2020 Events in Inverness & Scottish Highlands
Highland Games - Festivals - Music

Pipe band at Piping Inverness, Scotland
Photo © The Internet Guide to Scotland

Coronavirus crisis: Scotland is currently closed for holidaymakers. Please do not travel.
Please check here for the latest information on the Coronavirus situation in Scotland.

Please note that due to the Covid-19 situation, many spring/summer events will now be cancelled or rescheduled. Please double check with the organisers.
Pubs, restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions are currently closed in line with Government rules.

Scroll down for 2020 event listings by date

To entertain visitors, the Inverness Royal British Legion Pipe Band performs in Inverness High Street every Tuesday from 8pm until 8.30pm (usually from end June until early September) with some Highland dancers from one of the local dancing schools. You are likely to see a piper or other musicians busking in the streets of Inverness and sometimes other entertainment around the Eastgate shopping centre.

Music in pubs/bars/hotels:
Pubs for traditional Scottish Music include Hootananny / Mad Hatters (Church Street), MacGregor's (bottom of Academy Street), and the Gellions (Bridge Street). There's often live music atJohnny Foxes (Bank Street, overlooking the river), Encore Une Fois (in Young Street just over the bridge), the Market Bar (Church Street), The Tooth & Claw (tucked away in Baron Taylor's Street), as well as The Dog House (opposite the post office in Queensgate). MacNabs at the Columba Hotel on the river has live music on Saturday nights.
Piano music at weekends in the bar at the Glenmoriston Hotel on the riverside.
For ceilidhs, try Hootananny on a Saturday afternoon.

Other venues and events:

The invernessGiGs web site includes music news, events listings, reviews, etc.
The Ironworks Live Music Venue at 122b Academy Street features concerts in all genres of music. Tel: 07787 535306.
What's Happening Inverness Facebook page is another good source of local entertainment and activities.

Concerts, shows and other spectacles take place at Eden Court Theatre (near the cathedral on the river). It also has 2 small cinemas with a daily programme of screenings.

Vue is a cinema multiplex a couple of miles outside the city centre.

For art events, The Castle Gallery at 43 Castle Street (tel: 01463 729512) has exhibitions of original contemporary fine and applied art.

The Farmers' Market is held on the first Saturday of each month (except January), with stalls of local produce (meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, cheese, homebaking) in the Eastgate pedestrian area of Inverness city centre.

On Sundays there's a car boot sale at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium from March - December.

For additional events listings, see:

Events in 2020:

  • 18 April: Annual Commemoration Service at Culloden Battlefield at 11am CANCELLED
  • 26 April: Etape Loch Ness cycle race Rescheduled to 13 September
  • 28 - 31 May: The Highland Gathering is a new music festival with events and concerts taking place in Inverness Cathedral, Eden Court Theatre, Northern Meeting Park, Inverness Town House, Ironworks Venue, Inverness Castle and throughout the city centre. CANCELLED
  • 29 - 31 May: The LochNess360 Challenge - 3 marathons, an ultra marathon or a mountain bike challenge. POSTPONED UNTIL 2021.
  • 13 June: Truckness at Dores, by Loch Ness
  • 13 June: Woodzstock family friendly music festival on the Black Isle at Woodside of Drumnamerg
  • 24 - 25 June: XPO North Festival
  • 27 June: European Pipe Band Championships at Bught Park, Inverness CANCELLED
  • 27 June: Tom Jones concert at Invernesss Caledonian Stadium
  • 28 June: Westlife in concert at Invernesss Caledonian Stadium
  • 4 July: Skipinnish in concert at the Big Top Tent in Bught Park
  • 5 July: McFly in concert at the Big Top Tent in Bught Park
  • 11 July: Stereophonics concert at Bught Park
  • 17 July: Highlands Strongest Man and Woman CANCELLED
  • 18 July: Inverness Highland Games CANCELLED
  • 19 July: Highland Pride LGBT+ parade and stalls at Bught Park. CANCELLED
  • 24 - 25 July: Loch Ness Film Festival
  • 30 July - 1 August: Belladrum - Tartan Heart Festival on the Belladrum Estate, by
  • 1 August: Nairn Show with livestock exhibitions, craft fair, food stalls and amusements is held at Kinnudie Farm, Auldearn.
  • 6 August: Black Isle Show at Mannsfield Showground, Muir of Ord (tel: 01463 870870). This is the largest agricultural show in the North of Scotland. It attracts over 2,000 cattle, horse and sheep entries, more than 300 trade stands and over 25,000 visitors to the show each year. There is plenty to see and do, craft fair, food fair, 'On the Farm' exhibition for the kids, agricultural stands, vintage rally and sheep shearing.
  • 7 - 8 August: Highland Field Sports Fair at Moy Hall (between Aviemore and Inverness).
  • 15 August: Nairn Highland Games
  • 15 August: Nairn Half Marathon
  • 20 - 21 August : Northern Meeting Piping Competition at Eden Court
  • 22 August: Glenurquhart Highland Games at Drumnadrochit, Loch Ness
  • tbc August: Groove Loch Ness music festival
  • 31 August - 1 September: Doors Open Days in Inverness and area (More info)
  • 8 - 13 September: Nairn Book & Arts Festival
  • 13 September: Etape Loch Ness cycle race (new date, rescheduled from April 2020)
  • 13 September: Kirking of the Council
  • 15 - 19 September: Spirit of Moray book festival (Elgin)
  • September / October: Highland Archaeology Festival - events throughout the region.
  • 26 September: Spirit of the North - whisky and gin tasting festival at Bogbain Farm near Inverness
  • tbc late September: Agricultural Working Vintage Rally & Display at Daviot Estate near Inverness
  • 1 - 3 October: NessBookFest - Inverness book festival
  • 3 October: Inverness Gin Festival at Eden Court with live music.
  • 4 October: Loch Ness Marathon plus 5K and 10K River Ness fun runs.
  • 8 - 17 October: Gaelic Royal National Mod including a Torch Light Procession on the 9th and Massed Choirs Procession and Show at Inverness Castle on the 17th
  • 9 - 11 October: A Taste of Nairn showcasing local food and drink with Great British Bake Off finalist Alice Fevronia.
  • 10 October: World Porridge Making Championship at Carrbridge
  • 10 - 11 October: Aiseag - a unique light and music event at Urquhart Castle celebrating Gaelic culture (special event for the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020)
  • 30 October: Deacon Blue in concert in Inverness
  • 30 - 31 October: Halloween on Ness Islands
  • 5 November: Civic Bonfire and Fireworks Display, Bught Park, Inverness
  • 22 November: Inverness Christmas Lights Switch On and carols
  • 11 - 13 December: Winter Wonderland
  • 31 December: Red Hot Highland Fling Hogmanay party, Northern Meeting Park

Invernesss
© The Internet Guide to Scotland

Highland Games photo
© Ruth Black | Fotolia.com

Culloden Battlefield
© Darrensharvey | Dreamstime.com

Scottish pipers photo
© Elnur | Fotolia.com

Inverness bridge
© The Internet Guide to Scotland

Invernesss Castle
© The Internet Guide to Scotland

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More about Inverness:

Inverness Sightseeing - Travel & Transport - Tours & Activities

Inverness B&Bs - Inverness & Loch Ness self catering accommodation

Inverness Area Sightseeing Guide (Loch Ness, castles, etc.)
Loch Ness B&B accommodation - Loch Ness Hotels