In 2023 we’re finally back to a full programme of summer festivals. There’s certainly no shortage of choice over the next three months, and that’s setting aside the behemoth of the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe. We can look forward to amazing food and drink festivals, sports events, theatrical seasons and even days out for crafty types and car-crazy petrolheads.

June 24, Locations around Dundee

The National:

This sprawling one-night event brings contemporary art festival Art Night to Dundee. This is the first time it has been fully presented outside London. From 7pm until late, Art Night will present 10 major new commissions in civic spaces across the city by internationally significant and emerging artists. The locations range from Dundee Contemporary Arts and V&A Dundee to historic ships the RRS Discovery and the HMS Unicorn. It also takes in the Little Theatre, Arthurstone Library, Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD) at the University of Dundee, Baxter Park and Pavillion, and the Keiller Centre as well as outdoors in the city’s streets.

June 28 - July 2

If anything can make the East Neuk of Fife more attractive it’s a careful curated programme of mainly classical music events across the villages, but you will find jazz and traditional in the line-up too.

The National:

There are concerts in Crail, Anstruther, Kilrenny, St Monans and St Andrews and the choice of venues can be equally interesting – from churches, halls, and an ex-nuclear bunker, to caves, an RAF base, a Scout hall, stately homes and gardens.

June 16 – 18, Errol Park, Perthshire

Solas has long been the festival for those who appreciate the Solstice to gather. Music acts such as Rachel Sermanni and King Creosote are joined by emerging Scottish indie and traditional voices and the best of World Music.

The National:

There’s also literature, workshops, children’s activities and this being a Midsummer event an area to celebrate wellbeing and spirituality.

July 21 – 23, Cardross Estate, Stirlingshire

Once again, Doune the Rabbit Hole provides an interesting music line-up in a family-friendly festival environment. Five stages across the site will offer the likes of Spiritualized, Alabama 3, Black Grape, Asian Dub Foundation, James Grant and Goldie Lookin’ Chain.

The National:

It really does have one of the most imaginative areas for children, so much so that the parents are happy to hang out there too.

June 16 – 23, Orkney

One of the most well-loved and established arts festivals in the country, St Magnus always offers something of a surprise every year. In among another eclectic programme of music, theatre, literature and visual arts, this year offers the world premiere of Thora.

It’s a play rooted in place. Written by David McNeish and directed by Gerda Stevenson, Thora is the mother of Magnus. Without her, the cult of St Magnus, the mighty cathedral and even the St Magnus International Festival would not exist. Here Thora tells her own story.

The National:

Another highlight will be Terceradix : Architects Of Air Luminarium, a sensory experience which creates a highly colourful environment in which to lose yourself for a moment in time.

August 4 – 13, North Berwick

Fringe By The Sea has become one of the great escapes from the clamour of Edinburgh. The location and relaxed atmosphere belies the scope of its programme, which gets stronger every year.

The National:

The full programme is launched early in June but the closing concert from the International Film Orchestra performing The Spectacular Music of Harry Potter will be a magical ending.


July 16, Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh

From the petrolheads to the casual car fan, this is a day to find a favourite or find out more about being safe on the road.

The National:

There’s also a few “don’t try this on your own roads” stunt shows and places to shop, listen to music and entertain the children.


June 16 – 18, The Big Shed, Aberfeldy, Perthshire

Have you ever had the desire to let it all go? Sometimes we dance as if no-one’s watching but this festival gives us the licence to do just that among people who want to do exactly the same thing, but around like-minded people.

The National:

Meditate, join the workshops to truly let yourself be yourself and then get on the dancefloor and move in any way you choose!

Ecstatic Dance can promote something of a meditative trance. It can bypass the thinking and has benefits including emotional release, relaxing tension and raising energy levels.


June 30 - July 2, Portsoy

This is the 30th anniversary of this celebration of Portsoy’s harbour and maritime heritage. Apart from the boats, there is a busy music programme as well as plenty of food and drink throughout the town.

The National:



Two of the most popular summer events are a trip back to the days of neon nightclubs, Don Johnson jackets and Kylie bubble perms. Both are a dream 1980s (sometimes creeping into the 90s) Top of the Pops line-up. All hits, no album tracks and definitely no “new stuff”! They’re colourful, fun, unpretentious and if they bring back some memories of school dinners and snogging behind the bike sheds, what’s wrong with that?


July 24, Dalkeith Country Park

Let’s Rock Scotland offers a pretty stellar line-up including The Human League, Midge Ure, Blancmange, Hue and Cry and Betty Boo among others. The usual stalls, food and drink and places to find appropriate accessories are all there too.


July 21 - 23, Scone Place, Perth

The National:

The two-day Day-Glo fest is headline by Erasure’s Andy Bell on Saturday and Squeeze on Sunday. Across the two days you can see Nick Heyward, Toyah, ABC, Soul II Soul, Art of Noise,and Go West (and Midge again!).



Perhaps the original Scottish festival, Highland Games remain an important community event over the summer months. There are some city events but mainly they celebrate our rural heritage and culture, from the largest to the smallest populations.

It’s an opportunity to see some fine traditional athletes, dancers, and musicians, but they are also great family-friendly days out with great local food stalls.

These are the events happening in June, but to find out if there’s a Highland Games near you this summer there’s a full list at

The National:

Saturday, June 17
Oldmeldrum Sports & Highland Games
, 10.30 am, Oldmeldrum Pleasure Park, Park Crescent

Sunday, June 18
Aberdeen Highland Games
, 10am, Hazelhead Park

Saturday, June 24
Ceres Highland Games,
1pm, The Bow Butts, Ceres, Fife



Jazz and summer are a great fit. The sound of mellifluous horns floating on a warm evening is something that can’t be forgotten. There are jazz events taking place across the nation over the summer, with the most surprising happening in the south-west.

June 14 - 18

Thirty events will take place over the five days with a wide selection of music that can be called jazz, jazz-tinged, jazz-inspired or of a kind that will appeal to those looking for something inspirational or musically challenging. There is blues, soul, funk, R&B and world music. Large concerts and small club gigs. Late night music and talks. A place to immerse yourself in music – hear favourites and discover something new.

July 14 – 23

More than 110 concerts are on offer during the 10 days of this year’s Jazz and Blues, serenading and chilling the city before the August influx.

The National:

It’s one of the seven Edinburgh festivals and the programme is so sprawling that only consulting the online brochure gives the scale. It’s a great way to see Scottish favourites and encounter talent from across the globe. This year for example, is a strand called SPARK from Norway.