5 of the best summer festivals in the city
From Kendrick Lamar in a Glasgow Park to Bananarama in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, Scotland’s biggest cities are playing host to more summer concert events than ever, discovers David Pollock
Summer Sessions, Edinburgh and Glasgow
Established by TRNSMT and sometime T in the Park promoters DF Concerts, the Summer Sessions series is familiar for its range of outdoor mini-festivals on Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park in late August, with Kings of Leon, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Kendrick Lamar all slated to appear this year. In Edinburgh, meanwhile, they’ll also be programming smaller events in Princes Street Gardens during the Festival, with Tom Jones, Bastille, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Paloma Faith, Kasabian and Brian Wilson all billed.
06-19 August, Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh; 22-29 August, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow. smmrsessions.com
Summer Nights at the Bandstand, Glasgow
Scotland’s promoters are bolder than ever in programming weather-defying outdoor concerts both within and outwith the cities, and the ever-growing success of Regular Music’s Summer Nights series at the perfectly renovated Kelvingrove Bandstand demonstrates that it’s working. There will be 10 shows in the West End in late July and early August, including the Pretenders, Bryan Ferry, First Aid Kit, Jimmy Cliff, Fleet Foxes and Van Morrison.
30 July-11 August, Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow. ticketmaster.co.uk/summernights
Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival
Celebrating its 40th anniversary with special blues and jazz gala events, Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival otherwise returns to its familiar Fringe warm-up slot with some very high-profile special guests, including Soweto Kinch, Bettye Lavette, locals the Average White Band, and EJBF regular Jools Holland and Curtis Stigers.
13-22 July, various venues, Edinburgh. edinburghjazzfestival.com
Castle Concerts, Edinburgh
With a huge temporary grandstand built on a hill in the centre of Edinburgh for the Royal Military Tattoo, it makes sense to put a few gigs in there as well. The Castle Concerts in July are a fixture of the concert-going calendar and as varied as ever this year, with pop opera from Il Divo (13 July), arena indie-rock from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (19 July), ‘80s fun from Bananarama (20 July) and classic Scottish rock from Del Amitri (21 July).
Fringe by the Sea
A short trip outside of the city, but well worth it for fans of the arts in general, North Berwick’s Fringe by the Sea has been extended to 10 days this year, and features music from the Sugarhill Gang and the Furious Five, Withered Hand and Mica Paris singing Ella Fitzgerald; comedy from Jerry Sadowitz, Mark Steel and Marcel Lucont; talks with Judy Murray, Sally Magnusson and David Steel; and more.
03-12 August, various venues, North Berwick. fringebythesea.com