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Issue 43 - Event Calendar 2009

Scotland Magazine Issue 43
February 2009


This article is 9 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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Event Calendar 2009

It's a busy year for Scotland with numerous events linking up to the year of Homecoming. Here's our pick of the best.

May 1 – May 10
Spirit of Speyside
Whisky Festival
Enjoy 10 days of unique events throughout
Speyside’s stunning scenery which will
entertain and enthral whisky lovers, friends
and family from around the world.
Don’t miss the Festival’s Speyside Salute – a
dramatic musical celebration of Speyside’s
heritage and traditions.
May 16 – May 17
Spirit of the West
The Whisky Coast presents “Spirit of the
West,” a spectacular weekend event in
the stunning grounds of Inveraray
Castle, Argyllshire.
Experience the tastes, sights and
sounds of the west in themed
marquees, including whisky, food
& drink, music & drama, heritage and
culture and arts and crafts – suitable
for all the family.
May 16 - May 24
Burns an’ a’ That!
Venues across Ayrshire
This year’s Burns an’ a’ That! promises
to be better than ever, celebrating the
birthday of Scotland’s national bard in the
places where he lived and wrote. Come
along for the biggest party Ayrshire has
ever seen!
With the biggest names in Scottish
talent from the world of music, comedy
and the arts performing across 100
events, the festival offers something
for everyone.
May 22 – May 25
COAST Festival of the Visual
Arts 2009
Only in its second year, COAST is the latest
in great Scottish festivals, offering visitors
the chance to participate in art courses as
well as enjoying the professional artwork
on display.
The event in 2009 will feature exhibitions,
galleries, an art fair, public art, participatory
workshops, demonstrations, artist talks,
music events, a food fair and much more.
June 1 – November 30
(to be confirmed)
Meet Your Ancestors in
Venues across Clackmannanshire
Discover your roots in Clackmannanshire,
by coming home to do the Historic Kirkyards
Trail, see an art installation inspired by the
atmospheric surroundings of the Old
Kirkyard and Greenside Cemetery in Alloa,
then take part in a promenade performance
and meet some of the people who helped to
shape Clackmannanshire.
June 1 – August 08
Return to the Ridings
Venues across the Scottish Borders
The annual Border Common Ridings are a
stunning mounted spectacle packed with
heart-stirring music and song. Homecoming
year extends the invitation to Border Scots
throughout the world to return to their
Ridings and join for the first time a series of
co-ordinated ancient festivals across the
Scottish Border towns.
June 05 – June 13
Nairn Book and Arts Festival
This is an annual celebration of literary,
musical, visual and performance arts, where
the performers are an eclectic mix of
renowned and emerging experts in their
fields bringing interest, enthusiasm and
knowledge to audiences of all ages.
June 16 – June 20
The Crossing
The Crossing is a unique, week-long flotilla
event spanning the entire length of the
Caledonian Canal from Fort William to
Muirtown basin in Inverness.
Through a programme of water and landbased
activities, The Crossing will highlight
the culture of the area, the drama of the
navigation of the canal, and its many
influences on Highland life, with a series of
events at key locations along the route of
the canal, including music, story telling
and dance.
Edinburgh International Film
The Edinburgh International Film Festival
presents its diverse and discerning
audiences with an enlightening programme
of films of all shapes and sizes, drawn from
every corner of the earth and from every
facet of the artistic imagination.
The festival will be a cultural magnet for
the Scottish diaspora in the year
of Homecoming.
June 18 - June 28
Johnsmas Foy
Midsummer in Shetland is a very special
time; continuous daylight means that the
natural world barely rests. Instead of
darkness, Shetlanders enjoy an unfinished
northern sunset and a magical twilight they
call the ‘simmer dim’.
For 2009, the theme is Shetland and the
Viking world. As well as music, poetry, talks,
exhibitions, plays, walks and sporting
events, there will be the chance to sample
some of Shetland’s wonderful food.
June 18 - June 21
Borders Book Festival
Scottish Borders
Launched in 2004, the Borders Book
Festival is already rated as one of the UK’s
top literature festivals, having in previous
years hosted such literary giants as Iain
Banks, Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith,
Michael Morpurgo, Rory Bremner and many
In 2009 there will be a diverse programme of
over 40 world-class events featuring some
of the UK’s finest and best-known writers.
June 20 - June 21
The Outsider Festival
Cairngorm National Park
The Outsider takes place over the longest
days of the year on the historic
Rothiemurchus Estate.
The splendid surroundings include the
Cairngorm Mountains and Loch an Eilean,
Scotland’s most enchanting loch – the
perfect setting for the festival’s huge and
diverse programme of outdoor activities.
June 25 - June 28
Dundee Literary Festival
The Dundee Literary Festival is a celebration
of words and encourages debate, dialogue
and discussion.
Renowned authors, local wordsmiths and
poets flock to Dundee for this event.
Previous years have seen Philip Pullman,
Jacqueline Wilson, William Boyd, Ian Rankin
and James Kelman grace our stage, reading
from work and answering questions from
the audience.
June 26 – October 11
AHome Away from Home: The
Scottish Emigration Experience
The National Library of Scotland celebrates
Homecoming year by inviting you to follow
the experiences of the ordinary Scots who
over the centuries left their homeland to find
a better life abroad. A programme of events
demonstrates how Scots have influenced
and shaped new communities which even
today still retain a strong Scottish identity.
June 27 – June 27
Dumfries Family History
Homecoming Fair
Dumfries and Galloway
Dumfries Family History Homecoming Fair
