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 2019 Winter Words Festival at Pitlochry Festival Theatre runs from 14-17 February 2019 and includes a wide variety of 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. The 2019 Winter Words Festival line up can be seen here.
Perform in Perth Music Festival runs from 1 – 16 March 2019, an annual festival of music, speech and dance. Each year around 3,500 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 16th Niel Gow Festival runs from 15-17 March 2019 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 4th year) and runs from 22-23 March 2019. 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 this year is PKAVS (Perth & Kinross Association of Voluntary Services).
Platform is multi-genre festival run by Culture Perth & Kinross. Starting in 2017, the event pushes creative boundaries for both creatives taking part and audiences, who are encouraged to explore the contemporary side of cultural Perth & Kinross. Now a bi-annual event, the next Platform Festival will be 14-12 March 2020, keep updated on the Platform page on the Culture Perth & Kinross website.
The 41st Glenfarg Folk Feast runs from 5-7 April 2019 and is an annual event run by the internationally famous Glenfarg Folk Club. The event includes a guest line up of top class entertainment and events including a ceilidh-concert, workshops, singarounds, concerts, sessions, a song competition and more.
The inaugural William Soutar Festival organised by Culture Perth & Kinross runs from 26-28 April 2019. The Soutar Festival of Words will provide a unique combination of author talks, music, art & creative writing, all celebrating the beauty of the Scots language and contemporary Scottish culture. Highlights include a crime writers panel with Denzil Meyrick, the Perthshire league of the Scottish poetry slam, an evening with award winning Bernard McLaverty, and a chance to discuss how to get a book published with a Scottish publishers panel.
Perth College UHI host end of year exhibitions and performances from their varied Creative Industries courses. 2019 Show information will be updated as available.
Perth Festival of the Arts 16-25 May 2019. 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 48th Year and is one of the oldest continuously running arts Festivals in Scotland. Taking place in Perth Theatre, Perth Concert Hall and St Johns Kirk with artists including Jools Holland, English Touring Opera, The Sixteen and Horrible Histories, there are more to be announced including rock and comedy. Click here for 2019 Programme details.
ArTay Festival 16-19 May 2019. 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 18 May 2019. 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 24-26 May 2019. Following the much enjoyed and successful previous Alyth Creates events in 2017/18, it’s returning in 2019 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. Follow the Alyth Creates Facebook page details more information as it becomes available.
Potfest 7-9 June 2019. 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 21-23 June 2019, at Errol Park, Errol, Perthshire. 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.
Perthshire Creates Summer Design Market – provisional date of Saturday 22 June at Civic Hall, 2 High Street, Perth. An opportunity to meet and buy quality contemporary artworks from creatives in the Tayside area.
Crieff Arts Festival – dates tbc, usually end of July. A community event which is a celebration of local arts. Run voluntarily by a local group which creates a fun filled week of family entertainment. More information can be found on the Crieff Arts Festival Facebook page.
Rewind Festival Scotland 19-21 July 2019, 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, Perth’s festival of American roots music, are taking a break during 2019 returning in 2020. 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! Keep an eye on their Southern Fried Festival Facebook Page for updates.
Fortingall Art 2019 dates tbc, usually end of July early August. 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 9-16 August 2019. The Blairgowrie & Rattray Arts Week (it’s BRAW) is 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 a wide variety of creative activities, workshops, events and much more. Just check the ‘It’s BRAW’ website or Facebook page for full event listings.
Craigie Hill Music Festival in Perth, 2019 date tbc, usually 4th Saturday in August. Programme yet to be released, however this festival offers an impressive line-up which previously has 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 7-15 September 2019. Now in it’s 12th 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 4th year on 7-8 September 2019 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, 2019 dates tbc, although usually runs during first weekend in October. 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 3 October to 3 November 2019 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, and the 2018 Scottish Thistle Award for best cultural event or festival for Central Fife & Tayside. A hugely popular event, you can find ticket information here.
The inaugural TalkFest Perth took place on Thurs 25 – Sat 27 October at Perth Theatre. This event was an exciting opportunity to see new writing in progress, meet playwrights and even try writing for the first time. Follow the Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland, Facebook page for updates for a 2019 event.
The 70th Perth Accordian & Fiddle Festival takes place on Saturday 26 Oct 2019 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.
Friday 1 – Sunday 3 November 2019, the Perthshire Amber – The Dougie MacLean Festival returns for a full weekend of music sessions in Dunkeld. Regular updates can be found on the Perthshire Amber Festival Facebook Page.
Hamish Matters, exact 2019 dates tbc, usually early November to co-incide with the birthdate of Hamish Henderson on 11 November. 2019 will be the 3rd festival and marks the centenary of his birth. Hamish Matters celebrates the life and work of Hamish Henderson, the Blairgowrie born poet, songwriter, soldier and intellectual, and often referred to as the founding father of Scotland’s 20th Century folk renaissance. The event is growing each year with a multi-faceted programme for all ages, including storytelling, poetry, music and a celebration of Scotland’s indigenous languages (Scots & Gaelic). Details can be found on the Hamish Matters Facebook page.
The Aberfeldy Film Festival 2019 dates tbc, usually mid November. This annual event is organised by the Heartland Film Society offering a full weekend of films and events.
Provisional dates for the 2019 Perthshire Creates Christmas Design Market are 23/24 November Civic Hall, 2 High Street, Perth. This annual event is an excellent 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.
The inaugural Birnam Book Festival took place Friday 23 – Sunday 25 November 2018. With a fantastic line up of authors: contemporary fiction, crime, biography, science, social commentary, poetry and philosophy, as well as sessions for children and philosophy, there was something for everyone. The next Birnam Book Festival is planned for May 2020, 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.