The number and variety of Scottish festivals and fun summer events just keeps on growing. Here we bring you 11 great summer festivals.
June 7 to 8
Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow
Glasgow Mela is Scotland’s biggest multicultural festival and this year welcomes headline acts including the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, the drumming band Dhol Foundation and Bhangra acts Sukshinder Shinda and Jaz Dhami. In addition to live music and dance, there will be a dedicated family area and, for the first time, Bollywood City, featuring a Grosvenor Cinema marquee that will screen Bollywood films all weekend.
June 12 to 15
Harmony Garden, Melrose
A wealth of literary attractions and entertainments await you during this popular three-day festival in the Scottish Borders. Spotlight names include Paddy Ashdown, Jim Naughtie and Forsyth vs Sillars.
St Magnus International Festival
June 20 to 26
A midsummer celebration of arts that this year celebrates connections with Norway and Italy and ties in with Scotland’s Homecoming. The festival will feature the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Nicholas Daniel and Kate Valentine, among many others.
Scottish Real Ale Festival
July 8 to 10
Corn Exchange, Edinburgh
Another growing trend is real ales and beers. This famous CAMRA festival celebrates a wealth of Scottish brewed ales over two days. You can sup and taste more ales than you ever knew existed.
July 16 to 19
Donnie Munro, Rachel Sermanni, Boomerang, Big Country, Michael Cassidy are some of the acts set to entertain at this popular islands festival. There will also be a Gaelic showcase and lots of stalls.
The Wickerman Festival
July 25 to 26
Ullapool, Wester Ross
Del Amitri headline at this independent music festival. Visitors can expect multiple stages featuring an eclectic and exciting mix of artists, alternative acts and up-and-coming talent. Every year the festival stages an unforgettable finale, setting fire to a 40ft Wickerman.
Coll of the Sharks Festival
August 21 to 26
Isle of Coll, Scotland
Make your way to the Isle of Coll for this very snappy festival. The waters off Coll are home to basking sharks, as well as other sea life. Festival goers can go scuba diving or take a boat trip to see the sharks up close. Alternatively, you can stay on land and take part in six days of activities celebrating everything about the basking shark.
A local festival that attracts great headline acts, the brilliantly named Loopalllu Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2014. Previous guest acts have included Mumford and Sons and Franz Ferdinand. This year’s big names are still under wraps but you can be sure of two great days of music.
See Loopallu Fest
World Sheepdog Trials
September 3 to 6
It’s the first time that the World Sheepdog Trials will come to Scotland. This event is sure to be a huge crowd puller and will feature 240 competitors from 24 nations. The Trials showcase the skill and dedication of individuals and dogs as they work with notoriously fickle flocks of sheep.
World Stone Skimming Championships
Easdale Island, near Oban
This is one event that you should add to your bucket list of things to do in Scotland. Easdale was once famous for its slate quarrying and now it has an abundance of perfectly shaped skimming stones. The skimming champs take place in a flooded quarry and provide the ideal playing field for a day of heated competitions.
Shetland Wool Week
October 7 – 13
Various locations on Shetland
Crafts and wool-based crafts in particular are a growing trend in the 21st century. This seven-day festival celebrates the wool of Britain’s most northerly native sheep. It also offers big cheers to Shetland’s textile industries. You can attend knitting masterclasses in Fair Isle and Shetland Fine Lace, hand-spinning workshops, weaving and felting.
For other festival ideas also see Best of Scotland’s Year-Round Festivals