Plan your trip with the Scotland Lonely Planet Guide
Scotland is famous for rugged landscapes, with soaring mountains, dramatic stretches of coastline, deserted beaches, and deep glistening lochs, whisky, bagpipes, golf, and the Highland Games. What many people don’t often realise, however, is that there are numerous awesome music festivals in Scotland all throughout the year. Yay!
Covering diverse genres of music and appealing to different age groups, tastes, budgets, and traveller types, the varying music festivals in Scotland can be a fabulous addition to any Scotland adventure. Indeed, the Scottish music festivals can be a sole reason to take a trip!
And if you’re a solo female, don’t let the thought of going alone stop you. There’s plenty of ways to meet people on the road and music festivals are a great way to do it!
The Best Music Festivals in Scotland
As well as offering some of the best music festivals in the UK, Scotland hosts some of the most exciting music festivals in Europe. It would even be fair to say that musical events in Scotland are among the best music festivals around the world. Yargh!
You might have heard of some of the more well-known festivals, such as the Future Music Festival, the Glasgow Festival, and the Edinburgh Music Festival. But there are sure to be plenty of surprises in the following list of music festivals.
Whether you’re into festival camping, are trying to maintain a budget and would prefer to visit a free music festival, love the sounds of traditional Scottish music, or something else entirely, Scotland’s music scene won’t disappoint. With electronic music festivals, indie music festivals, house music festivals, and more, everyone can have a ball.
The ideal time to go to festivals in Scotland
Looking for winter music festivals or a beach music festival for fun in the summer months?
There’s music festivals in May when the weather is pleasantly warm, music festivals in July with higher temperatures, festivals in August that benefit from the peak summer sunshine, and top festivities for music lovers at all other times of the year. Overall, Scotland’s music festival calendar is packed with fun-filled events!
So, without further ado, add some of these best music festivals in Scotland to your bucket list and prepare to let the good times roll baby.
Doune the Rabbit Hole
Doune the Rabbit Hole has moved away from its original home in Doune but it’s still going strong! The independent arts and music festival attracts many fans of the arts, theatre, and music. Comedy, poetry, food and drinks, and loads of entertainment are all part and parcel of the experience! An awesome weekend is guaranteed.
When? August 18th-20th 2017. Bag your last minute tickets now!
Where? Cardross Estate, Stirlingshire
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: Meeting people will be a breeze here. There’s a ton of awesome workshops and interactive sessions to go.
Edinburgh International Festival
One of the most renowned festivals in Scotland, the Edinburgh International Festival boasts amazing classical music as well as a chance to watch the incredible Edinburgh Tattoo. Be awed by traditional sounds and watch an array of colourful and lively performances.
When? 4th – 28th August 2017
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: The schedule is action-packed and Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities. There’s just so much to see and do here. Check out my guide to Edinburgh!
Groove Loch Ness
Set alongside Scotland’s most famous loch, Groove Loch Ness is another great choice for fans of EDM. Replacing the former Rock Ness, Groove Loch Ness promises to be a frenetic and pulsating event. Extra awesome points to you if you get to see the big girl with your own eyes!
When? 19th August 2017
Where? Loch Ness, Inverness
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: Staying around for a few days after the festival to explore the glorious lake in the summertime. I loved Nessie Hunting on my Scotland Highlands trip!
Electronic Fields Festival
If being held in the grounds of a gorgeous castle wasn’t appealing in itself, Electronic Fields Festival boasts a diverse lineup of acts. Arab Strap and Frightened Rabbit are among the bands due to perform at the festival in 2017. A top family-friendly festival in UK, it also appeals to solo travellers, groups of friends, and couples. The fairground offers bags of fun too. Get on those waltzers girl!
When? 1st-2nd September 2017
Where? Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: A special craft area for you to express your creative side. The perfect place to have some chill out time away from the main festival hustle and bustle!
Best of the West Festival
Held in a beautiful castle in a picturesque setting, Best of the West Festival (BOWFest) combines history, culture, music, food and drink, and numerous workshops. It welcomes all for two days of fun. It’s pretty perfect for foodies – there’s a big emphasis on Scottish food here. It’s also all under canvas, so you don’t need to bring your wellies to this one!
When? 8th-10th September 2017
Where? Inveraray Castle
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: Cooking classes and workshops, as well as taking time post celebrations to enjoy the great outdoors. Get out there girl!
A terrific choice for fans of traditional Celtic music, Celtic Connections features all the best sounds from this genre. Spanning a couple of weeks, you can dip in and out of the revelry as you like, so there’s plenty of time to explore the rest of Scotland. Make sure you get up to the Highlands before or after!
When? Mid-January to early February 2018
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: The traditional vibe.
Don’t Let Daddy Know Scotland
A top electronic music festival in Scotland, Don’t Let Daddy Know Scotland hosts both well-known and up-and-coming acts from the EDM scene. A pumping vibe and a diverse crowd make it a reliable choice for fans of electronic music.
When? February 2018
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: If you’re all about the EDM, this is where you can mingle with the other EDM sisterhood!
