshops, there’s plenty to explore.
Here are just some we know you’ll love, but keep checking back for more additions.
- Glasgow Distillery Online Whisky Tasting; Every Thursday and 25 January; 7 – 8:30pm. Tingle your tastebuds with this special virtual tasting to celebrate burns night with 5 premium whiskies from the Glasgow distillery company. From the comfort of your own home, tune into the WebEx session where you can discover all the secrets behind the first whisky distillery in Glasgow in over 100 years.
- Burns Big Night In; 23 January; 7 – 8:30pm. Featuring music from talisk, a cocktail masterclass from Glenlivet, exclusive insight into the life of Robert Burns from history experts and much more is waiting for you and your family as you cosy in this Burns Night. Book your tickets now.
- Burns Night Celebration; 23 January; 7 – 9pm. What better way to celebrate Burns Night than with music, song and dance, complete with contributions from Pete Clark, Roddy Johnston, Seonaid Lynn and Ewan Galloway. The event will be hosted on zoom and is free, but you will need to register in advance.
- Burns & Beyond; 23 – 25 January. Returning for 2021, johnnie walker and Burns & Beyond are here to celebrate the life works of Scotland’s national bard, offering a series of free online events presenting art and culture from some of Scotland’s leading performers and musicians. This year will see the themes of love, hope and kindness portrayed through live music and poetry from lucky Middlemass’ Tavern, a special online performance of ae fond kiss from KT Tunstall and more.
- Macsween Burns Supper; 25 January; 7pm. Edinburgh-based haggis company, Macsween, is aiming to bring (possibly) the largest virtual burns supper to homes across the globe. Teaming up with Scottish comedy actor Karen Dunbar, and Dr. Rachel Barrie, master blender for Benriach Distillery, the event will be aired Facebook and is free so any one can join in the fun.
- Big Burns Supper; 25 January; 7pm. Tune in to see an incredible line up of artists and personalities who will no doubt provide an eclectic night of entertainment for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. The event will be free to view on Facebook and YouTube.
- World’s Biggest Burns; 25 January, 7pm. SBH Scotland, Grant’s Haggis and Endura have joined forces to bring the world together for one very exciting virtual Burns Night! Tune in for an entertaining evening featuring award-winning comedians and performers. This event is free and available for everyone to enjoy. Stay tuned for more details!
- Burns Night Ceilidh with the Nest Collective; 25 January; 8 – 9:30pm. Dust off those dancing shoes with a free live ceilidh, tune in on YouTube for a night dressed up in tartan and Tam o’Shanters, as well as whisky flowing and floorboards shaking, all in celebration of Scotland’s national bard.
Arts & Culture
- Gather around the virtual ‘campfire’ with Marjolein Robertson, a comedian, storyteller and Edinburgh Festival veteran. Join her on Monday, Thursday and Friday evenings as she live streams Shetland folktales and shares hilarious stories about her experiences performing.
- Join in with the Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s online series featuring poetry, storytelling, music and children’s workshops.
- Settle down for a cosy night in with Scottish Opera, who have a growing collection of films available to watch for free on their website. From romantic comedy with a game-show twist Cosi fan tutte, to gripping workplace drama The Narcissistic Fish, there’s something to suit all tastes. Streaming now.
- LGBTI+ Elders Social Dance Club; 7 Feb – 7 Mar – Dust off your dancing shoes, charge your glasses and get ready for ONLINE DANCE CLUB! We might not be able to meet in person but we can use the magic of technology to connect, chat and boogie.
- Wigtown Book Festival – This event is every book enthusiast’s dream, with hundreds of like-minded people, as well as authors, poets, literary geniuses and more. Delve into the captivating online festival which covered two main themes of Resilience and Connection. As well as live online speaker events, the 2020 festival will feature its usual mix of art exhibitions, film events, music and performance.
- The Tartan Noir Show – get sucked into the world of crime writing with Theresa Talbot in these gripping and intense weekly podcasts. Exploring the very best of the genre, the podcasts will feature some incredible works from a variety of renowned names, such as Val McDermid, Denise Mina, Ian Rankin and many more.
- Doors Open Days – Join in with Scotland’s biggest free festival of architecture which will be bring a whole host of tours, lectures, DIY learning events and more.
- Tune in to the digital concert of Nicola Benedetti performing Bruch’s Violin Concerto with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra recorded at Perth Concert Hall. Head over to their YouTube Channel, or Facebook, to watch.
- Bloody Scotland – Scotland’s crime writing festival is back and is bringing to you an online programme of various events, including their biggest ever panel of 27 authors across 5 continents.
- StAnza – 6-14 March 2021. A hybrid festival, largely digital, with a few live exhibitions and socially distanced outdoor events. The festival will include readings, round table events, interactive poetry installations and more to celebrate Scotland’s magnificent culture and artistic talent.
- The Scottish Chamber Orchestra have recorded their planned programme of concerts in the Queens Hall in Edinburgh and Perth Concert Hall. From Bach to Beethoven and Mozart to Milhaud, a feast of wonderful music will is available to view through the Orchestra’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
- The Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s first ever digital season offers ten glorious concerts film live in the RSNO’s Glasgow studio. Featuring acclaimed artists such as superstar violinist Midori, the series is available on a pay per concert or subscription basis.
- Celtic Connections – 15 January – 2 February 2021. An annual favourite in the Scottish events calendar, Celtic Connections is back for 2021 and is set to take on the online world. Top quality performances and concerts will be able to view every night across the 19 days, featuring some of the biggest names in the Scottish music scene.
Film & TV
- Glasgow Film Festival – 24 February – 7 March 2021. An annual Scottish favourite, the Glasgow Film Festival is back in 2021 with a wide-ranging programme that celebrates every corner of world cinema and provides a fantastic showcase for the best of Scottish film. Stay tuned for the full programme release in December.
If you fancy getting into the great outdoors to explore some of Scotland’s stunning scenery and learn about how the land has been shaped by the elements over the millennia, why not get involved in the Scottish Geology Festival?
Explore more virtual and live streaming events of all genres and topics to keep you busy with The List.