Glasgow's 10 Best Events and Festivals This September

Photo of Matthew Keyte
9 February 2017

There is plenty taking place in Glasgow during September for the culturally minded. You will find everything from visual artist and orchestra collaborations, ballets that interpret poetry, heritage events that celebrate the built environment and exhibitions by some of Scotland’s leading contemporary artists. Here are ten of the best arts and cultural events taking place in Glasgow this September.

Glasgow Skyline | © Robert Brown/Flickr

Architecture | Mackintosh at the Hunterian Art Gallery


The great Scottish Art Nouveau architect and interior designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh is inextricably linked with Glasgow. He was responsible for many of the landmark buildings of the city and for schools, tea-rooms, and commercial buildings. The Hunterian Art Gallery is hosting an exhibition of designs, images, and models chronicling the work of Mackintosh as part of a major research project entitled Mackintosh Architecture: Making, Meaning, and Context funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. On show will be over 80 drawings by Mackintosh, including many never previously exhibited. There is a strong emphasis on the work Mackintosh carried out as part of the partnership Honeyman and Keppie – subsequently Honeyman, Keppie, and Mackintosh – from his work as a draughtsman and assistant, all the way through to his mature architecture.

Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, University Avenue, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, +44 0141 330 4221

Art | Douglas Gordon at the Gallery of Modern Art

Until 28 September

Douglas Gordon now lives and works in Berlin but he is recognised as one Scotland’s leading contemporary artists. Winning the Turner Prize in 1996, Gordon also represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale the following year. His work typically features video installations to explore the themes of memory, mortality, time, and perception. His 2006 work ‘Pretty Much Every Film and Video Work From About 1992’ is presently exhibited at the Gallery of Modern Art in Gallery 1. The exhibition features 101 old television monitors that play 82 videos as a type of retrospective of Gordon’s career. The exhibition is part of the Generation Project that celebrates 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland.

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, +44 0141 287 3005

glasgow city chambers
Glasgow City Chambers | © Tom Donald / Courtesy GBPT Doors Open

Architecture | Doors Open Festival

15 – 21 September

The Doors Open Festival is a city-wide heritage event in which the main buildings in Glasgow open their doors to the public in a celebration of the built heritage of the city. The festival is organised by the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust and also includes organised tours, walks, seminars, and lectures by leading experts on the history and architecture of the city. Last year there were a total of 69,000 visitors taking advantage of the festival to explore the heritage of Glasgow, and 2014 will see 92 historic buildings open their doors to the public for free. These will include the newly category A listed Arlington Baths, Glasgow Central Mosque, the historic Glasgow Crematorium, the Trades Hall, the leading museums and art galleries, and the works of the great architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh – the Glasgow School of Art and the House for an Art Lover.

Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, Room 16 Wellpark Enterprise Centre, 120 Sydney Street, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, +44 0141 554 4411

the crucible scottish ballet
The Crucible | Courtesy Scottish Ballet

Ballet | The Crucible with Ten Poems

25 – 27 September

Scottish Ballet will this September present two shows within one in Glasgow – the performance will start with The Crucible, a dance interpretation of the play by Arthur Miller, to be followed by a display of dance to accompany a recital of ten works by the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. The first show presents a performance choreographed by Helen Pickett of Miller’s 1953 play that dramatises the Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s. The performance explores issues such as rumours, sin, groupthink, and the response of collective society to the threat of outsiders. The ten poems by Dylan Thomas will be read by the late Welsh actor Richard Burton whilst the dancers explore the themes within the poems of innocence, paradise lost, nature, death and nostalgia in a performance choreographed by Christopher Bruce.

Scottish Ballet, Tramway, 25 Albert Drive, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, +44 0141 331 2931

andy zaltzman
Andy Zaltzman | Courtesy Andy Zaltzman

Comedy | Andy Zaltzman at The Stand Comedy Club

14 September

Bearing a slight resemblance to The Simpsons character Sideshow Bob, Andy Zaltzman has become over the last decade one of Britain’s leading stand-up comedians. With a degree in classics from Oxford, Zaltzman is perhaps best known for being one half of the Bugle podcast alongside John Oliver of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart fame. His latest stand-up show is entitled ‘Satirist for Hire’ and has recently won rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He will be performing at The Stand Comedy Club in Glasgow in September with the show in which Zaltzman invites the audience members to contact him beforehand with issues, gripes, rants, and bugbears that they wish to hear him discuss and poke fun at.