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Elrow is a hugely popular music festival in Spain, and the international tours bring a slice of popular party-island Ibiza to Scotland. A premier dance music festival, rave fans can don elaborate outfits to get their groove on to big-name DJs. Time to get fancy and put your best rave gear on!
When? March 2018
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: If all the partying gets too much, take a break and explore the tropical foliage where you’ll find samba dance troupes, stilt-walkers, fire-breathers, exotic creatures, and more.
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Shetland Folk Festival
Attracting a niche interest set, solo travellers attending Shetland Folk Festival can be sure of meeting people with similar interests to themselves. The most northern music festival in the UK features traditional Scottish music and a folksy ambience. The area’s history, heritage, and culture shine through and you can enjoy sessions in local pubs and stages throughout the island. Cool huh?
When? 3rd-6th May 2018
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: The intimate atmosphere with like-minded people.
Knockengorroch World Ceilidh
Bit of a mouthful to pronounce! Yet, Knockengorroch World Ceilidh is one of the longest-running outdoor festivals in Scotland. As well as traditional music and dancing, the action-packed festival also offers local food and drinks, live music from around the world, diverse workshops, displays of performing arts, camping areas, movie screenings, and a sauna (yes a sauna!) to list just a few things.
When? May 2018
Where? Gatehouse, Dumfries and Galloway
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: The silent disco will let you dance like you’ve always wanted to and the workshops offer plenty of chances to meet people with similar interests. No partner needed to join in with the cheerful ceilidh!
Montrose Music Festival
The small town is easy to get around and the eclectic acts are sure to thrill. One of the most diverse music festivals in Scotland, MoFest features a lovely range of bands and musicians spanning several genres. The festival in non-profit, believing in free live music for everyone!
When? May 2018
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: Discovering new sounds and grooving to favourite beats in a relaxed and easy-to-navigate town.
Solas Festival is among the top music festivals in Perth. A family-friendly affair, solo travellers won’t feel incredibly out of place in the cheery crowds. Acts include indie, pop, and rock names, and the festival has a distinct artsy vibe too. Enjoy poetry recitals, dance workshops and performances, literary discussions, debates, and philosophical talks. Solas Festival encourages challenging debate with activists, writers and thinkers from across the political, cultural and religious spectrum.
When? 22nd-24th June 2018
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: The stimulating and intellectual talks and space to share your views.
Enter a paradisaical world at the Eden Festival, featuring diverse music, cabaret shows, comedy acts, traditional inns, circus performers, chill-out areas, themed attractions, delicious food, and more. Wander from tent to tent and find your tribe. Hell yeah!
When? June 2018
Where? Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: There’s so much to experience! Tons! It’s boutique and lovely. Enjoy!
Tiree Music Festival
While the island of Tiree is generally known for its top-notch surfing conditions, its lively summer music festival brings something else to the area. One of the country’s best small festivals, the intimate vibe, varying performances, and cool entertainment make this a great choice for people who don’t relish being in the middle of a huge crowd.
When? 13th-15th July 2018
Where? Isle of Tiree
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: A small, friendly festival means it’s easy to strike up a conversation here. Plan a few extra days to chill on the beaches and explore the verdant countryside. This place is ace!
Kelburn Garden Party
Head to the grounds of a grand historic 13th-century castle and be enchanted as the gardens spring to life with an assortment of bands and performers. Wander through the woodlands as the sounds drift through the air and pack a picnic for a magical day out. Pure bliss!
When? Late June to early July 2018
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: Exploring nature while listening to soothing sounds.
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Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival
It’s a classic! Events are held around the Scottish capital, providing the chance to explore as you move from stage to stage. Global names can be found among the headliners, and there’s plenty of local talent to appreciate too. The youthful feel appeals to many and the festivities last for just over a week. Go be sophisticated.
When? July 2018
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: The relaxed atmosphere and discovering Edinburgh between performances.
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A huge rock and indie music festival on the Scottish calendar, TRNSMT hosts big names from the music industry. The summer music festival’s lineup for 2017 included Radiohead, Biffy Clyro, Belle and Sebastian, and Kasabian.
When? 6th-8th July 2018
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: Glasgow Green is easy to access and the festival welcomes some big names!
Set on the Isle of Bute, this is one of newest music festivals in Scotland, starting in 2015. The island springs to life for the celebrations; attracting families, couples, friends, and solo adventurers. Both day and camping tickets are available. It’s really family friendly, so expect a chill atmosphere here.
When? July 2018
Where? Isle of Bute, 33 miles from Glasgow!
Solo Female Travellers Will Love: The island is just a short ferry trip from Glasgow and the festival ground is just a short walk from the ferry terminal, ideal for those planning on camping.
Start planning your Scottish adventures and don’t forget to include some of the awesome music festivals all around the country. What other music festival in Scotland would you recommend, and why would they be great for solo female explorers?
Start planning your Scottish adventures and don’t forget to include some of the awesome music festivals all around the country!
What music festival in Scotland would you recommend? Comment below!
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