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Fantastic arts and culture events in 2017

Fantastic arts and culture events in 2017

Do you know what kind of entertainment you like, but not where to go and see it? 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.

If laughter is the best medicine…

…then you might like Glasgow Live International Comedy Festival from 9 – 26 March

A close-up of comedian Jimmy Carr holding a festival programme.

Jimmy Carr, Glasgow Comedy Festival. Image © Steve Ullathorne

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 Jimmy Carr, Susan Calman, Bridget Christie and Richard Herring at Glasgow Live 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:

If music is your food of love…

…then you might like St Magnus International Festival in Kirkwall from 16 – 21 June

Performers at St Magnus Cathderal.

St Magnus Festival. Image © Leslie Burgher

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! In the year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 the festival will recognise the 900th anniversary of the death of St Magnus, whom the festival and Kirkwall’s cathedral are named after. There will be performances at St Magnus International Festival from the Edinburgh Quartet, Gildas Quartet, Trondheim Soloists and, in a festival first, 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 StAnza Poetry Festival in St Andrews from 1 – 5 March

Looking over to people paddling on a beach, with houses and the ruins of St Andrews Cathedral in the background.

St Andrews

StAnza is returning for its 20th year and aiming higher than ever before with its main theme; Heights of Poetry. Explore the hills and mountains through verse and learn how poetry can reach new heights at some of the performances, workshops, discussions, gigs and screening 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 France, Iceland, South Africa, the USA and Australia.

Prose in various forms can be celebrated this year in Scotland, so here are a few more literary events to peruse:

If you’re a film fanatic…

…then you might like Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival in Hawick from 2 – 6 March

Looking down over an audience to a discussion panel.

Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, image © Patrick Rafferty

Based at the Heart of Hawick, which is the festival’s central venue, Alchemy is an international festival of experimental film. Be immersed in short and feature-length screenings of films on the theme of the natural world. The 2017 festival will screen over 120 films, including 24 world premieres, 12 moving image installations, a film-walk and more.

For more film fun you should check out:

If you’re looking for more drama in your life…

…then you might like Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival from 26 May – 4 June

The interior of a sandstone church with arches flanking the isle, and a vaulted ceiling.

Crichton Memorial Church in Dumfries is one of the festival venues.

Covering a range of performance arts, including dance, music, literature, film and art, Scotland’s largest rural multi-arts festival isn’t only for theatre lovers, but fans of all things thespian will certainly find plenty to tickle their fancy here. The full programme for Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival will be released in March.

For dramatic entertainment featuring up and coming talent pick one of these:

If dance stirs your soul…

…then you might like Edinburgh International Festival from 4 – 28 August

Needing little by way of introduction, the Edinburgh International Festival is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, alongside the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Hosting some of the world’s leading dance, theatre, music and opera companies, the programme is released on 15 March.

Two male dancers perform to a crowd.

Aberdeen International Youth Festival. Image © GMotion Design / Graeme Macdonald, all rights reserved.

And if that’s got your feet tapping, then these will too:

If the visual arts are alluring…

…then you might like Spring Fling in Dumfries & Galloway from 27 – 29 May

A bright former church is adorned with paintings, with a table of art supplies in the foreground.

Julie Dumbarton’s Studio, Langholm. Image © Spring Fling / Colin Hattersley, all rights reserved.

Scotland’s premier arts and crafts open studios event sees 93 artists and makers open their doors across the south west of Scotland in 2017. Pop in to have a nosy and find out about how the artists work and what inspires them. There are themed routes that you can follow in your own time, and even a Spring Fling tour bus that you can book, so you can sit back and enjoy the ride.

For more artistic endeavours head to:

If you want to get creative…

…then you might like Colonsay Festival of Spring from 1 – 21 May

A close-up of corncrake.

Corncrake, Oronsay RSPB reserve, Argyll. Image © RSPB, all rights reserved.

Combining art and nature, this festival celebrates the wonderful island of Colonsay with an array of events. At 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 willow weaving and wool dyeing.

You can try out all kinds of activities at festival workshops at the following events too:

Not found what you’re looking for? Then search for more cultural events or head over to the iKnow Community to find out what events and festivals people are recommending.

Been to something great? Then let us know on Facebook or by using #ScotSpirit on Instagram or Twitter.

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Miriam Brand-Spencer

Miriam likes walking her dog, BBC Radio 4, living in Scotland and promoting it with VisitScotland!

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