What's on in Aberdeen

The packed calendar of events in Aberdeen means that expats will have numerous opportunities to enjoy themselves and get involved in the local culture. Expats will be able to enjoy the Highland Games with the royal family, watch talented young artists and revel in the city’s festive spirit.

The city council is active in supporting many of the events that take place in the city, and several of them have international renown, attracting audiences from across the world.

Here are some not-to-be-missed yearly festivals and celebrations in Aberdeen.


Annual events in Aberdeen

Spectra (February)

What better way to get to know a new city than to see it all lit up? This dazzling light show, complete with dramatic artwork projections on famous city buildings, attracts just short of a million visitors each year and is held at various sites throughout Aberdeen.

Braemar Gathering (September)

Part of the traditional summer Highland Games, the Braemar Gathering takes place on the first weekend of September and has a 900-year history. The event is traditionally attended by the royal family and attracts large crowds every year, who come to watch bagpipe bands, tug-of-war events and catch a glimpse of the queen.

DanceLive (September)

This dynamic contemporary dance festival is as thought-provoking as it is awe-inspiring, with a new theme tackled each week ranging from questioning gender roles to showcasing new choreographers, and more.

Aberdeen Winter Festival (November/December)

This fun-filled festival is made up of various events held in Aberdeen throughout the festive season. From Christmas markets to carol concerts and outdoor ice-skating, there are plenty of opportunities for the whole family to get into the festive spirit.

New Year's Eve in Aberdeen (December)

The New Year's in Aberdeen explodes into existence with a fireworks display fired from the roof of His Majesty’s Theatre. The city’s local celebration of Hogmanay, the traditional Scottish new year festivities, is characterised by live bands, merriment and the clinking of glasses.

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