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Issue 31 - Festival fever

Scotland Magazine Issue 31
February 2007


This article is 11 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Festival fever

With so much happening in Scotland throughout the year, it's hard to know what's going on where. Our handy guide will make things clearer

Think of Scotland’s festivals and you’re bound to think of Edinburgh and the summer. But with more and more happening around the country, the festival season has been extended all year. Scotland now boasts some truly world-class events that are attracting visitors and big name performers from around the world. Far too many festivals are happening for them all to be mentioned here, but we’ve hand picked all the major annual events as well as some of the biggest and best for 2007. Enjoy!

Highland 2007
All year, Highlands
2007 promises to be a special year for the Highlands of Scotland. Thousands of events and activities will take place celebrating Highland culture in villages, towns and cities across the Highlands and beyond. The celebration of music, dance, literature, heritage, sport, visual arts and much more will be central to this year-long event.

Edinburgh International
Science Festival
April 2-15, 2007 Edinburgh
Twelve days of non-stop shows, workshops, exhibitions, talks, tours, demonstrations and handson activities for kids, families and adults, all showing just how much fun science can be.

Beltane Fire Festival
April 30, 2007, Calton Hill Edinburgh
Celebrating the arrival of summer, the Beltane Fire Festival is one of the most spirited and dramatic dates on Edinburgh’s events calendar, with an exuberant mix of fire, costume, drums and pagan ritual. Join the thousands who come at the traditional start of summer to see and take part in this colourful celebration of the Celtic year.

Shetland Folk Festival
4-6 May, Shetland
The annual showcase of the best folk music from Shetland and around the world. For the enjoyment of visitors and locals alike, performers play in a series of concert settings and sessions in small, intimate venues that ensure an atmosphere like no other.

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival
May 3-7 2007, Speyside
Alively celebration of our national drink in one of the most beautiful whisky-producing areas in Scotland – almost 50 world-famous distilleries are located on Speyside. You can visit and tour most during the festival, which also features tasting sessions, a gala dinner, ceilidh, tasting session and exhibitions.

Burns an’ a’ That!
May 18-23 2007, Ayrshire
The annual Burns an’ a’ That! Festival is a celebration of life and Scottish culture. Oh, and Robert Burns. Takes place at various venues across Ayrshire.

Adventure Racing World
May 23-June 3, 2007, Fort William
Taking place in Lochaber, West Scotland, the ARWC will be the highlight of the 2007 adventure racing season, and the culmination of the AR World Series.

Royal Highland Show
June 21-24, 2007 Edinburgh
Scotland’s premier farming and food event with more than 4,000 livestock on show and 1,000 stands selling
everything from speciality foods to 4x4s. There’s a wide range of entertainment and demonstrations in skills such as cookery and crafts, falconry and fashion.

Scottish Traditional Boat Festival
June 30-July 1, 2007 Portsoy, Aberdeenshire
One of the biggest gathering of traditional boats in Scotland, where visitors can discover, enjoy and join in maritime activities, craft demonstrations and a programme of music, dance, drama, food fair and other on-shore family activities.

Dundee Jazz Festival
June 1-3, 2007 Dundee
Internationally acclaimed jazz stars alongside a host of local talent in this weekend festival which features high quality music and musicians across range of jazz styles.

Common Riding Festivals
June 8-9, 2007 Hawick
15 June, 2007 Selkirk
Each Border town celebrates its history with magnificent rideouts involving hundreds of horses, ridden with a passion worthy of the reivers of old. These unique celebrations are a survival of the ancient practice of marking a town’s boundaries and continue today as an expressions of civic pride and tradition.

St Magnus Festival
June 22-27, 2007 Orkney
Orkney’s annual celebration of the arts has become one of Britain’s most highly regarded, featuring music, drama, dance, literature and the visual arts in a unique combination of world-class performance and community participation.

T in the Park
July 7-8, 2007 Balado, Perthshire
Now in its second decade, T in the Park has become one of the most important and critically acclaimed music events on the UK and European festival circuit. Tickets for this year’s event sold out inside a recordbreaking one hour for a hotly anticipated bill featuring Franz Ferdinand, the Strokes, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, the Who, Arctic Monkeys and the Kaiser Chiefs. In Oct 2006, it won the prestigious title of ‘Best Major Festival’ at the UK Festival Awards for the second year running.

British Open Golf Championship 2007
July 19-22, 2007 Carnoustie, Angus
The 136th Open Championship will be held at Carnoustie where Tiger Woods will aim to make it three Open wins in a row. As always, Carnoustie will provide a great challenge for the world’s best players.

Hebridean Celtic Festival
July 11-14, 2007 Hebrides
The Hebridean Celtic Festival has a well-earned reputation as one of the best festivals of its kind in the world combining top traditional and contemporary music, stunning scenery, the good craic, ceilidhs, kids’ activities and workshops, and friendliest of welcomes for all.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo
August 3-25, 2007 Edinburgh Castle
Scotland’s stunning annual outdoor military event, seen by an international television audience of 100 million every year. But there’s no substitute for being there, as part of the 217,000- strong audience.

