Coronavirus: event cancellations and venue closures

A rolling guide to the events and festivals across Scotland affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak

Article by Jamie Dunn | 13 Mar 2020
  • Clubbing Highlights May 2015

This rolling page will keep you up to date with events and gigs cancelled or moved in response to the pandemic, as well as venue closures.

As the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world, expect some of the festivals and events you’ve been looking forward to to be cancelled or postponed. This is to free up emergency services to be deployed elsewhere as public services become stretched, but it's already having a devastating impact on bars, venues, artists and musicians. They need our support, and the support of government: here's our take on the situation.


Tectonics Festival cancelled

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra's Tectonics festival of avant-garde music was originally set to take place in Glasgow in May; it's hoped that most of what was planned can be moved to a new date of May 2021.

Wide Days postponed to July

The Edinburgh music convention and platform for new Scottish music is postponed until the summer. Wide Days are now aiming for this year's event to take place from 23-25 July.

Knockengorroch postponed

The annual music festival held in Kirkcudbrightshire was due to take place 23 to 26 May; due to the coronavirus outbreak, the dates have moved to 10 to 13 September.

XpoNorth 2020 cancelled

The annual conference was due to take place in June, but "after closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, and with great concern for its delegates, speakers, showcasing artists, conference partners, suppliers and staff", the organisation has decided to cancel.

Edinburgh Film Festival postponed

The 74th edition of the EIFF has been postponed from its planned date in June. The festival are looking into ways to deliver parts of the programme in one form or another.

Edinburgh International Children’s Festival cancelled

Edinburgh International Children’s Festival was due to be held 20 to 31 May, but has been cancelled due to the CORVID-19 outbreak. "Advice from the government, theatre venues and schools closing mean it is no longer possible for the Festival to take place," said the festival. "Ensuring the health and wellbeing of our audience, performing companies, artists and staff has to remain our number one priority." 

Edinburgh Science Festival cancelled

Organisers announced that the annual science festival, scheduled to take place 4 to 19 April, has been cancelled. “Now, more than ever, it is imperative that the public have access to robust, evidence-based science, delivered in a manner that is accessible to them," said the festival.

All ticket holders will automatically receive a refund. One element of the festival will go ahead, however: the open-air exhibition Into the Blue will open as planned on Portobello Promenade on 18 March.

FLY Open Air postponed

Due to take place 16 to 17 May, FLY Open Air have just announced a date move to the weekend of 19 to 20 September.

Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art (GI) postponed

Glasgow International, due to take place 24 April to 10 May, has been postponed. It's proposed that this edition of the biennial festival of contemporary visual art will now take place in 2021.

Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival cancel live elements

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival in Hawick has suspended all of its in-person events this year. Much of the cinema programme will be live-streamed, but the installations programme has been cancelled, due to its site-specific nature. Other elements, such as discussion events, dinners and receptions, and live performances, have been postponed. Full details here:

Terminal V rescheduled for October

The enormous techno festival at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh, due for the Easter weekend, is off. Terminal V: New Horizon has been rescheduled for Halloween (Sat 31 Oct), with plans to bring most of the planned line-up back in the autumn.

Edinburgh Tradfest postponed

Tradfest, the annual celebration of traditional Scottish art and culture, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with plan to return in 2021 from 30 April to 10 May. Tradfest's partner programmes – the Folk Film Gathering at Filmhouse and May Days at the Scottish Storytelling Centre – have also been cancelled.

Soma Skool and Maximum Pressure called off

The electronic music education festival has been postponed until September. The festival, and the attached Maximum Pressure all-nighter, was due to take place at SWG3 at the end of this month – details here.

Counterflows Festival cancelled

The Glasgow grassroots music festival is off – organisers say they're hoping to reschedule much of the 2020 line-up for next year. In a statement, they say: "Putting international artists through the stress of cancelled flights and being potentially quarantined is just too much of a risk to take given the current situation. On top of this, it feels increasingly irresponsible to be holding social events of our scale given the risk of the virus spreading."

