You might think that nothing exciting ever really happens in Glasgow. But you’d be very very wrong. Glasgow is chock full of goings on all year round, and is host to some of the worlds most prestigious music and cultural festivals.
The summer festivals in Glasgow are hugely varied; there’s everything from Shakespeare to samba, and piping to Pride.
To make things easier, we’ve picked out a few of Glasgow’s best summer festivals. You don’t even need wellies at most of them.
The West End Festival is a milestone in Glasgow, marking the real beginning of summer. Glasgow’s largest community festival, the West End Festival has more than 400 events in 80 venues in and around the West End. It features over 100 organisations and more than 2,500 performers!
The highlight of the West End Festival is Festival Sunday and Parade Day (normally the first Sunday of the festival). There are loads of street entertainers, live music, street cafes, and food and craft stalls. Glasgow’s biggest parade also takes place on Festival Sunday, with tons of colour and music and dancing and puppets and drums. A fantastic day out with the family.
The Merchant City Festival is 9 days filled to the brim with free events in the cultural heart of Glasgow. There are family events, live music, street art, markets, food, tours, dance and much much more.
Taking place in smack bang in the middle of summer, Glasgow’s Merchant City Festival is the best way to experience the passion, beauty and atmosphere of this wonderful city.
Takes place at the end of July. For full info see our Merchant City Festival page.
Bard in the Botanics is Scotland’s biggest and best-loved annual Shakespeare festival, celebrating the life and work of possibly the best, and certainly the best-known playwright of all time.
Every year they showcase four Shakespeare plays, each of which is performed outdoors in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens or in the Kibble Palace. So get your picnic basket ready, because going to a Bard play will be one of the highlights of your summer!
Takes place throughout July and August in the Botanic Gardens. Full dates, shows and further info here: Bard in the Botanics
Introduced in 2013, Glasgow Summer Sessions is one of Scotland’s newest festivals. It is a weekend of open air gigs taking place in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park. Previous performers have included The Killers, David Guetta, Kings of Leon and Eminem.
Gigs take place late August in Bellahouston Park.
For more info & to see who’s performing when check out Glasgow Summer Sessions
The Glasgow Mela is Scotland’s biggest free multicultural event. As part of the West End Festival, the Mela is a festival within a festival. You’ll find brilliant dance acts such as the Desi Bravehearts, alongside world famous musicians and singers representing cultures from across the world.
Add in the stalls, food and family activities and you’ve got one of Glasgow’s best summer days out.
Takes place mid-June in Kelvingrove Park. For more info check out Glasgow Mela
The Pride Glasgow Festival is Scotland’s largest LGBT festival. It celebrates LGBT equality with a parade, street party and an open air music stage.
Pride Glasgow takes place in Glasgow Green in July.
More info including dates here: Pride Glasgow
Piping Live is a 2 week long festival celebrating Scotland’s national instrument, and the world’s biggest week of piping! Glasgow really comes alive to the sound of Scotland’s national instrument in the run up to “The Worlds”.
There are come and try sessions, pipe band performances, museum tours, ceilidhs, concerts and family days throughout the city. It’s exciting and challenging, traditional and contemporary and very much alive.
One of the highlights of Piping Live is the World Pipe Band Championships (aka “The World’s”) where the crème de la crème of pipe bands compete to win the biggest prize of the year: the title of World Pipe Band Champions.