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Your favourite festivals

VisitScotlandNikkiVisitScotlandNikki Administrator, VisitScotland Staff
If you could recommend just one Scottish event or festival to a visitor, what would it be and why?

I really enjoy reading a scary crime story - especially if it's set in Scotland - so I'd recommend to other readers Bloody Scotland, Scotland's crime writing festival, which has seen a number of big names from Martina Cole to Ian Rankin, Linwood Barclay to Val McDermid. It's held in Stirling every September and has book readings, discussions, dinners and even an annual writers' football match!

What would you choose?
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Comments

  • VisitScotlandAmyVisitScotlandAmy Administrator
    Last year I went to Gentlemen of the Road in Aviemore and it was great. It's headlined by Mumford and Sons but also included lots of other great bands, and is of course set in stunning scenery.

    I think it's only held every couple of years, but worth keeping your eye out for next summer!
  • travelswithakilttravelswithakilt VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭
    I love the West End Festival in Glasgow in June as it's just down the road for me and brings a terrific atmosphere. There's a no bad one in Edinburgh in August too that seems to get the odd visitor?
    Scotland travel blogger and writer with a wee bit of photography and video thrown in. Love nothing more than exploring my home country and have a particular leaning towards the outdoors, history and our national drink.

    You can also find me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Tumblr.
  • VisitScotlandNikkiVisitScotlandNikki Administrator, VisitScotland Staff
    Indeed @travelswithakilt - Edinburgh does have a few (thousand) good events over the summer. But it still manages to surprise me - I didn't know until recently that there is also an Edinburgh International Tango Festival! It's on this weekend from 27 to 30 May!
  • travelswithakilttravelswithakilt VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭
    @VisitScotlandNikki that's a new one on me! Not much use at the dancing but sounds like one to keep an eye out for this weekend! :-)
    Scotland travel blogger and writer with a wee bit of photography and video thrown in. Love nothing more than exploring my home country and have a particular leaning towards the outdoors, history and our national drink.

    You can also find me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Tumblr.
  • VisitScotlandAlisonVisitScotlandAlison Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    It's the Montrose Music Festival this weekend 27/28/29 May with a lot of events happening in the town at various venues. Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra headlining this year. Check out www.montrosemusicfestival.co.uk   And on 7 August Bryan Adams is appearing on the Montrose East Links! 
  • VisitScotlandNikkiVisitScotlandNikki Administrator, VisitScotland Staff
    edited May 2016
    What about the Mountain Bike World Cup? It's a great one to attend - even if you're not a mountain biker yourself, it's a great spectator event!

    Check out this video and our Mountain Bike World Cup blog for all the details!


  • VisitScotlandAlisonVisitScotlandAlison Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Going tomorrow for the day - an early start from Arbroath but it's worth the drive.  Hoping to see the Coo-visor when we're there.
  • VisitScotlandMarinaVisitScotlandMarina Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Ayrshire has some good festivals too - Burnsfest, Boswell Book Festival, Viking Festival, Septembayr and Tamfest to name a few!! And for the foodies, we have festivals in Largs and Ballantrae! Yum!!
  • Foodie_ExplorersFoodie_Explorers Member ✭✭
    Ayrshire has some good festivals too - Burnsfest, Boswell Book Festival, Viking Festival, Septembayr and Tamfest to name a few!! And for the foodies, we have festivals in Largs and Ballantrae! Yum!!
    I need to get down to Ayrshire more. Used to go all the time and these sound just right for me!
    Foodie Explorers | Food | Travel | Fun 
  • HammyHammy Member ✭✭
    The Edinburgh Short Film Festival every November is excellent and their programme always offers something extraordinary!
  • LeodhasachLeodhasach Member ✭✭
    Belladrum Tartan Heart festival near Beauly is probably my favourite festival anywhere and the lineup this year is as good as any they've had in the past. Headliners include The Darkness and Madness this year, but it's already sold out so if you've not bought a ticket yet...

    The atmosphere is usually pretty laid back with a very good mix of genres along with a fairly mixed group of people that attend. 

    Groove seems to have risen from the ashes of Rock Ness, it's at the same location at Dores but they've gone with a more dancey feel to the lineup. I haven't been but I have friends who went last year and they were raving (ha!) about it afterwards.

    For music reviews and previews in Inverness and the Highlands: http://invernessgigs.co.uk/
    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@leodhasach
  • SilverfoxSilverfox Member
    Double header at the weekend of Riverside Rock in Jedburgh   and Borders Book Festival in Melrose. Both great events, although very different. Dirty Harry were excellent at Riverside Rock, brilliant family friendly festival. 
  • JoolshornetJoolshornet Member ✭✭
    Eden  Festival this year was fantastic - my first visit to this one and definitely top of the list.  Gardens, glens, dance tents and arenas and lots of shopping opportunities - what a choice!  2 of the stages were powered by the audience riding bicycles - the faster they cycled, the louder the music.  The drive-in movie theatre with classic cars to while away the time chatting to fellow festival goers was a brilliant idea.  Mr Motivator did our Saturday morning Aerobics session on the main stage, then mingled with the crowd afterwards - brilliant!  Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show was the highlight for me - what a set, the tent was packed with dancing festie-goes and that was the last night!  Oh and not forgetting the Lost Disco which a "flashing lights" dancefloor under a tree canopy which sheltered you from the occasional shower.  What a weekend, must get early bird tickets for next year!
  • JessMacJessMac Member ✭✭
    Last year I went to Gentlemen of the Road in Aviemore and it was great. It's headlined by Mumford and Sons but also included lots of other great bands, and is of course set in stunning scenery.