The Stand Comedy Club, 333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, +44 0844 335 8879

Art | Bellini to Boudin at the Burrell Collection


The Burrell Collection represents the 8000 or so works donated to the city of Glasgow by the shipping magnate and philanthropist Sir William Burrell on his death in 1944. Currently the Collection has on show 50 of the finest works owned by the collection in the main gallery space. The exhibition takes visitors across styles, periods and genres from the Renaissance up to the late Victorian and French work of the late 19th century – you will find Florentine work of the 14th century and by the Venetian master Bellini, pieces by Lucas Cranach from the northern Gothic school and by Rembrandt, as well as by Chardin, Degas, Boudin, Gericault, and Manet. Also on display will be Whistler’s celebrated ‘Nocturne in Grey and Gold, Westminster Bridge’.

The Burrell Collection, 2060 Pollokshaws Road, Pollok Country park, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, +44 0141 287 2550

Art | Nathan Coley at the Gallery of Modern Art


Nathan Coley is a native Glaswegian artist and a former nominee for the Turner Prize in 2007. As an artist Coley focuses on architecture and the effect that it has upon the environment and mental processes of the people who use those buildings. His exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Gallery 4 is entitled The Lamp of Sacrifice, a phrase taken from the work of the Victorian critic and aesthetic theorist John Ruskin. The exhibition features 286 cardboard models placed alongside one another, mimicking the 286 places of worship that Coley found in the 2004 Edinburgh Yellow Pages. Ruskin’s lamps were the demands that he required of buildings to be recognised as great architecture – these included sacrifice, beauty and power.

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, +44 0141 287 3005

Heritage | Scotland and the Commonwealth – 400 Years in the Making


Scotland and the Commonwealth has been designed to chime with the mood during the Commonwealth Games hosted by Glasgow during August. Held in the main hall of the magnificent Edwardian Baroque Mitchell Library, the exhibition explores 400 years of the relationship between Scotland and the Commonwealth countries. Themes such as Scotland’s trading history, links with the slave trade, the role of Scottish religious missionaries in Africa, and especially the movement of Scottish people to settle in the Commonwealth and the important roles they proceeded to carry out. On show will be the so-called ‘Robben Island Bible’, a complete works of Shakespeare that was disguised as a religious text to be smuggled into the Robben Island prison in South Africa. Many of the prisoners signed their favourite passages, including Nelson Mandela.

Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, +44 0141 287 2999

Music | Willie Watson at the Centre for Contemporary Arts

5 September

Willie Watson will play a single set on 5 September at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, one of Glasgow’s leading cultural hubs and the site of literary events, art installations, film shows, and Gaelic-language festivals. Formerly the vocalist of Old Crow Medicine Show with whom he made eight albums, Watson is a multi-instrumentalist playing a contemporary form of folk and bluegrass. His debut solo album came out in May 2014 and displays the influence of the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and older bluesmen like Leadbelly, and the great folk recordings made by Pete Seeger in the 1940s and 1950s for the Library of Congress.

Centre for Contemporary Arts, 350 Sauciehall Street, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, +44 0141 352 4900

Music | 20th Century Perspectives by Scottish Ensemble

12 – 13 September

20th Century Perspectives is a collaborative project between the Scottish Ensemble orchestra and the Glaswegian visual artist Toby Paterson. Together they will be providing two evenings of 20th century string music in an environment that will be specifically created for the event by Paterson. The full details of the venue have also been withheld – though the Orchestra have suggested the event will be held in a modernist landmark within Glasgow that is not ordinarily open to the public. There will be three short musical performances in total in the evening by Scottish Ensemble with interludes during which attendees can explore the setting created by Paterson and the pop-up bar he has also designed for the evening.

Centre for Contemporary Arts, 350 Sauciehall Street, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, +44 0141 352 4900

Cookies Policy

We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"