Best summer events in Glasgow and Edinburgh

Best summer events in Glasgow and Edinburgh

Sun or no sun, there's plenty of great summer fun to be had across Glasgow and Edinburgh

With the teeming mosh-pit that is festival season still at the far end of summer, there are plenty of reasons to get out and about in Edinburgh and Glasgow over the next several weeks. Here's our run-down of the best summer events in the big cities.

Magners Summer Nights
Contrary to popular belief, Scotland’s summer lasts longer than one weekend, and this live music event runs across three. In Glasgow, acts such as King Creosote, Glasvegas, Joan Armatrading and Echo & The Bunnymen take to Kelvingrove Bandstand, while James, the Flaming Lips and the Waterboys are playing at Edinburgh's Ross Bandstand. There’s also cider and street food, as if you needed further persuasion.
Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow, Thu 6–Sat 8 Aug & Thu 13–Sat 15 Aug; Ross Theatre Bandstand, Edinburgh, Wed 26–Fri 28 Aug,

Glasgow Summer Sessions
Paolo Nutini, Grace Jones, Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding? No, it’s not Now That’s What I Call A Music Festival, it’s the Glasgow Summer Sessions line-up. Taking place at Bellahouston Park, other confirmed acts include John Newman, Disciples and Burns.
Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, Sat 29–Sun 30 Aug,

This arts festival should keep you busy all summer long, with events taking place across sunshiney Leith from June to September. Highlights include Kirsty Whiten’s exhibition Wronger Rites; a joint event with record store Elvis Shakespeare featuring in-store live performances, and an artist exchange between Edinburgh and Copenhagen at The Biscuit Factory.
Various Venues, Leith, Fri 12 Jun–Sun 27 Sep,

Community Festivals
In Glasgow, the West End Festival is back for its 20th year. Highlights include the spectacular annual Sunday parade (Sun 7 Jun) and the Glasgow Mela (Sun 14 Jun). Over in Edinburgh, the volunteer-run Meadows Festival hosts several live outdoor gigs; confirmed bands so far include Eliza Carthy, Sea Bass Kid, Urvanovic, and the Mermaids.
West End Festival, Glasgow, Fri 5–Sun 28 Jun,; Meadows Festival, Edinburgh, Sat 6–Sun 7 Jun,

Edinburgh Food Festival
Celebrating the best in Scottish produce, this event features talks, live cooking demonstrations and entertainment as well as a series of stalls, food vendors and a dedicated market for producers. It’s better than your neighbour’s backyard barbecue, that’s for sure.
George Square Gardens, Edinburgh, Wed 29 Jul–Sun 2 Aug,

Outdoor Cinema
In June, Film in the City brings movies to the Edinburgh, with Film in the City outdoor screenings on the Grassmarket and in St Andrews Square, while Luna Cinema is showing classic films at the Botanic Gardens in September. Over in Glasgow, Moonlight Cinema will be screening a selection of outdoor movies, with more details to be confirmed. Al fresco Mamma Mia, anyone?
Film in the City, Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Sat 6–Sun 7 Jun, & St Andrew Square Garden, Edinburgh, Fri 12–Sun 14 Jun. Luna Cinema Fri 4–Sun 6 Sep, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh; Moonlight Cinema, Glasgow, date TBC

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).

Summer Nights

Summer festival featuring a series of open air gigs by popular artists.

Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre, Glasgow

Sat 13 Aug

£38.50 (includes booking fee)

Glasgow Mela

This huge outdoor festival celebrates the traditions of Glasgow's many and varied immigrant communities with a mix of international music, dance, stalls and other activities.

Edinburgh International Film Festival

The oldest continually running film festival in the world, the EIFF draws on its prestige to consistently present abundant programmes of new features, documentaries, retrospectives, shorts, panel discussions and educational workshops, with a few high profile premieres thrown in for good measure.

Calvin Harris

The Dumfries producer and DJ has become of the biggest EDM artists in the world, behind huge hits and even bigger collaborations including 'I Need Your Love', 'Blame', 'Summer' and 'We Found Love' with Rihanna.

West End Festival

Taking over the West End of Glasgow, the festival treats the ears to a great musical line-up, tantalises all the senses with a carnival, and delves into the creative depths of local studios and exhibitions with the Hidden Lane open days.

Meadows Festival

Edinburgh's festival season cranks into top gear with the Meadows Festival, which offers a local band line-up, dance groups, a dog show, an outdoor market and workshops amidst lots of family-friendly activities.


LeithLate is a multi-arts festival that takes place across multiple venues in Leith, showcasing the very best in emerging artists, musicians, poets and filmmakers.

Paolo Nutini

The Ivor Novello Award-winning Paisley pop singer-songwriter. Paolo Nutini's first album These Streets, which included hits 'Jenny Don't Be Hasty' and 'New Shoes', was released in 2006 and peaked at number three in the UK chart. In his early days Nutini supported The Rolling Stones, Amy Winehouse and KT Tunstall and has…

Edinburgh Food Festival

Edinburgh Food Festival is a celebration of Scottish food with meet-the-producer events and chef demos, as well as street food stalls.