Spectacular Scottish festivals
From the Edinburgh International Festival and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, to its unforgettable island festivals – music is at the very heart of Scotland. Whether it’s the stirring sound of traditional bagpipes, or the thumping beat of headline acts at a rock festival, the nation is the home of world-famous music events.
Discover Scotland’s unique music scene
For a truly memorable experience, head to one of Scotland’s unique music festivals. There’s always a party in this northern nation, whether its celebrating Hogmanay, or the Edinburgh International Festival. Music has long been a part of Scotland’s heritage, from its famous bagpipes, to its Celtic heart and rock soul. It hosts diverse and dynamic festivals all year round, including ones held in unforgettable locations, such as the magical Kelburn Garden Party in the grounds of a painted 13th century castle and the Tiree Music Festival on a tiny unspoilt Hebridean island. So pack your bag, grab your ticket and prepare to hear some tunes…
Stand-out Scottish festivals
Edinburgh International Festival
Edinburgh is synonymous with its world-famous festival in August, which hosts performances from the classical world, as well as opera, traditional and contemporary music. Running alongside it is the Edinburgh Fringe festival, where you can catch more cutting-edge musical acts as well as theatre and comedy.
Every January and February, Glasgow comes alive to the sound of Celtic music, thanks to Celtic Connections, where more than 2000 artists come from all over the world and perform in hundreds of shows across the city. There are concerts, ceilidhs, exhibitions and workshops.
Replacing T in the Park, TRNSMT has fast become a must-do Scottish music festival, with fans coming from all over the country to party over three days in July. Held at Glasgow Green, headliners include a mix of British indie, rock and pop, such as Paolo Nutini, Years & Years, Stormzy and the Stereophonics.
The pick of Scotland’s festival scene
6 uniquely Scottish music experiences
Music is part of Scotland’s soul and as well as the headline events, the nation is home to many unique musical experiences. From its legendary Hogmanay celebrations which kick off the New Year to the Piping Live! festival, here are some ideas how to party all year round…
Nobody celebrates New Year like the Scots, with their annual Hogmanay parties. In Edinburgh, there’s a parade, street party, ceilidh and concert.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Famous all over the world, the sight and sounds of the The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade every August, is unforgettable.
Uniquely Scottish, Burns Night takes place on January 25, when the life of the nation’s favourite poet is celebrated over Burns Suppers. Expect bagpipes, haggis, songs and poems – and lots of whisky.
Up Helly Aa
This fire festival has to be seen to be believed. Up Helly Aa, which takes place in Shetland in January, involves a torchlit procession of 1000 costumed men who set fire to a replica Viking ship, then proceed to have a giant party. The largest event is in Lerwick.
There’s nothing more Scottish than the sound of bagpipes and Piping Live! celebrates the sound of the nation over a week-long festival in Glasgow in August. Pipers range from traditional to contemporary.
Hebridean Celtic Festival
Another unique event is the Hebridean Celtic Festival, which takes place on the island of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, in July and is one of Scotland’s flagship festivals.