All the world’s a stage

This article is from 2008

All the world’s a stage

Miles Fielder selects some must-keep dates for the diary

Merchant City Festival

(25-28 Sep)
Located in the heart of old Glasgow, this event locates a programme of film, theatre, comedy,
visual arts, street theatre, live music, food and fashion within an area of real architectural elegance.


(1 Oct-9 Nov)
Scotland’s enormously popular celebration of queer culture takes in everything from theatre, dance and comedy to film, visual art and community arts projects.

Edinburgh’s Christmas and Hogmanany

(25–27 Dec and 31 Dec)
There’s no better way to get in the festive mode that with this three-day winter wonderland of ice-skating, mulled wine and fairground rides. That’s followed on New Year’s Eve by the street party with its big name live music and street theatre.

Glasgow’s Hogmanany

(31 Dec)
No one celebrates New Year like the Scots, as is evidence every year with this raucous gathering in the city’s centre that’s fuelled by a music-heavy programme of live events.

Glasgow Film Festival

(14-22 Feb)
Just four years old, this relative newcomer is fast making its mark.

Aye Write!

(7–15 Mar)
Glasgow’s marvelously monikered book festival is now in its third year and continues to celebrated the city, the nation and the world’s rich literary traditions.

Magners Glasgow International Comedy Festival

(12-29 Mar)
Now in its sixth year, this stand-up laugh-fest has spread across the city’s venues is shaping up as an alternative to Edinburgh in August.

Beltane Fire Festival

(30 Apr)
This bonkers drum, pyrotechnics and theatre-driven celebration of the ancient Gaelic Festival of Beltane draws crowds in excess of 15,000 people to the top of Carlton Hill ever summer.

Glasgow Mela

(22 Jun)
Organised by the Scottish Academy of Asian Arts, the Mela (which means ‘gathering’ in Sanskrit) is a multicultural festival taking in dance, music, food and arts and crafts.

West End Festival

(12-27 Jun)
Having started out as a small local event centred around Byres Road, this multi-strand festival has in the last ten years become one of the biggest events on the city’s cutural calendar.

Edinburgh International Film Festival

(17-28 Jun)
Founded in 1947, this is the longest running film festival in the world. A move from August to June last year signaled a new initiative to be a film festival of discovery as well as a showcase for big names and blockbusters.

Festival Fringe

(7-31 Aug)
What started as an alternative to the high-brow International Festival has grown to become the largest arts festival in the world. Taking in theatre, dance, music and comedy, it’s increasing dominated by the latter which has been controversially re-branded as a separate humour-fest by four of the city’s biggest venues.

Edinburgh International Festival

(14 Aug-6 Sep)
This huge and world-renowned high-brow cultural event founded in 1947 showcases the best in opera, ballet, classical music, theatre and dance.

Edinburgh Book Festival

(15-31 Aug)
With 800 authors at 750 events, this celebration of the written and spoken word is among the largest of its kind on the world and it combines readings with masterclasses and debates.

Edinburgh Mela

(25-31 Aug)
Now relocated to the waterfront at Ocean Terminal in Leith and expanded to a full week long, this always popular celebrations of Asian culture takes in theatre, dance, music, food and arts and crafts.