EventScotland has unveiled Scotland’s Winter Festival programme of events, underpinned by £180,000 in funding from the Scottish Government.
Celebrating Scotland’s three national days, St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay and Burns night, this year’s exciting programme supports 12 events across 8 Local Authority areas. The funding, which has been instrumental in helping to establish, develop and grow a number of events and festivals over the years, will enable Scotland’s events sector to plan and deliver events across the forthcoming winter months, providing support as the industry responds and recovers from COVID-19.
A range of online and in-person activities from live music to illuminations, torchlight parades and midnight moments are set to take place across the winter season. This will give both visitors and locals the opportunity to come together and celebrate Scotland’s values, world-class culture and unique heritage.
Culture Minister, Jenny Gilruth said:
“Scotland’s Winter Festivals bring a much-needed brightness and joy to the winter darkness and I’m very pleased that the Scottish Government is contributing £180,000 to EventScotland’s programme of events.
“The past year has been challenging for everyone so the government is proud to fund a programme of events that bring people together from near and far to showcase our world-class culture and heritage as well as our values of fairness, kindness, inclusivity and empowerment.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events said:
“Whether you prefer dancing at a St Andrew’s Day ceilidh, enjoying a family-friendly New Year’s Eve event or raising a dram in honour of the Bard on Burns Night, the importance of human interaction, connection and shared experiences has never been stronger.
“We are delighted to support a fantastic range of both new and much-loved winter events take place across our three national days. Having them in our calendar further strengthens Scotland’s global outlook and position as a world-leading events destination and reinforces Scotland’s place as the perfect stage for events both nationally and internationally.”
EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, will be supporting the following events through Scotland’s Winter Festivals funding received from the Scottish Government.
Oban Winter Festival 19 – 28 November 2021
Come to Oban Winter Festival, pick up something special at our markets laden with hand made goods, visit the fairgrounds or one of the many family days out, join the pipe bands, ceilidhs and choirs celebrating St Andrew’s Day, celebrate young talent at the Young Entrepreneurs Market, followed by a leisurely afternoon tea overlooking the beautiful bay. Wonder at the evening light shows before relaxing with a special winter Festival Cocktail. So much to see, do and experience at this fun filled family festival.
The Big Hoolie 2021 – 27 November 2021
The Big Hoolie 2021 is a Free Community Event Celebrating St Andrew’s Day in St Andrews. Highlights for this year include; a Market promoting local community groups, charities, student associations and artisans promoting Scottish Traditional crafts; an Entertainment Stage provided by Kingdom FM providing a platform for local dancers and musicians; Torch Parade & Fireworks – City Of St Andrews Pipe Band will lead the Torch Parade through the town and down to the Iconic West Sands for the Firework Display; The Big Hoolie Music Stage & Outdoor Ceilidh featuring InHarmony, The Other Guys, The Kilrymont Ceilidh Band, Be Charlotte and VanIves.
Glasgow’s St Andrew’s Day Torchlight Parade – 27 November 2021
Glasgow (6pm Starting at Glasgow Botanic Gardens/ parade departs 7.30pm)
The St Andrew’s Day Torchlight Parade is a unique and exciting community event set in the beautiful West End of Glasgow. Starting with 90 minutes of entertainment at Glasgow Botanic Gardens including live music, fire performers, street theatre, kids’ hub and more. The parade, featuring a sea of lit torches, will make its way down Byres Road and will end at the South Front of University of Glasgow with more entertainment.
Summerhall Presents: FAIR PLAY – 30 November 2021
An evening of music, theatre, spoken word, dance and film. Edinburgh’s independent performing arts venue Summerhall is working with Fair Saturday to present FAIR PLAY, celebrating some of the artists who’ve been involved with Summerhall’s Artist Development Programme. MC’d by poet and theatre maker Leyla Josephine, the night will include dance from Katie Armstrong and Róisín O’Brien, spoken word from John Osborne (My Car Plays Tapes) and Colin Bramwell (Three Pints on a Sunday), and a screening of a new short film Auntie Empire (Julia Taudevin, Niamh McKeown and Jana Robert), all rounded off with music from a surprise guest.
