Events & Festivals
Here you’ll find details of some of the regular creative and cultural events throughout Perth & Kinross. Dates vary slightly each year so please check the individual websites for further information.
This list is by no means exhaustive and dates are correct at the time of editing, so if you have event details/updates you want to be included please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the following, the Culture Perth & Kinross ‘What’s On’ website page lists events and activities in Museums and libraries across Perth & Kinross.
The 14th Winter Words Festival at Pitlochry Festival Theatre runs from 2-18 February 2018 and includes 40 different events. The Winter Words Festival kick-starts Scotland’s literary year into gear and takes place in some of the most picturesque surroundings of Highland Perthshire. Over the course of the festival you can hear from broadcasters, explorers, authors, adventurers, join in workshops, be entertained, enjoy a book fair and get involved with 3 different writing competitions. The 2018 Winter Words Festival line up includes Val McDermid, Doug Johnstone, Cameron McNeish, Sally Magnusson, Graeme Obree and Paul Murton. Click here to see online brochure.
Perform in Perth Music Festival runs from 3 – 17 March 2018, an annual festival of music, speech and dance. Each year around 3,800 performers take part in the two week festival which opens in early March. There are events for groups of almost any size and description, in addition to an extensive programme for solo performance. Performers have the opportunity to develop their skills through receiving advice and encouragement from a team of experienced professional adjudicators.
The 15th Niel Gow Festival runs from 16-18 March 2018 in Dunkeld & Birnam and is an annual Scottish fiddle festival celebrating the life and music of renowned Perthshire fiddler Niel Gow (1727 – 1807) raised in nearby Inver, and who is widely regarded as the most talented and influential Scottish fiddler of the 18th century. Growing in popularity each year, the festival attracts fiddle and traditional Scottish musical enthusiasts from across the world and features concerts, recitals, workshops and sessions featuring some of Scotland’s finest fiddlers.
March into Pitlochry is Highland Perthshire’s newest music festival (now in it’s 3rd year) and runs from 23-24 March 2018. It’s 2 days, 20 bands and 2 venues and offers a lineup of all genres of music. Check their website for the line up and ticket information. A non-profit organisation, the chosen charity over the last 3 years has been Parkinson’s UK.
PLATFORM is Perthshire’s newest multi-arts Festival of Creativity, run by Culture Perth & Kinross (CPK) and runs from Sat 24 – 31 March 2018. Running in various venues throughout Perth & Kinross, the 2018 Festival will feature exhibitions, workshops, masterclasses, art-installations, dance, poetry, music as well as newly commissioned art from 150 artists across 30 different venues. Platform is an opportunity to go beyond your creative boundaries. Keep up to date with the 2018 programme as it becomes available on the Platform Facebook page.
The 40th Glenfarg Folk Feast runs from 6-8 April 2018 and is an annual event run by the internationally famous Glenfarg Folk Club. The 40 year celebrations includes a guest line up of top class entertainment and events including a ceilidh-concert, workshops, singarounds, concerts, sessions, a song competition and more.
Perth College UHI host end of year exhibitions and performances from their varied Creative Industries courses. 2018 Show information will be updated as available.
Perth Festival of the Arts 17-26 May 2018. Perth Festival of the Arts is an annual 10 day Festival, founded in 1972, and taking place in the City of Perth in Scotland. It is now in its 47th Year and is one of the oldest continuously running arts Festivals in Scotland. Taking place in the newly re-opened Perth Theatre, Perth Concert Hall and St Johns Kirk with artists including Ruby Wax, Jools Holland, English Touring Opera, Rev Richard Coles, Grimethorpe Colliery Bank, Val McDermid & Royal Northern Sinfonia, there are more to be announced including rock and comedy. Click here for 2018 Programme details.
ArTay Festival 17-20 May 2018. ArTay is curated by Frames Gallery and features work from over 80 artists and makers drawn from all over Scotland and there will be around 300 works on show. Located beside Perth Concert Hall, free entry.
Perth Fake Festival Sat 19 May 2018. Perth Fake Festival is a tribute-based music event, featuring 6 pro-level ‘fake bands’, who are professional ‘touring-grade’ tribute bands. They look, sound and move like the real acts, in addition talented local ‘home-grown’ based bands get to play as support during the afternoon showcase.
Alyth Creates 25-27 May 2018. Following the much enjoyed and successful inaugural Alyth Creates in 2017, it’s returning in 2018 with a diverse selection of events including art, performances, music, heritage and outdoor events, workshops, open studios, even an 11-mile hill run! This 3-day celebration is organised by The Alyth Arts & Crafts Guild. Their Alyth Creates Facebook page details more information.
