> Scottish Festivals Guide (Part 2) - SNACK: Music, film, arts and culture magazine for Scotland

Scottish Festivals Guide (Part 2)

As always, and thankfully it’s still the case given the state of arts & culture funding in Scotland, there are just too many Scottish festivals to fit in one wee SNACK mag, so here’s part 2 of our annual Festivals Guide (find Part 1 here). The August Edinburgh Festivals will have a whole issue devoted to them later in the year, so we’re concentrating our attention elsewhere for the moment. Our advice: get stuck in, keep supporting your favourites, and maybe take a chance on one or two festivals that you’ve never thought to before. You’ll be all the better for it, promise.


Various venues, Glasgow, 7th till 23rd June

Now in its tenth edition, Scotland’s biennial festival of contemporary art showcases a smorgasbord of work from homegrown and international new talent, including Delaine Le Bas, Tako Taal, and Enzo Camacho & Ami Lien. These are sited in a range of impressive venues including Glasgow Cathedral and the Mitchell Library, and include exhibitions, installations, talks, and performances.


Delaine Le Bas: Incipit Vita Nova. Here Begins The New Life/A New Life Is Beginning. Exhibition, Secession Wien, Vienna, 30.6.–3.9.2023


Various venues, Glasgow, & online Online from 1st May; in-person 3rd till 5th May 2024. Includes Glasgow Zine Fair, 4th & 5th May at CCA Theatre

You love zines, right? What a waste of a rhetorical question: of course you do! Where better to discover fresh reads and meet the awesome folk who created them than at Glasgow Zine Fest? With an impressive programme of events run by Glasgow Zine Library, from political discussions to making workshops, you can truly see, hear and feel why this festival gets more popular year on year.

Organisers and participants want to welcome you into their wholly inclusive and fascinating community, and who knows, you might even create something magical yourself. Some of the most interesting and beautiful things in one contributor to this guide’s wee world came from seeing the incredible work of zine makers. Glasgow Zine Fest operates on a pay-what-you-can (PWYC) sliding scale and includes some online events too – how’s THAT for thoughtful and accessible, eh?



Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, 1st till 3rd May

From humble beginnings in a nightclub basement, Wide Days is now hosted in the grandeur of the city’s Assembly Rooms on George Street, and is an unmissable fixture for networking, discussion, and learning for industry professionals and newcomers alike. Scotland’s annual music industry convention returns with its 15th edition, with conferences themed around four strands – Learn, Connect, Music, and Partners – all of which are aimed at encouraging cultural exchange and showcasing the best of new music talent.

‘Well, who are these talented people?’ I hear you cry – gies a sec and I’ll tell ye! From Canada we give you the fabulous Alias, who may or may not be the lovechild of Suede, Muse and T.Rex (yes, all three, he’s awesome!). Or you can take in some Scottish fare courtesy of Eyve, whose heavy hip-hop and deliciously daring lyrics will have even the bigwigs bopping their noggins. Obviously there are more than two acts to see, but why should we do all the work for you? Go check it out!



Various venues, Dumfries and Galloway, 23rd May till 2nd June

Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival brings world-class performing arts to residents and visitors in some of the region’s most rural areas. Don’t worry, you won’t need a map or a compass to find it, though – rural just means ‘no in the city’ for you young uns!

This year’s programme is spread over 11 days and comprises theatre, music, dance, comedy, and spoken word and marks its 45th year. Seeing in this special anniversary in style, the programme opens with an example of the rich cultural heritage and vibrant artistic performers of this area with The Galloway SangStreams, a unique choral and multimedia experience. Why are you still reading? Go buy tickets!


When Moutains Meet


Various venues throughout Glasgow and Edinburgh + online, 6th till 16th June

Spit It Out! spoil us with this 10-dayer festival, featuring an amazing range of events focusing on creativity and wellbeing. In its third consecutive year, themed around Joy, amongst the programme’s highlights are performance nights, community lunches, and exhibitions. There are also workshops throughout Glasgow and the project’s resident city of Edinburgh, as well as a range of online workshops.

