Glasgow's Iconic Music Scene

With one of the most vibrant scenes in the UK, Glasgow’s music offering is outstanding.

Take a musical pilgrimage, discover your favourite festival, make memories, share stories and songs and say ‘I was there’…

As the UK’s first UNESCO City of Music, Glasgow is a place where music is not simply confined to the four walls of venues – it's the beating heart of the city.

Barrowlands Euan Robertson 1Photo credit: Euan Robertson

See a megastar

Glasgow is a city that lives and breathes music 365 days a year, with a scene that stretches from urban and hip-hop, electronica and indie through to classical and celtic.  This vast musical offering is equalled by iconic venues of varying sizes and styles!

Global stars are also attracted to the city for open air concerts. Bruce Springsteen, Jay Z & Beyonce and The Stone Roses have all performed at the country’s national stadium, Hampden Park. Meanwhile, Radiohead, Calvin Harris, The Arctic Monkeys, Kendrick Lamar and Kings of Leon have played to revellers whilst the sun sets over a Glasgow park at one of the city’s many music festivals, such as Glasgow Summer Sessions and TRNSMT. Meanwhile, the city's SSE Hydro is consistently ranked as one of the world's top ten indoor entertainment arenas, alongside the likes of Madison Square Gardens and the London O2 Arena.

So why is it better to see a megastar in Glasgow than in one of the other major UK cities that they book to play on their tour? Glasgow’s audiences make gigs truly memorable and it is the reason that many bands frequently choose to start or end their tour here.

"Glasgow is the best, most mental crowd in the world”

 Ed Sheeran


Discover a new band

Glasgow’s music scene, like the city itself, is ever-evolving, progressive and here to stay. People come here to discover or be discovered.  

Bands hailing from, or launching their career in the city include: The Blue Nile, Franz Ferdinand, The Fratellis, Snow Patrol, Travis, Teenage Fanclub, Texas, Glasvegas, Chvrches, Frightened Rabbit, Mogwai, Twin Atlantic, The Phantom Band and many more.

On any day of the week, you can check out international bands on the rise at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut (named one of the top live music venues in the world by industry experts Pollstar, 2018) and discover your favourite new band in much-revered bars like Nice n’ Sleazy, The Glad Cafe and Stereo.


Take a Musical Pilgrimage

Music is in our city’s past, present and future.  From the world’s oldest surviving music hall to the venue that launched the career of Oasis; the city’s musical heritage is abundant. And the best ways to uncover these stories is by taking a city walking tour.

Glasgow Music City Tours offer lively and informative guided walks around the places, people and performances that have helped shape Glasgow's music scene.

The Walking Heads Music Tour is an award-winning audio walking tour exploring the sights, sounds and stories of Glasgow's music scene. The tour takes you off the beaten track on four music-driven routes.

"Fans the world over know that it's the city's unrivalled music scene that really embodies Glasgow's energy and swagger."

National Geographic Traveler


Tap your toes

Glasgow is home to Celtic Connections – the largest annual winter music festival of its kind and the UK's premier celebration of Celtic music. Thousands of musicians descend on Glasgow each January for the folk, roots and world music festival. Famous names to have taken part in the festival include Laura Marling, Martha Wainwright, Le Vent du Nord, Karine Polwart, Seth Lakeman, Billy Bragg and many more.

piping live new

It's all about the pipes in the summer when the city plays host to the world’s biggest week of piping! The annual Piping Live! festival takes place in August and showcases concerts from top traditional musicians, performances by pipe bands from across the globe, family fun days and ‘come and try’ sessions. This week long celebration of piping culminates in no less than 8000 pipers and drummers taking part in the annual World Pipe Band Championships, with the pipers battling it out in Glasgow Green for the coveted World Champion title.

For those looking for a more informal and intimate session to tap your toes to, then check out the Finnieston strip for traditional Scottish pubs which have a range of planned music evenings and spontaneous performances each day. The Highland triangle of pubs includes The Park Bar, Snaffle Bit and Islay Inn which are each renowned for their live toe tapping folk music, fine whisky selections and great craic!

Home to the nation’s best

Glasgow is a city where creatives converge. As the best and most exciting city in the world to make and consume music, Glasgow is a magnet for new voices and the finest musicians alike. As a result, the city becomes an incubator for talent, leading to an unparalleled amplification of creativity.

The city is home to The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, which is ranked third in the world for performing arts education (QS World Rankings 2017), and also to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Scottish Opera. It's no wonder that the city is a hotbed of musical creativity!



Visiting and home-grown, indoor and outdoor, one-offs and year-round – Glasgow's festival scene has it all. BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend and BBC's 6 Music Festival are just a couple of the big name festivals that have chosen Glasgow as their destination of choice in the past few years with audiences and musicians praising the host city at every turn. 

Taking place annually are the summer festivals set within the city’s expansive parks. There is Glasgow Summer Sessions in the south’s Bellahouston Park attracting huge hitting headliners; TRNSMT, from the organisers of T in the Park, takes place across two weekends at the height of summer in Glasgow Green; and the Summer Nights at the Bandstand series showcasing worldwide and local talent at the gloriously restored Kelvingrove Bandstand.

As well as the summer outdoor events, there are a number of music festivals covering various genres. From the longest running music event in the city, the Glasgow Jazz Festival, to Scotland’s biggest electronica music festival, Electric Frog and Pressure Riverside Festival – you can see that no matter your musical taste or venue preference, you’ll find a festival in Glasgow for you.

Don't forget to grab a drink before or after the show in one of Glasgow's many great bars.