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 have to be rescheduled. Please double check with the organisers.

Cinema and Theatre
Eden Court Theatre and Cinema by the River Ness..
Vue (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.

Music in pubs/bars/hotels:
Covid-19 restrictions apply. Hopefully some of these will be lifted in 2021. These are some of the most popular local venues:

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.
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 on Academy Street features concerts in all genres of music.
What's Happening Inverness Facebook page is another good source of local entertainment and activities.

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. These are hoping to resume from April 2021 onwards.

Events in 2021:

Due to Covid, please check with event organisers before making plans to attend any events as many events may be rescheduled or cancelled.

  • 16 - 17 January: Strathpuffer 24-hour Mountain Bike Endurance Event in Strathpeffer CANCELLED
  • 13 February: Inverness Chinese New Year Celebrations and street parade
  • February: The Inverness Music Festival - ONLINE ONLY FOR 2021
  • early March: The Snowman Rally - annual event organised by the Highland Car Club. CANCELLED FOR 2021 BUT BACK IN 2022
  • 3 April: Inverness Farmers Market - city centre
  • 17 April: Annual Commemoration Service at Culloden Battlefield (online events)
  • 28 April - 3 May: Spirit of Speyside whisky festival (distilleries around Moray & Speyside) NOW A VIRTUAL EVENT ONLY
  • 30 April - 2 May: Crime and Thrillers Weekend organised by Cromarty Arts Trust CANCELLED (next year: 6 - 8 May 2022)
  • 1 May: Inverness Gin Festival - the Scottish Gin Festivals tour reaches the Highland capital with a day of events including tastings, tapas and live music.
  • tbc - usually in May: Inverness Classic Vehicle Show
  • 16 May: Inverness Half Marathon and 5K CANCELLED (next year's event will be on 13 March 2022)
  • 28 - 30 May: The LochNess360 Challenge - 3 marathons, an ultra marathon or a mountain bike challenge. CANCELLED for 2021 (next year's event will be on 20 - 22 May 2022)
  • 28 - 31 May: Capers in Cannich - a new Glamping Festival with live music, food and drinks - all in a Covid-compliant environment in your own social bubble.
  • mid June tbc: Truckness at Dores, by Loch Ness
  • 16 - 17 June: XPO North Festival - for the creative industries of the Highlands will take place online for 2021
  • tbc 19 June: Woodzstock family friendly music festival on the Black Isle at Woodside of Drumnamerg
  • tbc end June: European Pipe Band Championships at Bught Park, Inverness. CANCELLED
  • mid July: Inverness Highland Games CANCELLED for 2021. (The Inverness Highland Games will celebrate their 200th anniversary on 15 July 2022)
  • 24 July: Loch Ness Film Festival CANCELLED
  • 29 - 31 July: Belladrum - Tartan Heart Festival on the Belladrum Estate, near Beauly. CANCELLED for 2021 (next year 28 - 30 July 2022)
  • 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. CANCELLED
  • 6 - 7 August: Highland Field Sports Fair at Moy Hall (between Aviemore and Inverness).
  • 7 August: Nairn Show with livestock exhibitions, craft fair, food stalls and amusements. CANCELLED
  • 21 August: Nairn Highland Games
  • mid August: Nairn Half Marathon
  • 22 August: Etape Loch Ness cycle race (postponed from April 2021)
  • 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)
  • 3 - 4 September: Spirit of Speyside Distilled Food & Drink (distilleries around Moray & Speyside)
  • 4 September: The Gathering is a music festival in Inverness at the Northern Meeting Park featuring Wolfstone, Peatbog Faeries, Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Trail West, Torridon and more. (Event re-scheduled from late May)
  • 4 - 12 September: 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.
  • tbc 8 - 16 October: Gaelic Royal National Mod including a Torch Light Procession and Massed Choirs Procession (Postponed from 2020).
  • 9 October: World Porridge Making Championship at Carrbridge
  • tbc late October: Halloween on Ness Islands
  • 3 - 8 November: Spirit of Speyside whisky festival (distilleries around Moray & Speyside)
  • tbc 5 November: Civic Bonfire and Fireworks Display, Bught Park, Inverness
  • tbc early December: Winter Wonderland at Whin Park, Inverness
  • tbc 31 December 2021: Red Hot Highland Fling Hogmanay party, Northern Meeting Park, Inverness

© 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


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