Spit It Out! bills itself as a multimedia creative mental health arts festival, and it’s making waves in improving wellbeing and countering stigma through considered creative community activities. The folks at Spit It Out! are true pioneers of what community spirit really means; you’ll get a helluva welcome at every event and you’ll leave each one feeling seen, included, fuzzy-wuzzy and damn well educated.



Stornoway, Lewis, 17th till 20th July

This year, the HebCelt team are once again partnering with Stornoway cultural venue and arts organisation An Lanntair to bring a series of amazing performances to the iconic arts centre venue. The festival line-up, as in previous instalments, places a focus on local artists, the Gaelic language, and some old favourites, which is a tried and tested combination designed to delight.

Opening the festival for An Lanntair is local artist Alasdair White, who will entertain you with some new compositions alongside some of his longtime musical friends.Elsewhere, our 90s fantasy is being played out by big name acts like James, Del Amitri, and Skipinnish, who will all be performing in the grounds of Lews Castle. So just to sum up, if you’re looking for the most Scottish festival to ever exist, then you want to go to Hebcelt!


Hebcelt Festival Site by Chris Mackay


Auchterader, 2nd till 5th August

Mugstock is a four-day family festival weekender sited in the picturesque Perthshire town of Auchterader.

It features three main stages, plus the Octopus Tent, and the line-up of myriad marvels of music includes headliners Utah Saints, Craig Charles, and the fun and frenzied Colonel Mustard and The Dijon 5. There are also gems within a decently loaded programme that includes Modern Studies, Mungo’s Hi-fi, Bis, Rebecca Vasmant, Girobabies, The Wife Guys of Reddit, The Twistettes, and Siobhan Wilson – much goodness.

Under-fives go free, if you really feel the need to take any, and there are discounts for many other key groups; the festival aims to be accessible and promises to be memorable for many.


Craig Charles


Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling, 31st October till 4th November

Boasting work from seasoned pros, students, and documentary enthusiasts, this year’s festival will take visitors on a journey or two, with films from across the globe lighting up the screen. Immerse yourselves in the transformative power of the documentary – be entertained, be educated, and be truly moved.



Byre Theatre, St Andrews, 19th till 21st April

Ah, St Andrews – famous for golf, royals and … wait… a kickass film festival? Who knew? YOU DO NOW!

This year’s line-up is phenomenal, truly once in a lifetime stuff that will appeal to cinephiles and students of the moving image alike. Oh, you’d rather stand in the rain holding yer club? Allow me to tempt you away, Steven Frickin (not his real middle name, as far as I’m aware) Soderbergh! Still far too tempted to tee off? Mr Soderbergh will be in conversation with acclaimed filmmakers Anthony and Joe Russo (You, Me and Dupree and Avengers: Endgame, among others). Oh, and I mustn’t forget to mention that composer extraordinaire Alan Silvestri (Back to the Future Trilogy, Cast Away, The Parent Trap) will be making an appearance too! Seriously, get your tickets before I legit buy all of them, to enjoy just for myself.



Glasgow, 2nd till 4th August

Just so you know, not that it’s in any way relevant, but teenage Louise is already digging out her baggy jeans, eyeliner, and band tees for this festival.

Thirty-nine year old Louise is doing the same – she just won’t look as cute… ANYWAY, you folks gear yourselves up in whatever way you see fit to enjoy four days of rocking, screaming, moshing, and, if you’re like me, contenting yourselves with standing at the back feeling nostalgic yet very excited about the new music you get to discover. This alt music festival has a line-up so good – Gilla Band, Employed to Serve, Part Chimp, Empire State Bastard – that it’ll get blamed for corrupting our youth.

Miss it at your peril.


