Top ten Scottish events this week

This week’s hottest events across Scotland, including the Meadows Festival in Edinburgh, the start of the West End Festival in Glasgow and the Margins music and literature festival in Aberdeenshire.

Reginald D Hunter comes to Glasgow. Picture: Comp
Reginald D Hunter comes to Glasgow. Picture: Comp

Various venues, Islay

Until Sat 1 Jun

You don’t need an extra excuse to visit the beautiful isle of Islay, but this annual festival provides one. The festivities celebrate the heritage and culture of the island, so there is music, poetry and Gaelic language and singing workshops. But, of course, when you’re on a small Hebridean island boasting eight distilleries, there also plenty of whisky tasting to keep you going.

The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh


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Wed 29 May, 7pm, £7

Raising funds for Scottish Autism’s music therapy programme, this night at the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh features the considerable vocal talents of Stanley Odd frontman Solareye, as well as the electro-pop stylings of innovative local musician Plum, aka Shona Maguire.

Tues 28 & Wed 29 May @ Perth Theatre

Fri 31 May & Sat 1 Jun @ Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh

Once upon a time, there was a man on the island of Raasay who was so frustrated by bureaucratic delays and incompetence that he took up his wheelbarrow and shovel, and built a road across the island, with his own hands. His name was Calum MacLeod; and now the National Theatre Of Scotland and Communicado’s fine and moving small-scale show about his story – written by David Harrower, from the book by Roger Hutchinson – is back on tour.


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Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh

Fri 31 May – Sun 2 Jun, £12/£14

In the years since 2000 when it first took place, Gardening Scotland has become an important date on the calendar for the green-fingered , and 40,000 visitors will flock to this weekend’s show in search of plants, inspiration and gardening advice.

Woodend Barn, Banchory, Aberdeenshire


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Fri 31 May – Sat 1 Jun

This two-day festival is a spin-off from the Glasgow edition and also combines music and literature. Performing live on Friday night will be art-pop collective FOUND, along with Fife singer-songwriter The Pictish Trail and Glaswegian guitar virtuoso RM Hubbert. There will also be talks from author Christopher Brookmyre and football writer Graham Hunter.

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Fri 31 May – Sun 2 Jun, 8pm, £6-£15.50

Winner of a Scotsman Fringe First last year, Peter Arnott’s Why Do You Stand There In The Rain? tells the story of the Bonus Army, war veterans who occupied Washington DC in 1932, and the government’s violent response. It’s at the Traverse, Friday to Saturday.


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Various venues, Glasgow

31 May – 30 June

Now in its 18th year, Glasgow’s West End Festival is back this week. Its centrepiece event, the Mardi Gras Parade, is on Byres Road on June 9, with the whole street closed to traffic all day. The outdoor parties begin earlier than that though, with the North Kelvin Meadow & Children’s Wood Gala, and Gibson Street Gala both offering children’s activities and food stalls on Sunday.

CCA, Glasgow


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Sat 1 Jun, 8pm, £12

The Pastels are such a part of Glasgow’s musical furniture that it’s strange to think they haven’t released their own album in 16 years. Typically, Stephen McRobbie and co are not making a big deal out of the release of Slow Summits, but they are launching the album at CCA on Saturday.

The Meadows, Edinburgh

Sat 1 – Sun 2 Jun, free

Last year 15,000 people attended the Meadows Festival, and if the weather holds out again this weekend it could be another bumper turnout at this long-running event. As ever, there’s live music, children’s entertainment, a funfair, and stall selling everything from local produce to fair trade clothing.


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Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Sun 2 Jun, 7.30pm, £23

The comedian – who is never far from a controversial headline or two – brings his new show In the Midst of Crackers to Glasgow. Effortlessly cool and extremely charming, Hunter is an accomplished stand-up and regular on Have I Got News For You whose material explores race, gender, sexual politics – and the bemusements of an American in the UK.

Find more things to do on our events website,