Potfest 8-10 June 2018. Potfest is a ceramic show located at Scone Palace, an event where you can meet the potters, talk pots and buy directly from the maker.
The Solas Festival 22-24 June 2018, at The Bield, Blackruthven, Perth. Solas is Scotland’s midsummer festival which has been running since 2009. The all-age weekend-long celebration of music and the arts is designed to entertain, inspire and challenge. The programme also makes space for challenging debate with activists, writers and thinkers from across the political, cultural and religious spectrum. Solas Festival offers a creative and entertaining programme for festival-goers of all ages in a safe environment.
Crieff Arts Festival 21-22 July 2018. A community event which is a celebration of local arts, in it’s 5th year it will be supporting ‘Kid’s Week in Crieff’. A local group which creates a fun filled week of family entertainment, including a Fairy Trail. The Arts Festival will display pictures with a Wings and Flowers theme in the shop windows this year. More information can be found on the Crieff Arts Festival Facebook page.
Rewind Festival Scotland 20-22 July 2018, Scone Palace, Perth. Rewind is the biggest and wildest celebration of the music of the 1980s & returns to Perthshire for another year! Whether you want a blast from the past or just enjoy listening to the classics, Rewind offers a high energy experience with 27 top acts over the course of one weekend.
Southern Fried Festival 26-29 July 2018, Perth Concert Hall. Perth’s annual festival of American roots music is celebrating it’s 10th year. The festival offers four days of the very best in Americana covering all the roots music bases from blues to bluegrass, soul to country, rock and gospel. In addition there are free gigs and some great food on offer!
Fortingall Art 21 July – 5 August 2018. An annual Summer Exhibition featuring work from over 30 local artists. Work includes painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, jewellery and furniture, and the popular Schools Mini Art Competition. Held in the elegant Molteno Hall, in the village of Fortingall, with its Arts and Craft style architecture, and ancient Yew tree.
‘It’s Braw’ runs from 6-12 August 2018. The Blairgowrie & Rattray Arts Week (it’s BRAW) is set to be an annual showcase of art, craft, music and drama. It’s a chance to get involved and have a go at all kinds of creative and cultural activities. The programme includes free music event, a concert, creative workshops vary from making a silver ring to a wooden whistle, family events, drama workshops, a Murder Mystery Night and so much more. Just check the ‘It’s BRAW’ website for full event listings.
Craigie Hill Music Festival in Perth, Saturday 25 August 2018. Programme yet to be released, however this festival is returning for it’s 3rd year, the 2017 festival had an impressive line-up which included Eddi Reader and The Red Pine Timber Company. In addition ‘The Join the Club’ gathering is an opportunity for local talent to perform.
Perthshire Open Studios 1-9 September 2018. Now in it’s 11th year, Perthshire Open Studios is established annual event known for the quality and range of art and hand craft on display and for sale to the general public. A great opportunity to meet the artists and makers in person and see inside their workspaces, some offer demonstrations and ‘have a go’ sessions too.
Perth Festival of Yarn returns in it’s 3rd year on 8-9 September 2018 at Dewars Centre, Perth. Perth Festival of Yarn is Scotland’s Contemporary Yarn and Fibre Festival; bringing together independent dyers, farmers, small-holders, knitters, spinners, felters and weavers. With a wide selection of vendors, demonstrations and workshops, it’s an inspiring event for all yarn lovers.
Doors Open Day in Perth & Kinross is a unique chance to enjoy a rich variety of architecture and heritage. An opportunity to visit behind the scenes many of the cultural venues throughout the area. Visits can include music, exhibitions, guided tours and walks. Dates for Perth & Kinross Doors Open Day vary and when available can be seen on this PKHT link .
Bookmark Book Festival in Blairgowrie, Rattray and the Glens launched in October 2013 in response to a demand from a range of book groups in East Perthshire, BOOKMARK was born from a passion for literature in all it’s forms and has a varied programme of author events, it runs from Friday 5 to 7 October 2018. There are occasional events related to and supporting the event throughout the year and details can be found on the Bookmark Facebook page.
The Enchanted Forest runs from 4 October to 4 November 2018 at Faskally Wood, Pitlochry. With a new theme each year, The Enchanted Forest is Perthshire’s Big Tree Country’s multi-award winning fantastic outdoor sound and light show and won UK’s Best Cultural Event 2016 at the UK Event Awards. A hugely popular event, you can sign up to receive their newsletter for notification of ticket sales.
