Best festivals celebrating the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design around Scotland

GSF: IAD round-up

Featuring Scotland Re:Designed, SPECTRA, Women in Science Festival and Meet Your Maker

Scotland Re:Designed is an international platform with the aim of nurturing Scottish design talent. In 2016, it will host a series of events at home, including an interiors showcase (5–9 October) and an accessories showcase. The group has also confirmed a showcase in Hong Kong in March, at which a group of Scottish designers will exhibit their work to the media, buyers and consumers at PMQ, one of Hong Kong’s most prestigious buildings. Look out for further announcements on its events at home later in the year.

Craft Scotland presents ‘Meet Your Maker’ (Apr–Oct, Scotland-wide) takes craft makers out of their studios to open up their processes to members of the public. Showcase events and open studios across the country are a unique opportunity to learn about design processes and specialists crafts up close. In past years, venues like Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh, the National Museum of Scotland and Timespan in Helmsdale have participated.

SPECTRA (various venues, Aberdeen, 11–14 Feb) is Aberdeen’s festival of light. Offering a completely different design every year, this year’s event will bring together leading international artists and established Scottish collaborators in the design of the light installations, which run from Union Terrace Gardens to the Kirk of St Nicholas graveyard and into the Granite City Marischal College. A family event that invites audiences to engage with accessible performances, spaces and works of art that marry light, sound and interactive experiences, the elements of the show can be seen outdoors, indoors and in experimental formats.

Now renamed the Findhorn Bay Festival from its former title the Findhorn Bay Arts Festival (Forres, 21–26 Sep), this biennial Moray-based event brings a mix of theatre, exhibitions, live music, art, talks, tours and free activities in its second instalment. First established as part of the 2014 Year of Homecoming, this year’s six-day festival will incorporate many architecture, design and innovation-led events, including highlights like Guerilla Lighting Tours and Light Night Parties.

GSF: IAD round-up

The Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival takes place in the Borders in April

Scotland’s Women in Science Festival (various venues, Dundee & Angus, 5–13 Mar) aims to educate the public about the often overlooked scientific contributions of women. Featuring women from the University of Dundee and around the world who are leaders in their field, the aim is to inspire more girls and women to consider careers in science. In an effort to engage new audiences, the diverse programme also includes a night of stand-up comedy on Tue 8 Mar, a Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas asking unconventional questions, literary events, book signings, art exhibitions and a schools programme.

In September, the West coast holiday town of Millport hosts the traditional Millport Illuminations, which has taken place every year since 1934. A family-friendly festival event usually incorporating fireworks, a ceilidh event and other activities for all ages, it will also host a Festival of Light. Meanwhile, the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival (Heart of Hawick, 14–17 Apr) in the Borders hosts a variety of features, experimental shorts, moving image installations, talks and events.

Find out more at

Guide to Scotland's Festivals 2016

The Guide to Scotland's Festivals 2016

When it comes to festivals Scotland leads the way, providing an inspiring programme throughout the year, with everything from tiny one-day shindigs to massive month-long bonanzas incorporating music, art, literature, theatre, food & drink and more.

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