Part Chimp


The Royal Highland Centre & Showground, Edinburgh, 13th till14th April

April marks the tenth birthday of the Terminal V festival, and DAMN are they putting on a party. Across two days, fans will immerse themselves in Scotland’s biggest electronic music fest. More than 80 artists from across the globe will converge in the nation’s capital to entertain ticket holders with their electro, techno, house, and trance stylings. Literally everyone you can think of, from Aisha to Yasmin Gardezi. All that moving is bound to make you hungry, so make sure to visit one of the many pop-ups at the food village. Stay hydrated, peeps.



The Riverside Museum, Glasgow, 25th & 26th May

Fans of electronic music, mon tae the Clyde! It might be a bit breezy near the water but you’ll soon heat up with all the dancing you’ll be doing. Two stages play host to the best and brightest of the genre, with a line-up that includes DIJA, Green Velvet, LF System, and ELANDA – and that’s just day one! Visitors on the second day can vibe with the musical stylings of acts like Alignment, TAAHLIAH, and Harry Mawby.



Hawick, 2nd till 5th May

Now in its fourteenth year, Alchemy is known for attracting artists who push the boundaries of film – who question, who intervene, who disrupt the norm. With live performances, screenings, exhibitions and a ceilidh, Hawick is the place you wanna be to discover new voices and pioneers. This diverse festival offers a comfortable, wholly inclusive arena in which to enjoy its brimming schedule.

Take in a performance lecture from GF Ramsay, or an essay film courtesy of Sanaz Sohrabi. Or maybe you fancy getting in about it with the film quiz? Your options are plentiful.



Harmony Garden, Melrose, Scottish Borders, 13th till16th June

Get yourselves and the fam down to Melrose for four days of booky deliciousness. The Borders Book Festival does more than it says on the tin, though; visitors can also expect comedy, live talks, and music. All the events are bound to make the ol’ tummy rumble, but fear not, for there will be a plethora (damn right, a plethora) of stalls and cafes to keep even the pickiest eaters satiated.



Glasgow Green, 12th July till 14th July

TRNSMT 2024 is on its way, armed with the musical equivalent of napalm, and don’t you just love the smell? With three stages packed over three days, you festival-goers can gorge yourselves on artists like Sugababes, Garbage, Sprints, English Teacher, Royal Otis, Liam Gallagher, Alison Goldfrapp, and Rick Astley (we’re never gonna give YOU up, Rick!), plus buzz band The Last Dinner Party.

If you’re looking for Scottish grassroots music then Majesty Palm, Plasticine, The Snuts, Dead Pony, and Gallus will all undoubtedly be crackin’. I kid you not, if you can get past the sea of bucket hats, there is something for almost every taste, and the menu is mighty mighty fine.


Dead Pony play this years TRNSMT. Photo Credit: Euan Robertson


St James Quarter, Edinburgh, 17th till 26th August

With the success of their inaugural 2023 edition, sessions at St James quarter will be back this August, and they have plans to go bigger and even better. The 2023 line-up was very much up SNACK readers’ street, you might have seen, with a healthy focus on the grassroots and diversity of genre – SHEARS, Chef the Rapper, LUBANA, Russell Stewart, etc – so 2024 for them is definitely one for you to keep your eye on. Best follow them on socials and keep an eye out here with us.


The Pleasance, Edinburgh 26th till 28th April

Musical families, top new young talent, and a rich mix of cultures feature in the Northern Streams Festival of Nordic & Scottish Music, Song & Dance. This year’s Northern Streams features artists all based in Scotland with backgrounds and repertoire from Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Shetland, and North-East Scotland.

Introducing new sounds while respecting the past is one of the founding ideas behind the festival and you can’t really argue with that as a cornerstone. On top of their main concerts, catching our eye are the workshops, with some exploring North Atlantic, Iceland & Finnish, and Shetlandic traditions. Their closing event, an Open Music & Song Session, is on the Sunday, and is free entry.


Miguel Girão & Amy Laurenson play this years Northern Streams

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