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 writing, so if you have event details/updates you want included please let us know and email us at email@example.com.
In addition to the following, Culture Perth & Kinross also publish an online ‘What’s On’ guide for events and activities in Museums and libraries across Perth & Kinross.
Winter Words Festival at Pitlochry Festival Theatre, 10-19 February 2017. Now in its thirteenth year the Winter Words Festival takes place over two weekends in some of the most picturesque surroundings of Highland Perthshire. The festival includes a book fair, book signings (with Vince Cable, Nicholas Crane, and John Beattie, to name a few), literary lunches, music, workshops, a Fearie Tales writing competition and an interactive playwriting workshop.
Perform in Perth Music Festival – 13 March 2017, is annual festival of orchestras, bands and large instrumental groups. Each year around 3,800 performers take part in the two week festival which opens in the second week of 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 Niel Gow Festival 17-19 March 2017, at Birnam Arts is an annual Scottish fiddle festival. A fun-filled weekend of fiddle music and good craic which celebrates 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. More info about the 2017 Programme can be found here.
March into Pitlochry is an exciting addition to the Pitlochry music year, bringing Indie & Americana bands from across the UK to the heartland of Scotland. The festival runs on 24-25 March 2017 and features a number of bands across 4 venues over 2 days. Check their website for the Running Order and Line Up.
2017 will see the inaugural PLATFORM event – a new multi-arts Festival of Perthshire’s creativity, run by Perthshire Creates and Culture Perth & Kinross (CPK) from Sat 25 March to Sat 1 April 2017. This research & development year will include events running across all the CPK venues including the regions libraries, AK Bell Library in Perth, Perth Museum & Art Gallery and The Fergusson Gallery. Events will include exhibitions from Perthshire arts organisations including Perthshire Visual Arts Forum and Perthshire Open Studios, individual artists events, workshops, music nights and much more. Dates for 2018 are 24-31 March, keep an eye out on the Platform Facebook page for regular updates.
The Glenfarg Folk Feast 7-9 April 2017, in it’s 39th year includes a guest line up of top class entertainment and events.
Perth College UHI host end of year exhibitions and performances from their varied Creative Industries courses. The 2017 Show ellipsis will be at the Civic Hall, No,2 High Street on Friday 12 and Monday 15 May 2017.
Perth Festival of the Arts 15-17 May 2017. Perth Festival of the Arts is an annual 11 day May Festival, founded in 1972, and taking place in the City of Perth in Scotland. It is now in its 46th Year and is one of the oldest continuously running arts Festivals in Scotland, taking place in Perth Concert Hall and St Johns Kirk with artists including Nigel Kennedy & Jools Holland, Chris Difford, Martin Taylor and Alison Burns, English Touring Opera Tosca, Moscow Philharmonic with Freddy Kempf, Tenebrae, Treacherous Orchestra, Rachel Sermanni, Adam Holmes and the Ember, Swinging at the Cotton Club with more to be announced including rock and comedy.
ArTay Festival 18-21 May 2017. 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 20 May 2017. Perth Fake Festival is a tribute-based music event, featuring 3 ‘fake bands’ who are professional ‘touring-grade’ tribute bands. They look, sound and move like the real starts, in addition talented local ‘home-grown’ based bands get to play as support during the afternoon showcase.
Alyth Creates 26-28 May 2017, is a new 3 day celebration organised by The Alyth Arts & Crafts Guild. This new festival of art music, heritage and the outdoors will showcase the towns diverse and flourishing creative life whilst also exploring the area’s past and historical heritage. There will be exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations, music, heritage walks and talks, bike rides and much more. Their Alyth Creates Facebook page details more information.
Potfest 9-11 June 2017. Potfest is a ceramic show located at Scone Palace, and event where you can meet the potters, talk pots and buy direct from the maker.
The Solas Festival 23-25 June 2017, 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.
The Tummel & Tay Festival is taking a break in 2017 but hopes to return in 2018. The 11 day 2016 event was a unique collaboration between 3 Highland Perthshire cultural venues, The Birks Cinema, Birnam Arts and Pitlochry Festival Theatre. The 3 venues are linked by the paths of the rivers Tummel and Tay, and was created to celebrate the finest produce, whether cultural or otherwise, of Highland Perthshire including Comedy, Arts, Theatre, Music, History, Food and Film.
2017 sees T in the Park take a year out.
Rewind Festival Scotland 21-23 July, 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 27-30 July 2017, 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 host an annual Summer Exhibition and features 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.
Crieff Arts Festival 22 July – 12 August. A community event which is a celebration of local arts including a Great High Street Exhibition, workshops, concerts, literary events and exhibitions in venues throughout the town. This year’s event includes the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry Exhibition. More information can be found on the Crieff Arts Festival Facebook page.
The inaugural Caledonian Dream Festival ran from 12-28 August 2016, a new music festival in Perthshire and Glen Lyon featuring the Arpeggione Duo. Awaiting dates for 2017.
Craigie Hill Music Festival in Perth, Sat 26 August. In it’s second year, The Craigie Hill Music Festival has Eddi Reader and The Red Pine Timber Company headlining this year. In addition ‘The Join the Club’ gathering will also form a showcase for local talent.
Perthshire Open Studios 2-10 September 2017. Now in it’s 10th year, Perthshire Open Studios is an established event, growing in reputation and known for the quality and range of art and crafts on display and for sale to the general public. All of this is the product of local artists working in their studios, garages, kitchens and other workspaces which they open to visitors for 9 days of the year, with some open throughout the year.
Following on the it’s successful inaugural event last year, the Perth Festival of Yarn returns on 10 September 2017 at Dewars Centre in Perth, for all things woolly and wonderful, from hand dyed skeins to beautifully hand knitted accessories and much more.
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 can be seen here on the 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 will run on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 October 2017.
The Enchanted Forest runs throughout October 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.
‘It’s Braw’ runs from 9-15 October and is a new event for 2017. 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.
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.
The 68th Perth Accordian & Fiddle Festival takes place on 28 Oct 2017 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.
After 12 successful years, the Perthshire Amber – The Dougie MacLean Festival is taking a break for 2017. This unique festival which has shared inspiring music, celebrated the history and culture of Perthshire is taking a year out. Keep an eye on their site for news of it’s return in 2018.
The Aberfeldy Festival takes place in the first weekend of November and has a programme of the latest and greatest contemporary alternative music, alongside poetry, art, films and literature.
Hamish Matters is a new festival taking place from the 10th – 12th November 2017 featuring live music, storytelling, sessions, film and more. Celebrating Hamish Henderson in Blairgowrie & Rattray.
The Perthshire Creates Christmas Design Market is on Saturday 25 November, at Civic Hall, 2 High Street, Perth from 10-4.30pm, and is an opportunity to meet and buy direct unusual and one-off gifts and items from a wide variety of Perthshire based artists and designer-makers. The 2017 Christmas Design Market Facebook Event Page details the participating artists and designers with images of their work which will be available at the event. Free entry.
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.