Named as UNESCO’s first British City of Music in 2008, Glasgow continuously lives up to its title with an abundance of live performances, rising stars, fantastic festivals and an unrivalled passion. Undoubtedly the beating heart of Scotland’s largest city, music has lent a hand in weaving the Glaswegian culture the world has come to know and love. Here are five reasons why music in Glasgow really is the best …
What marks the culturally sound city as a musical haven is its vast variety of venues. Home to one of the world’s top five best global arenas, The SSE Hydro, Glasgow is bursting with empty spaces waiting to be flooded with indie rock, classical, folk - you name it. Also playing host to the iconic national stadium Hampden park, the city is a magnet for world renowned artists as they flock to play in the open air and revel in the ambiance brought by the ever enthusiastic Glaswegian crowds. And let’s not forget the city’s crown jewels, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, National Theatre of Scotland, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Opera and the beautiful Scottish Ballet. This riverside city is spilling out creativity left, right and centre.
Embark on a journey through the city’s musical history on one of their many informative walking tours. Visit The Britannia, the world’s oldest surviving music hall and the venue that launched the career of global superstars, Oasis. Join Walking Heads Music Tours for an audio led excursion off the beaten track down four music driven routes. If you’d rather have a human guide then sign up to Glasgow Music City Tours, whereby you can experience the hidden musical gems in a lively fashion. Finally for all those Belle and Sebastian fans we’ve got an exclusive tour just for you. The Belle and Sebastian Walking Trail will release your inner super-fan and take you round a route of locations significant to the formation and rise of the cult Glaswegian band.
From the locally coined, Highland triangle of pubs in the hip location of Finnieston to the annual winter and summer trad festivals, Glasgow knows how to take it back to basics and pay homage to its Celtic roots. Make sure to book a trip in January if you’re a traditional music fan, as the UK’s premier celebration of Celtic music, Celtic Connections, is in town. The largest annual winter festival of its kind, expect variations of folk, world music and traditionally rooted scores. If once isn’t enough, come back in August to witness an event like no other, Piping Live! This is the world’s biggest week of piping and culminates in the World Pipe Band Championships where over 8,000 players battle it out for the top spot. Aside from its fixed performance schedules, Glasgow is willing to give you a piece of its traditional culture whenever you want. Head over to the Finneston strip and grab a pint in either Snaffle Bit, Islay Inn or The Park Bar to experience what the local talent has to offer.
Just as the city is full of venues and spaces to hold world class performances, it is also a brewing pot for new undiscovered talent. The ever-evolving, progressive artistic playground has all but one of Scotland’s national performing arts organisations and many bars dedicated to the sole purpose of breaking the next Snow Patrol. Venture down to King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut and watch with awe as international bands on the rise take centre stage. Discover the talent a little closer to home at open mics in local bars such as Nice n’ Sleezy, The Glad Café and Stereo to fully experience what Glasgow music has to offer.
No city of music would ever be complete without an impressive line-up of year round festivals and the Glasgow music selection doesn’t disappoint. A regular venue of choice for BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend and BBC 6 Music Festival, the city is well equipped to handle masses of music enthusiasts with its sprawling parks and bustling streets. The summer is jam-packed with an unequalled array of live performances. Hit TRNSMT in July at Glasgow Green and head to Summer Sessions in August held in South Bellahouston Park. For those looking for a more chilled atmosphere, over the months of July and August, catch Summer Nights at the Bandstand at the Kelvingrove Bandstand and Glasgow Jazz Festival, the longest running festival in the city.
Planning a visit to the city of music soon? Make sure to tag us in your photos of music in Glasgow using the hashtag #ryainairstories for a chance to be featured on Ryanair’s social media channels.
Flights to Glasgow
- Lucy Norris