Piping Live!
August 6-12, 2007 Glasgow
Glasgow’s festival of piping returns with the best in Scottish and International piping talent to celebrate the finest current and emerging piping music. Some of the biggest names in piping will be performing in outdoor spaces and venues throughout Glasgow City Centre for this uniquely Scottish event.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe
August 5-27, 2007 Edinburgh
The world’s biggest celebration of the arts takes over Edinburgh for three weeks in August in a massive explosion of cultural and artistic expression. The programme is a vibrant mix of art forms – theatre, comedy, music and musicals,
dance, events and exhibitions and children’s shows, all attracting up-and-coming talent and established names from around the world to take part in this most famous of festivals.

Edinburgh International Festival
August 10 – September 2, 2007 Edinburgh
The Edinburgh International Festival presents a rich programme of classical music, theatre, opera and dance in six major theatres and concert halls and a number of smaller venues, during a three-week period in late summer each year. The popular grand finale the Bank of Scotland Fireworks Concert, performed against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, will close the Festival on September 2.

The Cowal Highland Gathering
August 23-25, 2007 Dunoon
The world’s largest and most spectacular Highland Games annually attracts more than 3,500 competitors – many from Scottish diaspora, from as far afield as British Columbia and New Zealand to compete in dancing, piping, heavy events, athletics and shinty.

UCI Mountain Bike & Trials
World Championships
September 3-9 2007, Nevis Range
The single biggest event in the world mountain biking calendar. More than 700 competitors from more than 45 nations compete across the four mountain bike disciplines of Cross Country, Downhill, 4-Cross and Trials for a total of 14 World Championship titles.

Highland Feast
September 28 – October 14, 2007 Highlands
Highland Feast offers a series of gastronomic events in a variety of venues from city centre restaurants and country house hotels to castles and distilleries. Experience the excellent range of Highland produce and the culture and heritage of the Highlands.

Braemar Gathering
September 1, 2007 Braemar
Perhaps the most celebrated of all the Highland Games in the world, and the only one which guarantees the presence of a member of the Royal family. International athletes will compete in heavy and track events, and there will be displays and competitions featuring pipers and dancers.

The Royal National Mod
October 12-20, 2007 Fort William
The Mod is a competition-based festival celebrating the Gaelic language and culture through music, dance, drama, arts and literature. Held every year in October at a different location in Scotland.

International Scottish Storytelling Festival
October 2008 (dates TBC) Edinburgh, Lothian & the Borders
A celebration of live oral storytelling, the Scottish International Storytelling Festival sees Scottish and international storytellers share an exciting array of folk and fairy tales from around the world.

Whisky Live Glasgow
November 2-3, 2007 SECC, Glasgow
Whisky Live brings all the very best Scotch whisky to one event for the enthusiast and the novice alike. With expert advice on hand, this event will offer the ultimate whisky experience with varied tastings, masterclasses, live music and regular nose-off competitions.

November 29 – December 8, 2007 St
An eclectic and colourful programme of festivities celebrating Scotland’s patron saint. Highlights include traditional and classical music concerts, dance and drama, arts and crafts exhibitions and a kite festival.

October 20 – November 18, 2007 Glasgow
The UK’s largest multi-arts gay festival will celebrate its 14th year in 2007. A packed programme of comedy, music, film, theatre, art, literature, club nights and more.

Edinburgh Christmas
November 22, 2007 Edinburgh
Beginning with Light Night and a Norwegian Carol service, the Christmas and German markets will be open, with the Big Wheel and ice rink also attracting visitors. Guaranteed to get you in the mood for Christmas.

Edinburgh Hogmanay
December 29, 2007 – January 1, 2008
Four fabulous days and nights of amazing events kick off the world’s greatest New Year party. With the traditional torchlight procession, street performers, fireworks, concerts, ceilidh, the big Hogmanay party itself and a New Year’s Day run to blow the cobwebs away.

Up Helly Aa
January 29, 2008 Lerwick, Shetland
A torch-lit celebration of Shetland’s viking history. Features a parade of almost 1000 culminating in the burning of a Viking long ship.

Celtic Connections
January 2008 (dates tbc) Glasgow
The world’s largest winter music festival. Including concerts, ceilidhs, club-nights, drums, drams and dancing. Features artists from around the globe alongside the very best Scottish talent.

Aviemore Dogsled Rally
January 2008 (dates TBC) Glenmore
Forestpark, Aviemore
Every year, 200 teams of mushers and 1,000 dogs congregate in the forests around Aviemore for one of the most challenging and prestigious of dogsled rallies. Has been running for more than 20 years and become a firm favourite.

Glasgow World Film Festival
February 2008 (dates TBC)
Nearly 100 films will be shown during this successful 10 day festival, now in its third year. Alongside previews and premieres, gala nights and guest appearances, the film festival showcases a range of innovative and exciting films as well as the best from some of the world’s greatest filmmakers.

Fort William Mountain Film Festival
February 2008 (dates TBC)
A two-week celebration of mountain culture, timed to make use of the best winter walking and climbing conditions of the year. The festival offers a varied and full programme of lectures, films, activities, exhibitions, plays and music to entertain visitors to the UK’s outdoor capital.

Glasgow International
Comedy Festival
March 8-24, 2008 Glasgow
More than 150 events at venues across the city covering stand-up, theatre, film and special shows for children. The festival hosts dozens of performers from the already established to the next big thing.

St Anza Poetry Festival
March 14-18, 2008 St Andrews
Scotland’s only regular festival dedicated to poetry. World-class poets and writers perform in exciting and atmospheric venues, including workshops, children’s events, performances, readings and visual-arts displays to inspire, entertain and delight.
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