5 Unmissable Events in Scotland In 2013

Scenic landscape views from Dundee, Scotland by flickr user Glen Bowman

5 Unmissable Events in Scotland In 2013

Glasgow International Comedy Festival

Laugh your head off at this year’s comedy festival, the only event of its kind in Europe. Hilarious headliners include Chris Addison, Marcus Brigstocke, Harry Hill, Sean Lock, Paul Merton and Al Murray. Performances by local favourites Dorothy Paul, Daniel Sloss, Fred MacAulay and Janey Godley will leave you chuffed to bits.

Held March 14 to 31, the event’s 400-plus shows fill 46 area pubs, theatres, cinemas and comedy clubs with rollicking performances. There’s something for everyone here, including improv, theatre, stand-up, quizzes and kids’ comedy. This year’s one-off shows include a little “underground” humour at St. Enoch subway station and a performance at a tattoo parlour. Finally, remember that it’s okay to laugh so hard that you snort, guffaw, cry or roll around on the floor a little, but be sure to bring along a few tissues to keep it clean.

Filmhouse by flickr user crystalmartel

Edinburgh International Film Festival

Film lovers rejoice each June with the premier of another Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF). The oldest continuously operated film festival in the world, EIFF runs from June 19 to 30, screening dozens of national and international films and spotlighting the works of many filmmakers. The festival shows films in 11 categories, including Night Moves, British Gala, Retrospective, Mirrorball and Under the Radar. In 2012, festival movies included Shadow Dancer, Brave, Seven Days in Havana, and Berberian Sound Studio.

West End Festival

There is plenty of family fun in store at Glasgow‘s biggest festival of the year. The 18th annual festival, May 31 to June 23, offers more than 440 art and cultural events at 40 venues. It’s a bounty of live musical, theatrical and dance performances mixed with loads of children’s events, parades, films and local street markets. Each year, new and unique events are added to regular favourites, such as Bard in the Botanics and the Gibson Street Gala. With all that the West End Festival has to offer, it’s no wonder The Independent newspaper named it “one of the top 30 festivals in Europe.”

Scottish boat festival by flickr user BarnyardBBS

Scottish Traditional Boat Festival

Celebrate Scotland’s seafaring heritage and learn a bawdy sea shanty or two at the annual Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, June 22 to 23. The 20-year-old festival highlights the North East’s many culinary delights, rich maritime history and traditional cultures and skills. Portsoy’s Old Harbour brings the past to life with displays of historic boats, a Coracle and maritime skill demonstrations. Over at the New Harbour, large historic ships and St. Ayles Rowing Skiffs are on display. Festival events include a rowing regatta, a race to collect kippers, Sea Cadet sailing demonstrations, powerboat tours of the Moray Firth coastline, sailing lessons, a 10K run and a 2K Fun Run. Visitors also enjoy a wide range of palate pleasers at the Food Fayre, dance performances, cooking demonstrations, traditional wares and crafting demonstrations.

T in the Park

Rock on! T20, the 20th annual T in the Park, is slated for July 11 to 14 this year and hosts headliners Rihanna, The Killers and Mumford & Sons. Check out the performances by Two Door Cinema Club, Alt-J, Emeli Sandé, Of Monsters and Men, Azealia Banks, The Script, Jake Bugg and dozens of other bands on the event’s seven main stages. The festival takes over an old airfield in Balado, Kinross-shire, and offers a large camping area, a massive “funfair” and plenty of other attractions, such as Cinema Night and a Cabaret Club. From indie and punk rock to electronic and ceilidh music, the festival’s wide variety of music is sure to get you grooving.


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