SEALL Festival of Small Halls 2021 – 19 to 27 November 2021
Skye, Raasay and Lochalsh
The 2021 SEALL Festival of Small Halls takes place over nine days at the end of November bringing Scotland’s finest musicians to community spaces across Skye, Raasay and Lochalsh. Now in its fourth year, the award-winning festival has become renowned for being a celebration of Island life and the traditional music of Scotland. Over the course of the festival, there will be daytime acoustic performances and evening concerts taking place in some of the most remote rural venues in Scotland. The festival ends on Saturday 27 November with the Big Cèilidh for St Andrew’s Night at the Sligachan Hotel.
Caledonia Festival – 30 November 2021
The Caledonia Festival brings together an amazing talent of creative arts to celebrate St Andrew’s Day in Scotland. This inaugural hybrid event on 30 November offers a mix of free online virtual viewing during the day with film, theatre and music as well as a live ticketed Comedy evening in Stirling, hosted by the brilliant Raymond Mearns with Stuart Mitchell, Jay Lafferty and headliner Vladimir McTavish.
Edinburgh International Magic Festival 17 – 30 December 2021
Back this winter with its first live programme of events in two years! Be amazed, inspired, provoked and entertained by the best and most exciting magic across a range of venues. The festival has a packed line up of some of the best Scottish performers and magicians straight from the Magic Circle offering mind-blowing shows, workshops and events for ages 0-100! The festival closes just before New Year with ‘Hogmanay House’; an uplifting performance and celebration about the magic and origins of Hogmanay! Join a cast of Scots musicians, magicians and storytellers and make merry in the traditional way as we share (and demonstrate!) the weirdly obscure and most wonderful Hogmanay traditions from around Scotland over the past 500 years.
Stirling’s Hogmanay 2021 – 31 December 2021
Celebrate Hogmanay with all the family in Stirling, with something for all ages. Enjoy live music and family ceilidhs at The Tolbooth or have fun at our new Stirling’s Hogmanay Family Day at the Albert Halls. Bring in the bells watching a spectacular firework display from the National Wallace Monument – watch locally around Stirling or live on national television.
Stromness Hogmanay 2021 – 31 December 2021
People in Stromness are hugely proud of their heritage, and the Stromness Hogmanay celebrations provide a chance for local people and visitors alike to celebrate our heritage, our vibrant present and look to our future. The event features the release of a short film focusing on the Yule Log pull, an age-old street game that was previously played in the town until the 1930s. There will also be a spectacular firework display with more to be confirmed.
The Island Fling – Portree’s Hogmanay Hoolie 31 December 2021
Enjoy live Scottish dance music and Gaelic songs, along with local food vendors. A celebration suitable for all ages, held in the village square – get ready to dance the night away with us and to take in the bells. Light Up Portree Community Events Group, are once again hosting this event as a sub group of Portree and Braes Community Trust.
Big Burns Supper – 14 to 30 January 2022
The 2022 Winter Fringe festival will return with an expanded range of over 300 events following last year’s shift online due to the pandemic. With a firm focus on supporting the recovery of the local community and freelance economy, the 11th edition of Scotland’s largest contemporary Burns celebration is set to reignite the dark winter nights. Highlights include a Burns Night variety show hosted by Eddi Reader; Skerryvore, Colonel Mustard and Stanley Odd, comedy featuring Russell Kane, Nish Kumar Susie McCabe, Christopher McArthur, Basil Brush, Rich Hall & Ray Bradshaw; the return of Dumfries Carnival which is a free day for Families, and a new talks and demonstrations strand and a wide range of interactive Burns events enabling residents and visitors with the opportunity to explore the beauty and history of Dumfries.
Burns&Beyond – 22 January to 5 February 2022
Edinburgh’s flagship Burns festival Burns&Beyond returns for its fourth edition, sending messages of Luve, Hope & Kindness. Burns&Beyond celebrates the life and legacy of Robert Burns with an outstanding programme of traditional and contemporary art and culture, from across Scotland and Beyond. This year’s event welcomes the return of live events with spectacular music, poetry, comedy and whisky, along with the Scottish premier of Michael Pendry’s stunning Les Colombes at St. Giles’ Cathedral, an installation of over 2,500 paper doves which fly the length of the Cathedral.
In addition to the supported events programme above managed by EventScotland, there will also be wider events activity across a range of partners including BEMIS Scotland and the English Speaking Union Scotland. This November, Scotland will once again join the global celebration of Fair Saturday, a global movement that celebrates the arts and spreads support for social and cultural causes through cultural events and performances, with a St Andrew’s Fair Saturday programme of events taking place throughout Scotland.