What’s on in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire this summer

The longer days are upon us and with that the warmer weather brings a whole programme of outdoor events and unmissable festivals! From the classic Highland Games to food and drink festivals, musical events to agricultural shows – we’ve got plenty of exciting events coming up this summer:



1. Highland Games [Various Dates from 1 June – 7 September]

A true Scottish experience is not complete without a trip to the Highland Games. We’re lucky that we have over 10 taking place in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire including the legendary Lonach Highland Gathering and Games and Braemar Highland Gathering. Click here to get the full run down of North-east Scotland’s Highland Games event calendar.

Aboyne Highland Games2


2. Taste of Grampian [1 June 2019]

Don’t miss Scotland’s biggest one-day food and drink festival. In 2019, The Scotsman even named Taste of Grampian as one of the top food and drinks festivals in Scotland. Sample our famous local produce and enjoy live cooking demonstrations from special guests including MasterChef’s John Torode and Celebrity MasterChef finalist and Made in Chelsea star, Spencer Matthews.  


3. Ballater Duck Festival [2 June 2019]

Watch giant inflatable ducks race on the River Dee at Ballater Duck Festival. Meander around Ballater Village Green and visit over 80 food, craft and charity stalls while enjoying the music and scenery in Royal Deeside. The event also includes a bouncy castle, pony rides and following the duck race a pipe band parade through the village.


4. Look Again Festival [6 – 9 June 2019]

In 2018, three iconic locations: Marischal College, Broad Street and the Castlegate came alive with art, performances and playable structures (and there was even a special festival flavour of ice-cream created by Mackie’s). We can’t wait to see what’s in store for visual arts festival, Look Again Festival this summer.


5. Scottish Traditional Boat Festival [22 – 23 June 2019]

Frequently ranked amongst the best festivals in Scotland, the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival has taken place in Portsoy for the past 26 years. A lively programme of seafaring activities, music, children’s entertainment and plenty of food and drink.

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6. Aberdeen Gin Fest [5-6 July 2019]

Whether you are already a confirmed gin lover, or just curious to explore the amazing range of traditional or trendy gins bursting onto the market, Aberdeen Gin Fest is where you can meet the producers behind the spirits. Raise a glass and dance the night away to great live music.


7. Stonehaven Folk Festival [12 – 14 July 2019]

Enjoy concerts, workshops, singalongs, storytelling and ceilidhs at this quirky festival. Why not head along to the festival’s Aqua Ceilidh on Sunday 14 July at Stonehaven Heated Open Air Pool for an aquatic take on this dancing Scottish tradition.


8. North Hop [20 July 2019 at Pitmedden Garden / 31 August at Castle Fraser]

North Hop has teamed up with National Trust for Scotland to pull together two special events at two of the Trust’s stunning venues. Head along to Pitmedden Garden this July for the Secret Garden Experience consisting of relaxing wellness classes, plant based street food and the Mad Hatter’s Boozy Tea Tent. In August, don your cowboy boots and channel your American side with cheerleading, line dancing, beer pong and a dash of Scottish flare with a mini Highland Games topped off with soulful food and tiki cocktails at USA Roots at Castle Fraser.


9. Peterhead Scottish Week [20 – 28 July 2019]

Embrace the patriotism as Peterhead hosts Scottish Week. With activities including a truck show, competitions, entertainment and more. In 2018 the event also saw an aerial display from the world-famous Red Arrows.


10. Jaguar Classic Car Show [28 July 2019]

Car lovers can rejoice as the Grampian Region Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club Annual Car Show returns to Drum Castle. Bring the family to see a great many superb examples of these famous vehicles and help support the GRJEC's chosen charity for 2019.

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11. Ballater Victoria Week [3 – 11 August 2019]

Initiated in 1987 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s accession, Ballater Victoria Week raises funds for local causes and brings the whole community together. The programme for 2019 has yet to be announced but previous years have included ghost tours, ceilidhs, scarecrow competitions, films, fayres and storytelling.


12. MRDA European Qualifiers [3 – 4 August 2019]

The atmosphere is set to be euphoric at this two-day roller derby tournament with the highest-level teams competing to fight for their place at the Championships. With up to 300 national and international athletes taking to the track at the Beach Leisure Centre the competition will be fierce.


13. MG Classic Car Show [4 August 2019]

From the 1920s to the present day, MGs have been loved as the definition of the British sports car. With strawberries and cream, jazz on the lawn, this is a fun day for all the family.


14. Turriff Show [5 August 2019]

Attend Scotland's largest two day agricultural show, Turriff Show. Back for the 155th year, with over 300 outdoor and indoor trade stands, you can see a selection of horse events, dog shows and highland dancing. Don't miss this fun, family friendly event.

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15. Techfest [24 August – 21 September]

Dig a little deeper into the science behind everyday life at our science festival.  The annual festival of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), Techfest, returns to Aberdeen for its 26th year. This festival aims to make education more accessible to children and learning has never been so fun.


16. Granite City Comic Con [24 August 2019]

Don your costume and meet the artists and writers who help create your favourite heroes and villains at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. This year Granite City Comic Con is proud to announce the return of Wrestlezone and The GhostBusters of Aberdeen will also be paying a visit. Other highlights include a talk from Industrial Light and Magic’s visual FX Supervision Dan Snape who has worked on the Harry Potter films, The Dark Knight, Star Wars Episode 7 & 8 and the Avengers.


17. Great Aberdeen Run [25 August 2019]

Now is your chance to make sure 2019 doesn’t run away with you. The Great Aberdeen Run has many different options including a half marathon, 10k, family mile and business challenge. With over three months to train for the event don’t miss the opportunity to take part – 2019 can be your year to do something Great. Sign up here today.

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18. Stonehaven Harbour Festival [25 August 2019]

Stonehaven Harbour Festival is a family day out along Stonehaven’s stunning harbour with stalls, displays, raft racing and a sandcastle building competition. Full programme to be confirmed.


Check out our What’s On calendar for more events in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

Also, make sure to read our blog on 6 experiences you’ve got to have in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire this summer