As the largest city in Scotland, Glasgow is a cultural hub for the whole nation. And that is reflected nowhere better than in the many music festivals you can enjoy in this city.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that Scottish culture is all Celtic music. Although you'll get plenty of that if you want it, it's not hard to find a Glasgow music festival or arts festival built around whatever you like to hear, whether it's classical music, traditional Indian music, or good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll. From the best emerging talent to international superstars, Glasgow and the nearby towns hosts some incredible music festivals that are sure to make your summer nights in the city unforgettable.
You'll have a much easier time enjoying the best music festivals in Glasgow if you're not carrying more than you need to. That's why it's always a good idea to drop off your unneeded bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Glasgow so you can make the most of your time in the city. Once you've done that, check out our guide on how to get around Glasgow so that you can get to the festivals you're interested in visiting.
The best music festivals in Glasgow in 2022
As stated earlier, live music in Glasgow isn't all about Celtic music. Still, the first festival of the year very much is. Celtic Connections is a Celtic and world music festival that celebrates Scotland's musical heritage with ceilidhs, sessions, talks, workshops, and performances. Billing itself as the UK's premier Celtic music festival, this is not one to miss for fans of the genre. Plus, the festival organizers take a broad view by exploring the influences Celtic folk music has had on other musical genres, and the influence of those genres in turn on Celtic music. That means you'll find artists here you might not automatically think of when you think of Scottish and Irish music.
Held over three weeks, Celtic Connections brings live music to dozens of venues around Glasgow. This annual festival runs this year until February 6th and provides the perfect early start to the Glasgow festival season.
Glasgow Music Festival
This festival may not have the most original name, but you can't complain that you don't know what you're getting. Glasgow Music Festival has been held in the city since 1911, making it an annual tradition for locals and visitors alike.
This celebrated arts Festival hosts performers of Scottish music but also presents jazz, rock, classical, and other genres. It's also a big dance Festival for both traditional and contemporary forms of dance. Plus, you'll find spoken word, plays, and other performing arts all coexisting happily at this crowd-pleasing event.
This year, the festival runs from March 11 to 19 and brings performances to venues like the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and St. Andrews West Church. Although this festival doesn't draw big names in music, it's a great festival to attend and celebrate a part of Glasgow's rich cultural history.
Midstock Music Festival
This music festival is held outside of Glasgow in Dalkeith Country Park, which is closer to Edinburgh than it is to Glasgow. However, it is still only an hour's drive from Glasgow, making it easy to get to if you feel like attending.
Held this year on Friday, May 27 and Saturday the 28th, Midstock is headlined by Dave Pearce, The Phonics, and Almost P!nk. This crowd-pleasing festival does its best to bring together eclectic acts that will please just about everyone, giving it a great family atmosphere. With tickets for the entire weekend costing just £35, you can afford to take the whole family and enjoy the friendly atmosphere at what is called Scotland's biggest small music Festival.
Held this year on June 26, Glasgow Mela is the city's annual single-day celebration of Asian art, music, and cuisine. Glasgow's status as a center for immigration has given it a large Indian and Pakistani population, and the Glasgow Mela is when you'll see this community stretching its stuff and sharing what it has to offer with locals and visitors alike.
More than just another music festival, this cultural event combines music, dance, storytelling, theater, and literary events to bring a taste of Asian culture to Glasgow. And although the Mela has its roots firmly in Indian culture, the festival expands to welcome diverse cultures around the world. Nowhere is that better reflected than in the food vendors and market stalls you'll find here, which allow you to feel like you've traveled the world without leaving Glasgow itself.
Summer Nights at the Bandstand
Held in the beautiful setting of Kelvingrove Park, Summer Nights at the Bandstand is one of Glasgow's most popular festivals. Don't let the quaint name fool you; this festival has always attracted famous and much-loved artists from all over the world. For instance, the 2022 lineup includes Suzanne Vega, Billy Bragg, Pixies, Rufus Wainwright, and Van Morrison.
Taking place over several summer nights from July 27 to August 13, this music series turns Kelvingrove Park into one of the UK's hottest music venues. You can purchase tickets separately for each night of the long festival, so you can focus solely on the artists you want to see. It's a great way to see some major talent while you're in Glasgow, and definitely not a festival any music lover should miss.
