Scottish Festivals Guide –March 2021

HippFest Silent Film Festival

17th till 21st March

Mary Pickford in Sparrows, 1926 –Photo courtesy Mary Pickford Foundation

2021 sees HippFest make a triumphant return for its 10th anniversary celebration, with events going online for the first time. Running from Wednesday 17th till Sunday 21st March, the programme features a cocktail of curated favourites alongside obscure gems from the silent era of cinema, accompanied by music from stellar international talents.

The new virtual format could attract a larger audience than those usually able to attend Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema in person, and should entice those curious about silent film to take a punt.

Visit HippFest online


Glasgow Short Film Festival

22nd till 28th March

The trailer for the 14th Glasgow Short Film Festival, directed by James Price and starring Jonathan Watson, is designed to emphasise one key point: this is not the Glasgow Film Festival. Like a red-haired royal, the Glasgow Short Film Festival has struck out on its own after outgrowing its sibling relationship. It now wants to be loved on its own merits.


It was 2019 when GSFF and GFF separated, the former now too successful to be an undercard. That was unfortunate timing: two years later, GSFF still has not had its debutante ball, due to COVID restrictions. Nonetheless, the quality of the short programme remains arguably the highest in Scotland.

This year marquee names include Palme d’Or short winner I am Afraid to Forget Your Face, by Egyptian director Sameh Alaa, and Letter to My Mother by leading Iranian filmmaker Amina Maher, who first came to prominence as a child star in Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten.

Visit the GSFF website


Southside Fringe Festival – Plugged In & Wired

26th March

One of Scotland’s best loved community festivals, Southside Fringe is launching a virtual event, Plugged In & Wired. Featuring 50 top local acts, headliners include Viv Gee, Becci Wallace, and Cloud of Starlings. The ‘alternative’ Southside Fringe will include comedy events, live music, cabaret, literature and so much more.

Everybody is invited and you can participate from the safety and comfort of your own home. A bright light in an otherwise dark time for our shared love of culture.

Check out the Southside Fringe website for full details


Pop Mutations – Online Live Stream

20th March


The team behind some of Scotland’s most celebrated and cherished venues and vegan bars, Pop Mutations are bringing a digital festival direct to your screen. Now in their second year, the in-house booking team behind The Flying Duck, Mono, and Stereo will be hosting live streams featuring an eclectic roster of international artists, bands, and DJs. Beyond that, the festival will be providing talks, visual art, and yoga.

Performers include Shoot Your Shot, Fuse, Bobby Kakouris, The Orielles (DJ) and Al White, as well as Cassandra Jenkins and plenty more besides. Blow off the cobwebs and join in the fun.

For more information visit the Pop Mutations website


Live in Leith

20th March, 27th March, and 3rd April

Photo Credit: Rory Barnes

Where there is a will, there is a way, and this is particularly true of the much-beleaguered creative arts industry in Scotland. Through sheer determination (and a grant from Creative Scotland), Leith Theatre has produced a mini-series of digital gigs, helping to provide income for professionals and staff involved. Presented by BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway over three consecutive Saturdays, Live in Leith will be showcasing a selection of up-and-coming Scottish musicians and bands.

The line-up over the three days includes Retro Video Club, Nova Scotia The Truth, Ransom FA, The Ninth Wave, and Lucia & The Best Boys. Aiming to provide a platform for fresh new music in Scotland, the three nights are sure to be a unique experience and certainly worth the £11 of goodwill from your pocket.

For more information on Leith Theatre or Live in Leith visit the Leith Theatre Trust website


Out Of Place

Till 6th April

Paisley Arts Centre and Renfrewshire Leisure are offering a cracking programme of music, film, audio performance, visual arts, creative workshops, and masterclasses. There are loads of activities to choose from and both live and previous events are all accessible.

Events include the Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA) virtual takeover, audio plays, historical Paisley, live music, and Artists in Lockdown, as well as masterclasses and craft activities for the whole family to take part in.

Ren TV’s Stuck in the House back catalogue of virtual gigs is pretty impressive and well worth a dig through while you’re there or thereabouts. You’ll find a great collection of recorded at home gigs from Man of the Minch, Zoe Bestel, Scarlett Randle, Hamish Hawk, Randolph’s Leap, Heir of the Cursed, Pictish Trail, Mt. Doubt, Campfires in Winter, Pocket Knife, Carla J. Easton, Annie Booth… the list goes on.

paisley.is


Potluck Festival 2021

26th till 28 March

Potluck is an annual theatre festival from Tablespoon Theatre Company, bringing a pick n mix of new performance to life. COVID has pushed performances out of live venues and in this year’s festival Tablespoon theatre aims to embrace this. Potluck 2021 consists of six digital performance that each, in their own way, explore and examine this new online format. From live audience interaction to digital installation, this festival showcases what performance in an online space can look like.

Visit their website to find out more



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