Top 10 Festival Picks for Glasgow and Edinburgh 2017

Published in The Student Advertiser.

I honestly didn’t fully appreciate the wide variety of festivals on offer in Scotland until I started to research this piece for The Student Advertiser. I am so typical for connoting ‘festivals’ with just music, thus, camping, mud, low temperatures, doom, gloom – fundamentally, T in the Park at a glance. As it turns out, Rough Guides had good reason to vote Glasgow as the friendliest city to visit, likely because of how accommodating it turns out we are to our diverse population.

1. Aye Write! Book Festival, Glasgow 9th – 19th March
Glasgow’s international book festival Aye Write! will be returning to the Mitchell Library in March 2017. This year the festival will be expanding, with events also taking place in the coveted Royal Glasgow Concert Hall as well as the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) on Sauchiehall Street. Over 200 authors from Russia, Syria, Scandinavia, Nigeria and the USA will be taking part to discuss their work and champion workshops for all ages, all to celebrate the challenging and ever-changing times we are living in.

2. Glasgow Film Festival 18th – 26th February
Glasgow’s own film festival is one of the top three festivals in the UK, showcasing new local and international film talent non-stop over the course of two weeks. Various filmmakers will be making guest appearances during interactive workshops and discussion panels. And, with student prices available, this is the optimum opportunity for novice film lovers to start a new obsession. 

3. Glasgow Zine Festival 29th – 30th April
This self-publishing festival is all about zines – small, handmade pieces of writing ranging from fiction to non-fiction, comics and writer’s personal research. This festival, housed in the CCA, is an accessible DIY outlet for art and ideas. It is ideal for people wanting to learn more about this unique, creative art form and purchase some items from local talent.

4. Stereofunk Festival, Strathclyde Park 30th April
Hailed as being the official beginning of the Scottish Summer, this unique boutique of club music showcases Scotland’s best talent with approximately 80 DJs and 10 bands in attendance across six arenas. The festival takes places against the picturesque background of Strathclyde Country Park which, weather permitting, will also make for an excellent sunbathing location.

5. Edinburgh International Festival 4th – 28th August
This is an unparalleled celebration of the performing arts in the heart of Edinburgh – the parents of the Edinburgh Fringe. This month-long party will rejoice in the movement of the world’s best opera, music, theatre and dance – truly an event not to be missed. Edinburgh buzzes with life during festival season.

6. Edinburgh Tattoo 4th – 26th August
With performers from 48 countries, the Edinburgh Tattoo brings over 220,000 spectators together every year in the courtyard of Edinburgh Castle. A night of pipes, drums and highland dancing underneath the Scottish sky will leave you feeling more patriotic than you thought imaginable.

7. Glasgow Live International Comedy Festival – 9th – 26th March
Why not visit Europe’s largest comedy festival while it’s still right on your doorstep? Now in it’s 15th year, the Glasgow Live International Comedy Festival will be hosting events in local pubs and theatres across the city for the duration of two weeks, most of which offer student-friendly prices. Russell Howard and Al Murray among others have cropped up in the past and 2017 promises even more amazing local and international talent.

8. Glasgow Science Festival 8th – 18th June
There really is something for everyone in Glasgow and the Glasgow Science Festival proves that. This 10-day event is designed to showcase outstanding contribution Glasgow-based researches make to the worlds of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine. A light-hearted tone with a serious purpose.

9. Meadows Festival, Edinburgh – 3rd & 4th June
This quaint Edinburgh-based festival will showcase local bands and dance groups, and even has a dog show! It boasts the biggest indoor market in Edinburgh and is chock-a-block full of workshops to get you involved in crafts. Suitable for you, your mates and all of the family. Dig in!

10. Glasgow Comic Con – 1st July
Most people will already be aware of this multi-genre entertainment and comic convention that originated in San Diego. It has now made its way to Scotland’s SECC, showcasing primarily comic books and science fiction/fantasy related film, television, and similar popular arts. Now, the convention includes an enormous range of pop culture and entertainment elements across virtually all genres, such as horror, animation, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, video games and fantasy novels. Dress up. You won’t regret it!

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