Preview of 2012 - The best events this year

Preview of 2012 - The best events this year

Featuring the Cultural Olympiad, The Dark Knight Rises, WU LYF, Glasgow International and more

It’s 2012, but fear not, things aren’t as bad as they seem. Before you decide to occupy government property, or smash a brick through Dixons, take heart in the folklore of a simpler age. For when times are black, you can always rely on the comfort of superstition.

Thus we begin our predictions for the New Year with some dark things happening in forests. In the middle of our four years of Cultural Olympiad artist Craig Coulthard will be setting up a pristine football pitch in the middle of a Borders forest, playing two games on it, and never returning to it again – letting nature reclaim the cleared space (, 12 Jul). Not pagan enough for you? Then look out for The Psychedelic Forest Disco at Kelburn Castle on 12 May.

You can seek shelter from the modern world in the comfort of your own hermitage. But why not indulge that most anti-social of passions (reading) in a less lonely environment. We predict great things of both Margins (Cargo Publishing’s literary takeover of the Arches in February) and Bloody Scotland (the country’s first dedicated crime fiction fest, 14–16 Sep).

Of course, no set of grand predictions would be complete without the return of a hero. Here’s four for you: Jason Bourne; Batman; Spiderman; Napoleon Dynamite (the latter only in cartoon form on E4, but featuring many of the film actors as voice artists.) And, lo, we will behold their muscular majesty at the grand altar of IMAX.

Other travellers from foreign lands (such as London and Manchester) will come to our cities, playing arresting music under indecipherable names. Such as extremely good soaring indie-rock from would-be mountain men (and actual Mancunians) WU LYF (SWG, Glasgow, 17 Mar), or producer SBTRKT who will be bringing a magic music box full of post-dubstep to King Tut’s, Glasgow (26 Feb), and there’s even a new The xx album rumoured to be coming out before summer.

With all of this going on, it’s no wonder that the people will rejoice! New avant garde music festival Alternative Currents will be happening simultaneously across three cities (witchcraft!) Glasgow, London and Berlin on 6 & 7 Apr. Also in April, FOUND and Aidan Moffat (List Award winners and nominee respectively) will be collaborating on a ‘life in records’ art project for Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art. To top it all, he of the famous feet and teeth, Gene Kelly, will be the subject of the Glasgow Film Festival retrospective in late Feb.

So, come ye wee cowering people of Scotland out from your lairs (or from under your layers), cast out the false idols Little Mix and Michael Bublé and prepare for a new season of firelight, music and carousing … and Sherlock on BBC1.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).

Bloody Scotland

An innovative festival drawing on Scotland's love of the literary macabre and celebrating crime writing by bringing together leading Scottish and international writers, showcasing debut voices and encouraging new writers. As well as interviews and panels there is a torchlight procession, criminal cabaret, a crime writer's…

Various venues: Stirling

Fri 18 Sep

Times vary

Sat 19 Sep

Times vary

Sun 20 Sep

Times vary

Glasgow International

Two-yearly festival of contemporary art commissioned from artists around the globe and including exhibitions in traditional gallery spaces, plus unique site-specific installations and live performance art. The 2020 festival has been postponed to 2021, however a digital programme is available online.

Glasgow Film Festival

Since 2005, Scotland's fastest-growing film festival has become a force to be reckoned with in the movie world.


A festival of underground, experimental and international music, Counterflows marries the local to the international with artists from around the world collaborating with homegrown talent across Glasgow.

Margins Book and Music Festival

A hip young festival of music and books.

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