Choose Live … Scotland 2018

This summer sees an incredible collection of live events across the country that are showcasing Scotland’s countryside as never before. The following provides a snapshot – some big, some small – with links to the events for you to find more.

Sounds Fantastic

Scone Palace – just outside Perth – is a real focus for live music. In May (Friday 25th – Saturday 26th) Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Simple Minds, Emili Sande, Nigel Kennedy with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Squeeze, The Shires and Amy Macdonald are on the line-up for BBC Music’s The Biggest Weekend.

For Mums and Dads of a certain age, music of the ’80s hols a very special place – and there are two concerts that are bound to get the shoulder pads dusted down. Let’s Rock Scotland – the Retro Festival – comes to Dalkeith Park in June (Saturday 23rd June).

Follow this link to get your hands on the final tickets available.

The ’80s theme continues in July – back at Scone Palace. The Perthshire venue hosts another weekend gig when the ’80s Rewind Festival (20th – 22nd July) returns (below). Eighties icons OMD, Status Quo, UB40, The Gypsy Kings, Boomtown rats, Midge Ure, Howard Jones, Bonnie Tyler, Heaven 17 – and many more – take to the stage amid a cloud of hairspray! Follow this link for tickets.

From perms to proms – and a trip to Glamis Castle in Angus. The ancestral seat to the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne will once again host the ever popular Glamis Prom on Saturday 25th August 2018. A “spectacular evening of enchanting music” is promised set against the romantic backdrop of Glamis Castle – this year’s theme: The Great British Songbook.

Music lovers can purchase gazebo pitches and bring their own picnics to enjoy some al fresco food and drink. Concert goers will be encouraged to attend in their finery and really ramp up the glamour and sense of occasion! Follow this link for tickets.

At the end of June, The Kelburn Garden Party is an unique, independent, magical music and arts festival – an annual explosion of colour, creativity and culture in a spectacular setting on Scotland’s West Coast – the grounds and glen around a 13th century painted castle, established in 2009 and with a dedicated following. The festival is renowned for featuring a high quality and diverse range of musical styles that sits alongside a feast of creative happenings and fun attractions embedded around the site, from interactive art installations, living theatre, pop-up parties to glen walks, waterfall plunge pools, poetry, workshops, cabaret and downright surreal happenings. Kelburn is family-friendly and is well loved by all kids who visit as a fairytale playground. Under the madcap vision and leadership of director Dave Boyle, the festival is created each year by the dedicated efforts of the organisers, crew, volunteers, performers and of course you, our friendly campers and dancers.

Deep in the heart of Dumfries & Galloway is Drumlanrig Castle (below). At the end of the summer (30th August – 1st September) they host Electric Fields – a perfect gig for lovers of music and food. This year, they’ve hooked up with the team behind Scotland’s best street food market ‘The Pitt’ to bring “an awesome food experience at the festival”. They’ll be bringing some of the best vendors in the country to set up shop in a very specially curated food village to take care of rumbling stomachs and keep everyone energised for the weekend.

Into September, one of the country’s biggest and best – #BowFest2018. On the 7th, 8th and 9th of September, the gates to the grounds of the iconic Inveraray Castle will open for the 8th annual Best of the West Festival. Arguably Scotland’s finest boutique festival, it is where music meets food – and lovers of both gather to enjoy and celebrate the very best that Scotland has to offer. This year’s line up includes Tide Lines, Seven Nations, Beinn Lee, Donnie Munro Band, Heron Valley, The Bhangra Beatles, Project Smok, Skipinnish and many more. Bowfest is also one of the most accessible festivals …

… with great value ticket and travel options.

Whether you’re a gourmand who relishes fine dining, or a foodie excited about tucking into Argyll’s local food and regional specialities, you’ll enjoy the gastronomic offerings The Best of the West Festival showcases. Looking for something to eat at the festival or to take home – there’s plenty of delicious food and drink to choose from the award winning Food from Argyll group & invited friends.


Bringing cinema to life – open air screenings

This month (April), Culzean Castle kicks off a season of outdoor screenings with a sing-a-long version of Disney’s The Beauty & The Beast on Friday 27th April from 7.30pm. The Outdoor Cinema Screening will be in the idyllic setting of Fountain Court, with Culzean Castle acting as the perfect backdrop. Watch the adaptation of the fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love. There will be a large space to bring your own seating, blankets and pillows so arrive in plenty of time to get a good spot.

Make the most of your night and visit the pop up food stall and bar available to tickle your taste buds. For a truly memorable night, experience the outdoor cinema as a VIP. VIP tickets include front row seats, hire of vintage deck chair, prosecco … and a hot dog! Click here for more and tickets.

In May, Glamis Castle is celebrating May the Fourth with two open-air screenings of Star Wars the Force Awakens. They have an LED Daytime Screening (17:30 – 19:45) followed by a night time screening (21:00-23:15). Food and popcorn will be available, so bring your chairs and blankets for a Star Wars spectacle to kick off the Glamis Castle cinema season. We’re sure Star Wars fans will be suitable dressed! Follow this link for tickets.

Love film? Then check out The Scottish Adventure Travel Film Festival at Inverewe in September (Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd). The event showcases the best travel films of 2018 at The National Trust for Scotland’s award-winning Inverewe Garden in the North-West Highlands. For more – and tickets, follow this link.


As well as live music and open-air screenings, there’s a host of live theatre this year. On the 28th of this month (April), Bowhill, near Selkirk in the Borders has a double bill – Nancy Sleekit & Howard’s Revenge. They’re one of many historic houses that stage live, theatrical events. Others on the radar?

At Falkland Palace in Fife, David Walliams’ The Midnight Gang will be performed on Saturday 2nd June. Heartbreak Productions invites you to the grand opening of The Lord Funt Hospital Playground, a spectacular new play area for the convalescent child. Tom and his friends will be there, too, but you might know them best as The Midnight Gang. When everyone else is sweetly sleeping, they gather in the middle of the night in the name of magic, mischief, and memory making. Bring your chairs, blankets, picnics, and be prepared to be daring at this outdoor adaptation of David Walliams’ bestseller. Find tickets via this link.

In Moray are Logie Steading and Gordon Castle Walled Garden – both of which have programmes of outdoor theatre scheduled this summer.

At Logie, the wonderful Illyria return for their 14th year with four fantastic performances: The Merchant of Venice, The Adventures of Dr Doolittle, The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Pirates of Penzance. All are listed on our Blog via this link.

Gordon Castle – the spiritual home of the Gordon clan and now an incredible restoration project creating the UK’s largest productive walled garden (below) is staging a summer of outdoor theatre – running from the 24th June until the 22nd August. Their programme includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, The Midnight Gang, The Adventures of Dr Doolittle, Pride & Prejudice, The Reluctant Dragon and The Pirates of Penzance. Follow the links for more.

Heartbreak Productions’ Pride & Prejudice is also showing at Pollok House on the 10th August. You’re invited to join he Bennet sisters and a host of charming, young bachelors for an evening of “comedy, romance, and more than one come-uppance”. Follow this link for tickets.


If you have an event that you’d like us to feature, please get in touch via our social media pages.

Thanks for reading!