The festival has also put together a list of albums by affected artists available for purchase on BandCamp – that list can be found here.

Theatres close as Scottish Government's large gatherings advice kicks in

Aberdeen's Music Hall, the King's and Festival theatres in Edinburgh and the Pavilion theatre in Glasgow have all postponed or cancelled shows for the near-future. It comes as the Scottish Government's call for the cancellation of public events with over 500 people comes into effect.

Radio 1's Big Weekend festival cancelled due to coronavirus

The BBC's annual pop extravaganza was due to take place in Dundee this year in May, but it's been announced the event won't go ahead due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. It's the first large-scale music festival in the UK to be cancelled because of the pandemic.

"It is important that we prioritise the health and safety of all those involved," Radio 1 told the BBC in a statement.  "This decision has been made in conjunction with our event partners, in line with the advice from the Scottish government, and while we know fans looking forward to purchasing tickets will be disappointed, it is important that we prioritise the health and safety of all those involved."

Harry Styles and Dua Lipa were due to headline, while Camila Cabello, Calvin Harris, AJ Tracey and Biffy Clyro were also on the bill.

Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival cancelled

Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival have cancelled its festival in May. "This has not been an easy decision for us but we know it is the right one at this time. We are very aware of the impact that this will have on our community and are currently exploring online support that we can offer and whether some events can take place online only; we will have more information about this soon." SMHAF hope to reschedule as many events as possible.

Aye Write! festival cancelled after first day

The Glasgow book festival have announced that the rest of their programme (due to run until 29 Mar) has been called off. On Twitter, the festival said: "In the last 24 hours it has become clear we can no longer deliver anything like the festival we had promised and in the interests of our audience, authors, publishers, volunteers and staff we have taken the decision not to carry on with this year’s festival at this time."

Record Store Day postponed to June

The global celebration of vinyl is the de facto start of the summer in The Skinny office, with events lined up for Vox Box in Edinburgh and Monorail in Glasgow among a host of celebrations across Scotland. Now Record Store Day is the latest event to be postponed from April until after the (hopeful) peak of the COVID-19 outbreak.

RSD announced earlier today that Record Store Day will now take place on 20 June, saying that "the decision comes at a time of unprecedented uncertainty". They urge music-lovers to continue to support their local record shop – we'd like to take this opportunity to do the same. 

Glasgow Short Film Festival postponed

The first major festival in Scotland to be hit by the Coronavirus is Glasgow Short Film Festival, which was due to take place 18 March to 22 March. While the festival's screening and event capacities wouldn't contravene Sturgeon's large gatherings ban, the organisers have said they are following the example of other international festivals and arts venues across Europe, who are taking the pandemic seriously. The international makeup of GSFF's guests would also mean many filmmakers would be unable to attend the festival given the extent of the COVID-19 spread in their home nations. 

“GSFF is committed to prioritising public health and safety, and although according to government guidance we fall within the restrictions on public gatherings, we feel obliged to take responsibility for our audiences and guests,” said GSFF director Matt Lloyd and co-director Sanne Jehoul.

“Today, we feel tremendously heartbroken,” they added. “Tomorrow, we will start working on the best possible alternative we can deliver. We will share details about this very soon, and we hope that we can welcome guests and audiences to GSFF20 at a later date.”

Tickets and passes will be refunded in full. If you booked tickets online, they will be automatically refunded. If you bought tickets in person at GFT box office, these can only be refunded in person. Watch this space for information of GSFF's new dates. For any other questions, please email

Hippodrome Silent Film Festival postponed

Scotland's festival of silent cinema was due to begin its tenth edition on Wednesday 18 March, but it's been announced that the festival in Bo'ness will take place at a later date, with issues of bringing performers to town during the COVID-19 crisis cited as the reason for not going ahead as planned. It's proposed that the festival will take place in October 2020 instead.

