5 of the best summer festivals in the city

6 Mins

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

Kendrick Lamar

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

Bryan Ferry

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

Davina and the Vagabonds

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

Noel Gallager's High Flying Birds

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).

edinburghcastle.scot/whatson/concerts

Fringe by the Sea

Sugarhill Gang

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

hot ticket / summer festivals / Castle concerts

The best of i-on straight to your inbox, every week

4 Mins
1. ANDY WARHOL & EDUARDO PAOLOZZI | 17 November - June 2019 Taking its name – I want to be a machine –from a quote by Warhol and its cue...
Edinburgh's Christmas / Edinburgh Zoo / Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
1 Min
Michael Morpurgo’s emotionally-charged War Horse, the story of war, peace and the enduring power of friendship, is to be narrated live at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall Marking the centenary of the...
War Horse / Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Michael Morpurgo
1 Min
The Christmas countdown is officially on (gulp) and to help you get organised, we've put together a list of 40 gifts that really are worth giving (page 32). From spa...
November issue / e-zine / ion-magazine
8 Mins
With Halloween out of the way, the countdown to Christmas is well and truly on and we've got tonnes of events already on our radar. Here are the dates for...
7 Mins
There's tonnes of spook-tacular fun going on this Halloween weekend including Scotland's biggest party, intimate live gigs in the West End and charitable fun for all the family. Terminal V...
Terminal V / Sheila Fleet / cocktails in the city