What's On Scotland 2-8 May: Alchemy, Glasgow Zine Fest + more

This week's Zap! guide spans the country, featuring Alchemy Film and Moving Image, Glasgow Zine Fest, Falastin Film Festival, Stag & Dagger and more

Zap by The Skinny | 02 May 2024
  • Sanaz Sohrabi Alchemy

Every year, the delightful Borders town of Hawick gets taken over by Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, one of Scotland’s most innovative celebrations of the medium.

Focusing on avant-garde and experimental short and feature films, this year’s programme is a banger: there’s a series by Palestinian filmmaker Noor Abed, screenings and exhibitions on ecology and imperialism, an opening night party to meet your fellow moving image fans, and even a film quiz to show off your cinephile chops.

Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival. Various venues, Hawick, 2-5 May


Photograph of Lauren Mayberry, holding a bunch of large flowers.


Changing Shapes: Lauren Mayberry on her new era

After spending her 20s on tour with Scottish synth-pop phenomenon CHVRCHES, we catch up with Lauren Mayberry as she enters a new decade in a liberating moment of DIY evolution.

Photograph of the Yardworks street art festival.


SWG3, Glasgow. 4+5 May, from 10am

Street art fans, it's your time to shine. Since launching in 2017, Yardworks has become one of Europe's biggest and best celebrations of urban street art. Get ready for a weekend of workshops, activities and new artworks.

A dancer, with devil horn makeup, eats a banana.


Exit, Glasgow. 4 May, 9pm-3am

After a team-up in London, Glasgow’s favourite salon turned club night links up with the legendary INFERNO for a unique night at Exit. Lewis G Burton, Miss Cabbage and Sgaire Wood are on the line-up – the dress code is HELL.

A still from Escape From New York. Kurt Russell stands in an alleyway, holding a gun.

Escape From New York

GFT, Glasgow. 3 May, 10.30pm

GFT's 50th anniversary celebrations kick off tonight with Fellini's Roma, but things kick into high gear on Friday with this late-night screening of John Carpenter's classic. Kurt Russell *must* save the president from the ruins of Manhattan in the far-flung future of... 1997.

A screenshot from the film Foragers.

Falastin Film Festival

Phoenix, Oban, 8 May. An Tobar, Tobermory, 9-12 May

The grassroots Falastin Film Festival throws its inaugural edition this month – it kicks off this week in Oban and on Mull before an Edinburgh run later in May. Highlights include Khaled Jarrar’s Infiltrators and Jumana Manna’s Foragers (pictured).

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Brick Fest Live

Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh. 4-6 May

What better way to spend a rainy bank holiday? Direct from the US, Brick Fest Live is full of fun for the whole family! Enjoy a jaw-dropping collection of LIFE-SIZED MODELS made entirely of everyone’s favourite building blocks, interact with hands-on building activities, play in the BRICK PIT, take part in the MYSTERY FLOOR MOSAIC, discover the GLOW ZONE and build your own car to race down the 35’ long DERBY RAMPS.

Photograph of the two members of the band No Windows, in front of a railing in a green outdoor space.

↪ Stag and Dagger

Various Edinburgh venues, 4 May; Various Glasgow venues, 5 May

Festival season is upon us! Take your first steps into a summer of music at Stag & Dagger, with multi-venue line-ups filling Edinburgh on Saturday and Glasgow on Sunday. Highlights across the weekend include Hamish Hawk, Humour, Lucia and the Best Boys, Zoe Graham and No Windows (pictured, photo by Rory Barnes).

→ Glasgow Zine Festival

CCA, Glasgow, until 5 May

There’s an embarrassment of riches at Glasgow Zine Fest this year, celebrating materiality, ephemera, and radical publishing in all its many forms. Writing workshops, events with author K Patrick and Cj Reay of Black Lodge Press, and a special edition of beloved EHFM show Cocoon Radio, plus an enormous zine fair.

→ The Break Out Festival

Various venues, Edinburgh. 7-10 May

The Break Out Festival is made up of four new works created, directed, choreographed and promoted by Edinburgh College students. It's part of GLOW – Edinburgh College's annual celebration of the work of their Creative Industries & Tech students.

Further Listening

The cast of La Chimera.

The Cineskinny Podcast
On this week's Cineskinny podcast, the gang look back on Danny Boyle's debut film Shallow Grave, discuss the excellent La Chimera, and reflect on the career-so-far of the excellent Josh O'Connor.

Listen to The Cineskinny on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.