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Scottish music experiences

Scottish music experiences

Scottish music experiences

From ceilidh dances to piping festivals, there are lots of Scottish music experiences to discover in the UK's first UNESCO City of Music.

Music festivals

Glasgow has not 1 but 2 amazing piping events each August. The World Pipe Band Championships (12-13 Aug) sees bands from around the globe battle it out to be crowned champions over one weekend in Glasgow Green. While Piping Live! is a week-long festival (6-14 Aug) both in-person and online of gigs, workshops, tours, talks and more. Visit theworlds.co.uk and visit pipinglive.co.uk for more details.

Celtic Connections is officially the biggest winter festival in Europe and the UK's premier celebration of Celtic music. Trad, folk, roots and world musicians from across the globe bring the city to life for 18 days each January for concerts, ceilidhs, talks and more. Visit celticconnections.co.uk to find out more.

Play the bagpipes

You can't get more Scottish than bagpipes! Find out about the history of the famed national instrument at The National Piping Centre. You can even try your hand at the bagpipes before enjoying a Scottish meal at the restaurant within this beautiful attraction. Visit thepipingcentre.co.uk for info.

Combine Scottish food and music

Spend an evening full of Scottish music and food by booking a trad trail experience run by the restaurant Mharsanta and Glasgow City Music Tours. Enjoy a Scottish seasonal dinner at Mharsanta, toe-tapping traditional music and a walk through Glasgow's folk music history. Visit mharsanta.co.uk to book.

Free live music sessions

Traditional musicians sit around a table in a pub playing guitars and violins. People stand at the bar area which has a large display of whisky.

One of the best Scottish music experiences has to be stumbling upon live music in traditional bars. The Ben Nevis Bar, The Islay Inn, Waxy O'Connors and Babbity Bowsters are just a few of the trad bars that have free live sessions. Visit our bars in Glasgow with free live music page for details on where and when to expect such sessions.

The best bands in the best venues

The exterior of Glasgow's Barrowland Ballroom music venue. There is a lit-up sign with the word 'Barrowland' and stars surrounding.

Many of the country’s best celtic and traditional bands come from all over to play in the city's iconic venues and in front of the famous Glasgow crowd. Check out our what's on pages to find out when to catch the likes of Mànran and Niteworks performing in the city.

Ceilidh dancing in the city

There's nothing quite like a whirl on the dance floor at a Scottish ceilidh. A ceilidh dance is a Scots' tradition, enjoyed at celebrations. Experience this lively style of dancing at Sloans' grand ballroom in the city centre. Visit sloansglasgow.com for more details on their weekly ceilidh (every Friday night from 8.30pm).

Eddi Reader on Glasgow's music scene

Eddi Reader smiles gently at the camera surrounded by twinkling fairylights.

Visit our blog with Eddi Reader - the award-winning singer-songwriter gives her take on why Glasgow is a top worldwide city for music lovers. Eddi has enjoyed decades of success as one of Scotland's most recognisable voices. She is known for her band Fairground Attraction and her reworking of Robert Burns' classics. She also regularly appears at Celtic Connections.

Did you know that Glasgow's status as a UNESCO City of Music makes it one of 13 UNESCO sites in Scotland? In a world first Scotland's UNESCO sites have been brought together to form a trail - discover more about each of these 13 wonders and the UNESCO trail at visitscotland.com.

Article last updated: July 2022

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