2020 and 2021 Events in Inverness & Scottish Highlands
Highland Games - Festivals - Music

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

Covid-19 FAQs for Scotland

Please note that due to the Covid-19 situation, many events will now be cancelled or rescheduled. Please double check with the organisers.

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:

Most the major events this summer have already been cancelled. We are waiting to hear about events for September onwards. Please double check with individual event operators.

  • 18 July: Inverness Highland Games CANCELLED
  • 19 July: Highland Pride LGBT+ parade and stalls at Bught Park. CANCELLED
  • 30 July - 1 August: Belladrum - Tartan Heart Festival on the Belladrum Estate, near Beauly. CANCELLED
  • 1 August: Nairn Show with livestock exhibitions, craft fair, food stalls and amusements is held at Kinnudie Farm, Auldearn. CANCELLED
  • 2 August: Exclusively Highlands open air craft market at Wildwoodz (8 miles north of Inverness). Craft and food stalls. Free entry and parking. NEW EVENT
  • 6 August: Black Isle Show at Mannsfield Showground, Muir of Ord. CANCELLED
  • 7 - 8 August: Highland Field Sports Fair at Moy Hall (between Aviemore and Inverness). CANCELLED
  • 15 August: Nairn Highland Games CANCELLED
  • 20 - 21 August : Northern Meeting Piping Competition at Eden Court CANCELLED
  • 22 August: Glenurquhart Highland Games at Drumnadrochit, Loch Ness CANCELLED
  • 8 - 13 September: Nairn Book & Arts Festival CANCELLED
  • 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
  • 3 October: Inverness Gin Festival at Eden Court with live music.
  • 4 October: Loch Ness Marathon plus 5K and 10K River Ness fun runs. CANCELLED
  • early October: NessBookFest - Inverness book festival - Postponed to 2021.
  • 8 - 17 October: Gaelic Royal National Mod including a Torch Light Procession and Massed Choirs Procession. Postponed to 8-16 October 2021.
  • 9 - 11 October: A Taste of Nairn showcasing local food and drink with Great British Bake Off finalist Alice Fevronia. (Rescheduled from April)
  • 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)
  • 25 October 2020: The Culloden Run - charity runs of 17.46 km (10.83 miles) or the 10K in aid of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland
  • 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

Events for 2021:

  • 14 March: Inverness Half Marathon and 5K
  • 17 April: Annual Commemoration Service at Culloden Battlefield
  • 21 April: OutDores music festival by Loch Ness
  • 25 April: Etape Loch Ness cycle race
  • 30 April - 2 May: Crime and Thrillers Weekend organised by Cromarty Arts Trust
  • 29 May: The Highland Gathering is a music festival at the Northern Meeting Park. Fringe events to be confirmed.
  • 28 - 30 May: The LochNess360 Challenge - 3 marathons, an ultra marathon or a mountain bike challenge.
  • mid June tbc: Truckness at Dores, by Loch Ness
  • mid June tbc: Woodzstock family friendly music festival on the Black Isle at Woodside of Drumnamerg
  • late June: XPO North Festival for the creative industries of the Highlands
  • end June: European Pipe Band Championships at Bught Park, Inverness.
  • mid July: Inverness Highland Games
  • tbc mid July: Highland Pride LGBT+ parade and stalls at Bught Park.
  • 22 - 24 July: Loch Ness Film Festival
  • 29 - 31 July: Belladrum - Tartan Heart Festival on the Belladrum Estate, near Beauly.
  • early August: Nairn Show with livestock exhibitions, craft fair, food stalls and amusements is held at Kinnudie Farm, Auldearn.
  • 4 - 5 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.
  • 6 - 7 August: Highland Field Sports Fair at Moy Hall (between Aviemore and Inverness).
  • mid August: Nairn Highland Games
  • mid August: Nairn Half Marathon
  • late August : Northern Meeting Piping Competition at Eden Court
  • 28 August: Glenurquhart Highland Games at Drumnadrochit, Loch Ness
  • late August - early September: Doors Open Days in Inverness and area (More info)
  • mid September tbc: Nairn Book & Arts Festival
  • 30 September - early October: NessBookFest - Inverness book festival
  • 3 October: Loch Ness Marathon plus 5K and 10K River Ness fun runs.
  • 8 - 16 October: Gaelic Royal National Mod including a Torch Light Procession and Massed Choirs Procession. Postponed from 2020.
  • 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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