Burns&Beyond: New festival celebrating life and legacy of Scotland's national bard

Burns&Beyond: New festival celebrating life and legacy of Scotland's national bard

Nightwave plays the Red Rose Club on Sat 26 Jan / credit: Peter Ho

Featuring a night of electronic music curated by The List, with Nightwave, Sofay, Ribeka and The Honey Farm on the bill

Unique Events have today revealed the first details of the inaugural Burns&Beyond, a new six-day festival dedicated to beloved poet Robbie Burns. An expansion upon the annual Red, Red Rose Street events, the festival will pay homage to Burns' cultural influence upon Scotland with a vibrant programme of Scottish music, comedy, theatre and visual art, which will take place in special venues around Edinburgh from Tue 22 to Sun 27 January.

The flagship Burns&Beyond Culture Trail (Sat 26 Jan) will take audiences on a cultural voyage across the city centre, wherein they will discover eight secret performances at transformed historic venues from St Giles' Cathedral to Freemason's Hall. As part of the festivities, The List is proud to present the Red Rose Club, an evening showcase of electronic music by some of the most talented Scottish DJs currently on the scene. Based on the groundbreaking all-women Hot 100 this year, the night's line-up includes the likes of Nightwave, Sofay, Ribeka and The Honey Farm.

Trad music will also play a central role in Burns&Beyond, with performances by Lau fiddler and composer Aiden O'Rourke, acclaimed piper Brighde Chaimbeul and singer Alasdair Roberts at Lucky Middlemiss' Tavern, which will evoke the warm uproarious spirit of an Old Town watering hole as Burns would have known in his day. Similarly, Pictish Trail will be curating Lost Map's Howlin' Fling, a recreation of Eigg's famous Ceilidh Hall in tribute to the rich musical traditions and culture of hospitality in the Hebrides. Edinburgh art collective Neu! Reekie! have programmed a highly anticipated evening of music and poetry, featuring a recitation of Burns' 'Tam O' Shanter' as you've never heard it performed before by Kevin Williamson, and music and dance from Kixx Collective.

Burns&Beyond: New festival celebrating life and legacy of Scotland's national bard

Museum of the Moon at the University of Bristol / credit: Carolyn Eaton

The stage of Rose Theatre will also be graced by performances of Captivate's sell-out musical Rabbie, as well as the rom-com The Ghosting of Rabbie Burns, which transplants Burns' beloved poetry and songs to the present day. Likewise paying tribute to Burns' ribald sense of humour is Burns&Beyond's comedy line-up in collaboration with Gilded Balloon, with jokey bits from Gary Meikle, Jay Lafferty, Rosco McClelland, Billy Kirkland and Susan Riddle on the bill.

Of course, it wouldn't be a true Burns celebration without the pomp and ceremony of a Burns Supper, which will be provided by the much-loved New Town eatery Urban Angel, replete with traditional speeches and toasts, as well as musical accompaniment from the 40-piece Nevis Ensemble and ceilidhing with the Kilter Ceilidh band (Fri 25 Jan).

Another centrepiece of Burns&Beyond is Museum of the Moon, a touring installation by British artist Luke Jerram which will make the sacral space of St Giles Cathedral its home for the duration of the festival. Accompanied by a specially commissioned score by Dr John Hails, Museum of the Moon will also feature a 'Moon Lecture' by Dr William Taylor from the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, an intimate acoustic gig by folk-noir singer Rachel Sermanni (Wed 23 Jan) as well as a special performance by Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble (Fri 25 Jan).

Burns&Beyond, various venues across Edinburgh, Tue 22–Sun 27 Jan, burnsandbeyond.com. Burns&Beyond Culture Trail, Sat 26 Jan, £25. Tickets on sale from Fri 7 Dec.


Burns&Beyond with Johnnie Walker returns to celebrate the life and legacy of Robert Burns through traditional and contemporary art and culture from across Scotland and beyond. The 2021 free online programme includes KT Tunstall, Aidan O’Rourke, Rachel Sermanni, Aidan Moffat, Kinnaris and more.