    I think it's only held every couple of years, but worth keeping your eye out for next summer!
    I went to Gentlemen of the Road last year too and it was awesome! Such a unique event in Scotland. Fingers crossed they come back!! 
  • Kirst1709Kirst1709 Member ✭✭
    This thread has been very helpful so far - some great and unusual suggestions to consider for next year. 

    Last year I went to FyneFest, which was a nice intimate, laid back one - great for families and ale/beer lovers!

    I'm trying to tick off Scottish islands and festivals simultaneously this year though...Gigha has been and gone (the world's smallest I think!), Tiree Music Festival coming up this month, and Jura at the end of September. I wonder if anyone has any top tips or feedback on any of these? Or indeed, any other island festivals they'd recommend? 
  • ShetlandRachelShetlandRachel Member ✭✭
    Wool Week in Shetland is a very popular festival that takes place between the 24th of September and the 2nd of October. It is a must for keen knitters as well as those who want to learn a new skill! 
  • ElaineRElaineR VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭✭
    edited July 2016
    The Scottish Borders Walking Festival is a great way to explore different areas of this beautiful region as a different town plays host each year - this year it's the turn of Coldstream
  • IknowluxuryIknowluxury Member ✭✭
    Hidden Door festival in Edinburgh - a real treat for all the visual art lovers. 
  • VisitScotlandEstherVisitScotlandEsther Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hidden Door festival in Edinburgh - a real treat for all the visual art lovers. 
    Hidden Door is a good one! A group of artists take over a labyrinthine abandoned building, take a room each and create a mini exhibition or installation. Each one is a surprise.

    Here's a taste from my 2015 visit:







    Then there's music, film, plays, poetry... The festival takes place at the end of May.
  • ElaineRElaineR VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭✭
    @VisitScotlandNikki A new festival held for the first time this year (mainly for kids, but big kids were welcome too), was the Fairy Tale Festival held in the lovely setting of The Haining Estate in Selkirk in the Scottish Borders.

    Fairy tales old and new were brought to life by the Border Youth Theatre. Children attending the festival dressed as their favourite fairytale characters and enjoyed story-telling and puppet shows amongst other activities on the festival programme. A novel idea for a festival!


    http://www.thehaining.co.uk/documents/fairy-tale-festival-2016-online-programme.pdf
  • setrasetra Member
    Findhorn Bay Festival for sure! 21-26 September at Forres, Kinloss, Brodie & Findhorn in Moray





  • VisitScotlandMarinaVisitScotlandMarina Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    edited October 2016
    If anyone is down Ayrshire way over the next few days (6th-8th), the Ayrshire Real Ale Festival is on at Troon! Lots of ales and beers to sample and usually some good entertainment too! So leave the car at home and go enjoy!
  • Franky_RoRoFranky_RoRo Member ✭✭
    My favorite festival is Kelburn Garden Party! Can you beat having a graffiti castle in the background?! Wow wow wow. 
  • SuleskerrySuleskerry Member ✭✭
    We have a huge variety of festivals in Orkney, there is always something going on. Music festivals feature jazz, blues, rock, folk, classical and ceilidh dancing. We also have a wine festival, storytelling, nature, science and new to the festival calendar this year the Orkney Garden Festival in June. One of my favourites has to be the Orkney Folk Festival which is at the end of May and features both local and visiting artists.
  • ailsaailsa Member ✭✭
    I totally recommend Doune the Rabbit Hole. A great wee festival which has grown over the last few years. Brilliant atmosphere, lots on for families and loads of great bands - ones you might know and some you might not, but you'll be glad you found them!
  • VisitScotlandAmandaVisitScotlandAmanda Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    edited February 23
    This is a new one I've just seen announced - Carnival 56 on 12 + 13 of August 2017 in Dundee.

    The line up looks pretty good so far - Mark Ronson and Rudimental headlining and Basement Jaxx, Hot Chip + more performing. 


    Kiwi gal, relocated to Scotland. 
    Instagram
  • VisitScotlandAlisonVisitScotlandAlison Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Montrose Music Festival gets bigger and better every year.  Deacon Blue and the Beach Boys are headlining this year 26-28 May 2017.  It's an  outdoor event on the Links at Montrose and the town is jumping!  www.montrosemusicfestival.co.uk/

  • VisitScotlandHeatherVisitScotlandHeather Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    I think a highland games is a must-do at least once in a lifetime!


  • RachelEWoodsRachelEWoods Member ✭✭
    edited August 7
    Agreed @VisitScotlandHeather ! In fact last weekend I recently went to the local highland games at the rugby playing fields in North Berwick which is held annually on the 5th of August. This was the first time I had attended with my dad and older sister in a very long time so for me it was a special outing.  :)

    As we approached the rugby fields where the games were held, it was amazing that you could hear the huge swell of sound of the various bagpipe bands that were gathered.



    It was very busy when we got there but it was fantastic to see that a lot of people were in attendance to support the games.

    One thing I love about the games is that there is something for everyone to see, whether it's going into the craft tent, watching the highland dancing competition, seeing a display of Scottish birds of prey, enjoying food and drink, playing some fair games and of course watching the highland athletes and pipe bands compete against one another.

    Highlights for me were the tug of war, caber tossing, hammer throwing, weight throwing and tossing the North Berwick stone!

    Here are some images I took on the day:



    For those of you who have never been to a highland games, I'd say it is definitely worth experiencing one at least once. If anything, it's inspired me to take up caber tossing as it looks awesome. Though my friends and my family know for a fact it will take me years to build up  any strength to lift a caber off the ground, unlike these guys.  :D


  • VisitScotlandLiamVisitScotlandLiam Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Gotta be for me, the late T In The Park  :( :(  Always a brilliant weekend filled with top class bands and music acts!  I didn't go to its replacement, TRNSMT but I watched a couple of videos, my friends band played there and they were top class!
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