explores local heritage with a day of stalls,
heritage groups, talks and a local library and
archive service. The fair takes place in June
and in the spirit of Homecoming encourages
young people to understand the area’s rich
historic past.
July 15 – July 18
Hebridean Celtic Festival
Isle of Lewis
Set against the stunning backdrop of the
Outer Hebrides, fabulous music and a warm
and welcoming community contribute to
ensuring this festival is a fantastic party for
Homecoming Year.
July 18 – August 3
North East Clan Fortnight and
Aberdeen’s Tartan Day
Aberdeen City and Shire present a unique
programme of Homecoming celebrations in
the North East, including a clan ball, two
heritage conferences, coach tours, the
premiere of the only Burns opera, “Ae fond
kiss” and a chance to join the March of the
Aberdeen’s Tartan Day celebrations are an
extravaganza of Scottish music and dance,
a mass Pipe Bands parade and the
spectacular Gordon Highlanders
International Beating Retreat.
July 21 – July 24
International Genealogy
The University of Strathclyde hosts
Scotland’s first International Genealogy
Festival. Overseas Family History Societies,
Clan & Family Associations and anyone with
an interest in Scots at home and abroad, are
invited to take part in the Exhibition and
Lecture series. If you’re part of the Scottish
Diaspora, or if you would like to discover
more about family records in Scotland and
overseas then this is the event of the year.
July 24 – July 25
The Wickerman Festival
Dumfries and Galloway
The Wickerman Festival has developed a
national reputation for offering something
more than simply a ‘gig in a field’. Awarded
the title of ‘Best Grass Roots Festival 2007’,
Wickerman has a reputation for being ‘laidback
and family-friendly’.
Join us in Homecoming year for some top
Scottish musical entertainment.
July 25 - July 26
The Gathering
The Gathering is a 2 day coming together of
clansmen and clanswomen from around the
globe, expected to attract over 8,000
clansmen, as well as a further 30,000 local
The highlight will be a clan parade up the
Royal Mile and historic Pageant of the Clans
in the arena on the Castle Esplanade, the
first time the clans will have gathered in such
numbers in Edinburgh.
August 5 – September 5
Edinburgh Art Festival
During Homecoming Year, spend time with
the visual literati and experience why the
twenty-first century is the dawn of the visual
From internationally renowned artists to
those whose work is more experimental, the
Edinburgh Art Festival presents a
compelling mix of exhibitions and events.
And best of all - it’s free!
August 7 – August 31
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is unique. It is
the largest arts festival on the planet,
bringing thousands of performances to
Scotland’s capital city. Many international
stars have made their names at this genuine
celebration of ambition, passion and
creativity over the past 50 years.
In 2009 the Fringe is encouraging past
performers to come home to join the party in
a special celebration of Homecoming.
August 7 - August 9
Ayr Flower Show
Held a stone’s throw from Burns’ cottage in
the glorious surroundings of the Rozelle
Estate, Ayr Flower Show is a three day
celebration of gardening and outdoor living.
As well as the floral and horticultural side,
speciality food suppliers, family entertainers,
expert advice sessions and a range of
musical entertainment mean a great day out
for all the family.
August 12 – August 13
The Clan Ross Gathering
Ross and Cromarty
AGathering of the Clan Ross is called on the
12th and 13th of August in the Year of
Homecoming 2009, set to coincide with the
Glenmorangie Highland Games. Hosted by
Tain & District Museum and Clan Ross
Centre, Rosses from home and abroad are
invitedto meetwithChief David RossofRoss.
August 19 – September 05
Carnegie Festival 2009
The Carnegie Festival promises to be an
exciting and inspiring tribute to Andrew
Carnegie and a wonderful event that will
draw people from all over the world to his
home town of Dunfermline.
In this year of Homecoming, the flagship
Carnegie Festival will celebrate Carnegie’s
multi-dimensional legacy of education,
innovation, arts and politics in his Scottish
birthplace, Dunfermline.
September 04 - September 12
Blas Festival
Venues across the Highlands
Awarm welcome awaits you in the
Highlands for the 2009 Blas Festival.
Blas is the Gaelic word for ‘taste’ and the
2009 festival promises an authentic flavour
of Highland culture. Blas boasts a vast
programme of traditional music and events,
staged in some of Scotland’s most
spectacular and iconic landscapes.
September 10 – September 12
Island Emigrants: Conference
on Emigration from the Outer
Meet with islanders and descendants of
emigrants from the Hebrides to all parts of
the world over the last 250 years. Set in the
beautiful landscape of South Harris, the
event aims to bring together leading
historians of this remarkable and often
traumatic story, the local community, and
visitors from emigrant communities. There
will also be a special exhibition, recordings, a
concert of Gaelic songs of emigration, and
visits to places in Harris from which
emigrants left.
September 18 - September 20
Whisky Galore Festival
Isle of Barra
The first-ever Whisky Galore Festival takes
place on the beautiful island of Barra in 2009.
This Hebridean jewel is the very same island
where the movie Whisky Galore, based on
the book by Compton MacKenzie,
was filmed.
In typical island fashion, Barra and
Vatersay embrace the opportunity
of yet another party. Launching in
Kisimul Castle, an exciting weekend of
varied events is planned.
September 26 – October 05
Angus & Dundee Roots Festival
The Angus & Dundee Roots Festival
will include a packed programme of core
and specialist fringe events including
visits to ancestral sites, workshops,
living history re-enactments, talks,
demonstrations, heritage film shows
and much more.
As part of the fringe event programme,
Fest ‘n’ Furious, Dundee’s traditional
and roots music festival, will take on
a ‘transatlantic strand’ to celebrate the
wealth of roots music from Scotland
and the United States.