Glasgow Comedy Festival and Wee Dub Festival going ahead

Two events this weekend that are going ahead are the Glasgow Comedy Festival and the 10th outing of Edinburgh's Wee Dub Festival. Glasgow Comedy Festival said on Twitter they "have no plans to cancel the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, or any individual shows within it, due to Coronavirus", although some individual shows have been cancelled by the artists.

As the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world, expect some of the festivals and events you’ve been looking forward to to be cancelled or postponed. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday announced a ban on gatherings of more than 500 people, beginning next week. Not only will this help slow the spread of the virus, but also free up emergency services – such as police and ambulance crews – to be deployed elsewhere as public services become stretched.

This means, of course, that gigs at venues like the SSE Hydro, the O2 Academy, the Usher Hall and other large rooms around Scotland could be affected come Monday (16 March). If you've tickets for upcoming events at any venue that might fit this bill, contact the venue's box office or check their website for updates.


The Hug and Pint, Glasgow

In light of the escalating situation regarding COVID-19/Coronavirus, The Hug and Pint will close from Tuesday 17 March, until further notice. 

"As always, the safety and health of staff, customers, artists and all others is of the utmost importance," said the venue. "However, this incredibly difficult decision has not been made lightly, and our focus now needs to be on protecting the future of the venue and doing our best to ensure staff welfare.

“With this in mind, we will set up a Hardship Fund for staff to support them while the venue is closed. All funds raised on this page will be used to support staff financially while trying to safeguard and protect the future of the venue." For more info, visit the official fundraising page for full details.

Stereo, Mono, Harmonium, The 78

The quartet of veggie bars/restaurants/gig venues all closed their doors for the time being last night (Mon 16 Mar).

National Galleries closed

The Scottish National Gallery, Scottish National Portrait Gallery and Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art are closed from 5pm on 17 March. If you have tickets for upcoming exhibitions, the galleries will be in touch. For further updates, follow National Galleries' social media channels.

Tron Theatre, Glasgow closes

The Tron's theatre and bar will be closed from 17 March. All scheduled performances, events, classes and workshops are cancelled or postponed until further notice. At the moment, summer/autumn shows Underwood Lane and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz remain on sale, the hope being that it will be safe to reopen by then.

If you would like to make a donation to help the theatre survive through this closure, head to

CCA Glasgow

The Centre for Contemporary Arts will close for one month, from 6pm on Wed 18 March. Their Saramago cafe has already closed until further notice.

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop closes

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop will close to the public temporarily from 18 March. If you would like to collect tools and materials which have been stored there, arrange with ESW to pick them up before 20 March. If you have booked an upcoming course with ESW, they will be in contact with you directly to give information and further updates.

Cinemas across the UK to close

Odeon Cinemas have shut each of their venues until further notice; Picturehouse (which operates the Cameo in Edinburgh) and Cineworld will close their cinemas from tomorrow.

Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh shuts for the month

The theatre has postponed all shows until the end of March; it hasn't made a decision on shows beyond that, but pledges to keep people informed "in good time".

Dundee Contemporary Arts closes

DCA have closed their doors for the time being, effective immediately. They've also announced that their new Douglas Gordon exhibition, due to start in April, has been postponed with an eye to opening later in the spring.

Glasgow Film Theatre closes

The Glasgow art house cinema is now closed due to nationwide precautions around public health. They plan to re-open on 17 April, subject to the situation at that time.

V&A Dundee to close

Following official guidance, V&A Dundee will be closing on 17 March until further notice. More information will be available on their website in the coming days. 

Cooper Gallery, Dundee closed

To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Cooper Gallery has closed its gallery spaces from 17 March. The upcoming exhibition A is for Avant-Garde, Z is for Zero: Laura Mulvey & Peter Wollen is now postponed until further notice and all other events have been cancelled. The gallery is looking for new ways to engage with its audience during this temporary closure.