We give a shout out to some of our favourite unique venues across the country
Formerly the veterinary school of the University of Edinburgh, Summerhall is a network of halls, galleries and lecture theatres that form a warren of fascinating spaces. As well as a year-round centre for the arts, it has firmly established itself as one of the Fringe's most significant venues. For more than two decades, The Stand has been hosting daily comedy nights from its cosy wee basement off Edinburgh's Queen Street, its famously tiny stage hosting some of the biggest names in stand-up. A relative newcomer to the capital's comedy scene, Monkey Barrel has quickly established itself as a serious contender for week-round hilarity in a characterful Old Town setting.
Stills has been a vital champion of photographic art since 1977 but its position in the Old Town is under threat after the council elected to hike its rent over the next five years. As the number of live music venues in Edinburgh further dwindles, Leith Depot's position on the scene is vital. A recent second stay of execution has secured short-term survival, although its landlord developer is determined to demolish the block on which it stands.
Another much-loved music venue, Dundee's Reading Rooms sadly closed after 17 years following pressure from the council's licensing board, a situation not dissimilar to the fate that befell Glasgow's Arches in 2015. Elsewhere, the city's booming cultural renaissance continues: the DCA celebrated its first two decades, while Dundee Rep commemorated 80 years of entertaining audiences. Up in Stornoway, An Lanntair is flourishing, with a diverse programme of entertainment year-round in its stunning harbourside surroundings
Over in Glasgow, Glad Café opened in 2012 and is a thriving community centre, music venue and café all rolled into one award-winning venue. The Sub Club remains a nirvana for electronic music aficionados, more than three decades since it first opened its doors. The Art School offers support for art and music, with profits invested into student projects, while in the Southside, Tramway continues to champion the arts inside its unique building. In the Merchant City, The Tron remains one of Scotland's leading mid-scale producing and presenting theatres. So central – geographically as well as figuratively – is the CCA to Glasgow's cultural scene, that not even two devastating fires at its Glasgow School of Art neighbour could bring it down. This arts hub is a constantly bubbling cauldron of creativity, as well as being home to a number of the country's smaller cultural and artistic organisations.