The Strathmore Arts Festival – stART is a community-based Arts Festival organised and run by volunteers from East Perthshire. The aim of the group is to provide opportunities for local people to participate in a variety of high quality of arts workshops, projects and events on their doorsteps. stART organise a biennial participatory arts festival, but also run ad-hoc activities throughout the year, usually in partnership with other local groups and organisations.
TalkFest Perth is an exciting opportunity to see new writing in progress, meet playwrights and even try writing for the first time yourself. With rehearsed readings, playwriting workshops, script surgeries and a mini-bookshop, there is bound to be something for everyone. TalkFest Perth run from Thurs 25 – Sat 27 October at Perth Theatre. Follow the Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland, Facebook page for updates.
The 69th Perth Accordian & Fiddle Festival takes place on Saturday 27 Oct 2018 and is a major occasion in the Scottish music calendar, incorporating the official Scottish Accordion Championships for traditional music alongside fiddle competitions and a range of individual and group sections covering a variety of musical styles.
Returning on Friday 2 – Sunday 4 November 2018, the Perthshire Amber – The Dougie MacLean Festival is coming back in a distilled format, going back to it’s roots for a full weekend of music sessions in Dunkeld. It will be much more ‘music’ focused with loads of acoustic music sessions, Open Mic, Cabaret Amber…with great friend Tim Edey joining Dougie for a concert in the historic and atmospheric Murthly Castle Chapel, one big ‘Dougie’ concert in Perth Concert Hall… and a Farewell Bash in the beautiful setting of Dunkeld House on the banks of the River Tay. Regular updates can be found on the Perthshire Amber Festival Facebook Page. The Amber Market, organised by Dunkeld Craft Collective, showcases the work of local artists and makers and will be running at The Taybank, Dunkeld on Saturday 3 Nov, 11-4pm.
The Aberfeldy Festival returns for it’s 9th year in 2019. Running on 2/3 November, with a programme of the latest and greatest contemporary alternative music, alongside poetry, art, films and literature. The Line-up focuses on bands and music on the Scottish music scene that are maybe under represented but still have a good following or have had critical acclaim and played on radio stations like BBC6. Although that’s not always the case nor an exclusive ruling on who we invite but we do try to include bands that have made an impact on the music scene in Scotland in that year. Ian Rankin has helped to curate for a number of years now and always has a good handle on what bands are worthy of a listen. The Aberfeldy Festival Facebook Page has regular updates.
Hamish Matters, 7th – 10th November 2018, is a Festival celebrating the life of Hamish Henderson, Scottish poet, songwriter, soldier and intellectual in and around his Blairgowrie birthplace. A number of events are planned including an evening of poetry, storytelling, talks, culminating in The People’s Ceilidh on Saturday 10 November, an evening of songs, music,stories and poems in the spirit of Henderson’s ground-breaking 1951 Festival Cèilidh. All events can be found on the Hamish Matters Facebook page.
The Aberfeldy Film Festival, 16-18 November 2018, is organised by the Heartland Film Society offering a full weekend of films and events.
The Perthshire Creates Christmas Design Market will be on 2 days this year, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 November 2018, at Civic Hall, 2 High Street, Perth from 10-4.30pm. It’s an opportunity to meet and buy direct from the maker, unusual one-off gifts and items from a wide variety of Perthshire based artists and designer-makers. 42 makers over 2 days (30 at any one time), 18 of which will be there both days, and 12 different makers there on Saturday and Sunday. Free entry. Follow the Christmas Design Market Facebook Event page for regular updates on which makers will be there.
The first ever Birnam Book Festival takes place from Friday 23 November – Sunday 25 November 2018. There’s something for everyone in the rich and varied line-up of authors: contemporary fiction, crime, biography, science, social commentary, poetry and philosophy, as well as sessions for children and philosophy, as well as sessions for children and a link-up with the Corbenic Community’s Advent Fair. Information and tickets are available from Birnam Arts. Regular updates can be seen on the Birnam Book Festival Facebook page.
The Annual Exhibition of the Perthshire Art Association (PAA) at the Perth Museum & Art Gallery is a selling exhibition of contemporary artworks by members of the PAA and includes work by both professional and amateur artists and covers a wide range of subject matter, styles and media.
The Kinross Music Festival is part of the Kinross Winter Festival which runs throughout November and December. The programme features a variety music events, family activities, local talent and community spirit. Keep updated via their Facebook page.