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Folk Music Shows in Edinburgh

Has anyone ever attended a Scottish dance/music show in Edinburgh? I know Rick Steves has said they are extremely touristy, but I’ll be visiting next June with my parents (their first trip) and my three children. I see that there’s a Scottish show at Prestonfield House, which gets good reviews, but is expensive. Just wondering if anyone has tried this, or come across anything like it?

Posted by
974 posts

Hi, bugsycar,

I don't agree with Rick Steves on a lot of things, but he's absolutely right about those "Heather and Haggis" shows. They are very tourist oriented. I don't know how old your children are, but I don't think that they would enjoy such an event. Those performances are aimed at an older audience.

You may want to try to find a Highland Gathering while you're over. That would be much more authentic. There is usually at least one each weekend during the summer months. The whole family would enjoy the Highland Dancing competition, some of you would enjoy the piping competition and Highland athletics, and if they have sheepdog trials, that would be an added bonus. There's one at Helensburgh in early June, and if you aren't going to be driving, Helensburgh is easily reached by train from Edinburgh.

There are frequent Highland dance performances on the bandstand in Princes Street Gardens. Check out What's On Edinburgh once you get there, or check out their website just before you leave on your journey.

Best wishes for your holiday!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
2540 posts

when are you visiting? ,Look for some ceilidhs that make be on look at this website for some good info.
this link will give you lots of info.Good party nights with lots of dancing and don't worry about not being able to do the dances there are usually callers and load of folk will help you along, great fun for every age.
many are fund raisers for various charities so you would be helping local charities.
as to the shows at Prestonfield house I would agree they are very touristy and mainly for an older age group ,with traditional food, drink and dancing. many years ago my sisters now in their late 50's and 60's used to do the highland dancing at many similar shows in various hotels in the city and they loved it but even then it was mainly a captive audience of older Americans.