Scotland plays host to a fantastic variety of festivals, spanning everything from music to movies to geology. In 2021 you'll find many of these events online, so you can immerse yourself in all things Scotland from the comfort of home.
Check out this round-up of the best virtual festivals in Scotland, for a taste of Scottish culture from wherever you are. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to enjoy these events in person one day.
Glasgow Film Festival
24 February – 7 March 2021
Take a break from Netflix and discover an array of compelling films at the Glasgow Film Festival. Held annually, this movie bonanza shines a spotlight on new talent in cinema, both at home in Scotland and around the world.
Expect movie screenings, premieres, talks and special events at one of the top film festivals in the UK.
You can watch the 2021 Glasgow Film Festival from wherever you are in the world. Tune into their online streaming platform, Glasgow Film At Home.
6-14 March 2021
Bring out your inner poet by attending the StAnza poetry festival. At this literary event in St Andrews, you could hone your poetry skills or simply enjoy the lineup of events, installations and exhibitions.
Look forward to readings, round table events, interactive poetry installations and more. This is a fantastic celebration of Scottish culture and talent.
Enjoy StAnza online in 2021, with events that explore this year’s themes of “Make It New” and “No Rhyme nor Reason”.
Scottish Geology Festival
For a completely different kind of festival, you may want to see what the Scottish Geology Trust has up its sleeve.
The Scottish Geology Festival brings the great outdoors to you. Discover jaw-dropping Scottish scenery and learn how the land has been formed via fascinating Geowalks and tours.
One particular region you should experience is the North West Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark. This is a truly unique area that draws in geologists from around the world.
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
If you’re missing attending orchestral performances, this could be the perfect answer for you.
Watch the Royal Scottish National Orchestra perform online thanks to their Digital Season. Enjoy concertos and symphonies by the likes of Beethoven and Mozart, filmed live from the RSNO Centre in Glasgow. You can either pay per concert or sign up to a subscription.
Scottish Chamber Orchestra
You could also catch performances by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. They have an excellent programme of concerts available online, recorded at the Queens Hall in Edinburgh and Perth Concert Hall. Concerts include works by Mendelssohn, Handel and Strauss.
Scottish Opera: On Screen
You needn’t miss out on opera shows either, thanks to the Scottish Opera: On Screen films. Watch performances that have been specifically designed for the screen, allowing you to enjoy opera from the comfort of home. The collection of films are a mix of new commissions and old favourites.
Historic Environment Scotland
If you're interested in Scottish heritage, you'll want to follow the online events from Historic Environment Scotland. You can watch virtual exhibitions, talks and seminars that explore anything from women's history in Scotland to Scottish architecture.
When you visit Scotland for yourself in the future, you may be able to attend some of the hundreds of annual events and days out organised by Historic Environment Scotland.
- Discover Scottish heritage on one of these culture and history tours of Scotland
25 January 2022
You may already know about Burns Night, one of the most important dates in Scotland’s events calendar.
Each year Scots celebrate the life and works of the national poet, Robert Burns, on or around the date of his birthday, 25 January. Usually you would enjoy a merry evening of traditional dancing (ceilidh), poem readings, speeches, and a haggis dinner. There’s also plenty of whisky involved too!
In January 2022 there may be free online Burns Night celebrations that you could attend and join in on the fun.
Here's a brief introduction to Robert Burns and the annual Burns Night celebration in Scotland.
January - February 2022
Experience Scotland’s passion for folk music at Celtic Connections. Every year this beloved music festival runs for almost 3 weeks from mid-January, with concerts held in top venues across Glasgow. You’re guaranteed to have a good time in this buzzing UNESCO City of Music.
Attending the festival is a great way for you to engage with Scotland’s vibrant music scene and discover new artists. As well as Celtic music, you can also catch performers from a wide range of genres including world music, fusion, blues and jazz.
Earlier this year Celtic Connections took its festival online. Watch this space to find out how you can experience it in 2022.
If these Scottish festivals and events have inspired you to visit Scotland, we can help. You can enjoy a cultural tour of Scotland when you’re ready to come explore this beautiful and vibrant country.
When you choose a Nordic Visitor trip, you get so many benefits as part of the package. We plan your entire itinerary, book you into handpicked accommodation, and arrange all your transport and activities. We are also there for you 24/7 during your tour.
Get in touch with our Scotland travel experts to learn more.