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Scottish music experiences

Scottish music experiences

Scottish music experiences

From ceilidh dances to piping festivals, there are lots of Scottish music experiences to discover in the UK's first UNESCO City of Music.

Music festivals

Celtic Connections is officially the biggest winter festival in Europe and the UK's premier celebration of Celtic music. Trad, folk, roots and world musicians bring the city to life each January for concerts, ceilidhs, talks and more. Visit to find out more.

Scotland’s newest traditional music festival, The Reeling, is set to return for a second year at Rouken Glen Park (Jun 8-9). Featuring performances from Niteworks and Ímar, plus workshops with secret sets from special guests. For more information, visit

Glasgow has not one but two amazing piping events each August. The World Pipe Band Championships (16-17 Aug) sees bands from around the globe battle it out to be crowned champions over one weekend in Glasgow Green. While Piping Live! is a week-long festival (10-18 Aug) both in-person and online of gigs, workshops, tours, talks and more. Visit and visit for more details.

Play the bagpipes

You can't get more Scottish than bagpipes! Find out about the history of the famed national instrument at The National Piping Centre. You can even try your hand at the bagpipes before enjoying a Scottish meal at the restaurant within this beautiful attraction. Visit for more details.

Combine Scottish food and music

Spend an evening full of Scottish music and food by booking a trad trail experience run by the restaurant Mharsanta and Glasgow City Music Tours. Enjoy a Scottish seasonal dinner at Mharsanta, toe-tapping traditional music and a walk through Glasgow's folk music history. Visit to book.

Free live music sessions

6 or more people seated together at a table in a bar setting. Some are playing live instruments

One of the best Scottish music experiences has to be stumbling upon live music in traditional bars. The Ben Nevis Bar, The Islay Inn, Waxy O'Connors and Babbity Bowsters are just a few of the trad bars that have free live sessions. Visit our bars in Glasgow with free live music page for details on where and when to expect such sessions.

The best bands in the best venues

The famous neon sign of music venue Barrowland is lit up red. Neon stars surround the name of the venue.

Credit: VisitScotland / Luigi Di Pasquale

Many of the country’s best celtic and traditional bands come from all over to play in the city's iconic venues and in front of the famous Glasgow crowd. Check out our what's on pages to find out when to catch the likes of Mànran and Talisk performing in the city.

Ceilidh dancing in the city

There's nothing quite like a whirl on the dance floor at a Scottish ceilidh. A ceilidh dance is a Scots' tradition, enjoyed at celebrations. Experience this lively style of dancing at Sloans' grand ballroom in the city centre. Visit for more details on their weekly ceilidh (every Friday night from 8.30pm).

Glasgow's music scene

Eddi Reader smiles gently at the camera surrounded by twinkling fairylights.
Did you know that Glasgow's status as a UNESCO City of Music makes it one of 13 UNESCO sites in Scotland? In a world first Scotland's UNESCO sites have been brought together to form a trail - discover more about each of these 13 wonders and the UNESCO trail at

Article last updated: January 2024

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