Held on Glasgow Green, TRNSMT is one of the biggest music festivals in Scotland. Taking place this year from July 8-10, the festival will be attended by artists like Paolo Nutini, The Bootleg Beatles, The Strokes, Jimmy Eat World, and Lewis Capaldi. And that's just the biggest names. Dozens of artists, both famous and emerging, are scheduled to play this entertaining festival and bring some of the best music in the world to Glasgow while they do.
A standard three-day ticket to this event costs £175, or you can save some money by buying a single-day ticket for £69. If you can make the whole weekend, today tickets are available to cover any days of your choice for £129. However, tickets for this major festival usually go fast, so if you're thinking of attending, it might be smart to buy sooner rather than later.
One of the top electronic dance music festivals in Scotland, Junction 1 lights up Glasgow's Morris Park with the sound of top international DJs and local acts. Held this year from the 29th to 31st of July, Junction 1 2022 promises to be every bit as lively, loud, and entertaining as previous installments of this popular festival.
Top acts performing at this year's festival include The Wailers, Gilles Peterson, Faithless, Groove Armada, and Kelis. Tickets start at £50 for a single day, and you can save a few pounds with an early bird offering. Attending for the whole three-day weekend will cost you £111. That includes the booking fee and given the caliber back performing at this legendary festival, it's really not a bad deal for music lovers looking to celebrate summer in the city.
The Great Western Festival
Rounding out the season, the Great Western Festival takes place in various venues in Glasgow's West End. The single-day event will be held on November 12th and brings together more than 50 different performers to provide one unforgettable day of live music. This year's performers have yet to be announced, but keep an eye on the festival website and social media to hear about the acts as they are announced. If past events are anything to go by, you can expect an eclectic mix of music, drama, dance, and other performing arts.
Planning to stay some more days in Glasgow?
Attending a music festival is a great reason to visit Glasgow. Then again, the city has so much to offer they don't really need a reason to visit. If you wondering how to best make use of a short amount of time in Glasgow, check out our guide to three days in Glasgow for some inspiration.
For example, with some downtime between musical events, you could check out some of the best museums in Glasgow, like the Riverside Museum and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. These institutions, many of them free to visit, will give you a better sense of the history and culture not only of Glasgow but of Scotland as a whole. And after a few days of having fun at a musical festival, you may find yourself crying out for the intellectual stimulation that these museums can provide.
Alternatively, if museums aren't your thing, you can scratch your retail itch with some of the best shopping in Glasgow along Buchanan Street. Here, you'll find all the famous international brands you know and love, but you'll also find some interesting local boutiques and lesser-known designers that can provide you with unforgettable souvenirs of your Scottish trip. There is also a wealth of bars, cafés, and pubs along the street, so you can easily find refreshments to keep you charged up while you enjoy what the city has to offer shoppers.
Of course, the best music festivals in Glasgow also host some of the best street food in the city. But if you can't get enough of Glasgow's street food scene, visit Big Feed, Scotland's biggest permanent street food market. As well as the food vendors, you'll find DJs and live music here, giving Big Feed a festival atmosphere year-round, without the high ticket price for entry.
Ultimately, no matter when you visit or why, you'll find Glasgow to be an incredibly welcoming and exciting city to find yourself in. As well as all the fun music festivals you can experience in the city, you'll have access to fascinating history, incredible food, and great retail opportunities. Scotland's biggest city has an atmosphere like no other, and this formally industrial town has reinvented itself in recent years, becoming ever more welcoming for visitors in the process. Now, it's one of the best places in the UK to enjoy a night out, excellent food, or cultural events.
Of course, you won't be able to enjoy everything Glasgow has to offer if you're carrying more than you need to. Luckily Bounce can help. By partnering with local businesses in Glasgow and around the world, Bounce makes sure you always have a safe and convenient place to leave your things. Drop off your luggage before you visit Glasgow and get ready for an adventure in this riverside city. You'll soon see that Glasgow has more to offer than you could do in a lifetime, let alone on a single trip.