Showing Hope: Performances at the Scottish Refugee Festival

To see or not to see? If that is your question, never fear this list should give you an answer. The festival is packed with fun, interactive, and moving shows and performances. Keep reading for some must-see acts and line-ups.  

By Olivia Sykes, Refugee Festival Scotland volunteer 

JUNE 16 

Festival of Migration (June 16-18) – Edinburgh

A weekend packed full of wonderful contributions from migrants in Scotland! A festival within a festival, what’s not to love?

Solas Festival (June 16-18) – Perthshire 

This other festival within a festival will be a fun weekend of music, food and dance. Open to all, but free to those in the asylum system. Email for a free ticket. 

To Ukraine With Love (7-8:30 PM) – Glasgow 

A musical ode to the sacrifices, resilience and beauty displayed by Ukrainians during the ongoing war.  

JUNE 17 

Voicebeat: Hope and Harmonies (7:30-9:45 PM) – Glasgow 

Glasgow’s community choir will be singing songs of hope from all over the world. This is a free event, but the choir will be accepting donations for local refugee organisation Refuweegee at the concert. 

JUNE 18 

The Power of Compassion (12:30-1:30 PM) – Glasgow 

Watch eight Tibetan Monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery give Scotland an inside view into the beauty of Tibetan culture. Music, chants, and more!  

Tickets £7.50 for adults, £3.50 for children, and free entry for children under 3. Book online here. 

My Friend Selkie (2-3 PM) – Aberdeen 

This one is great for the whole family! A light-hearted demonstration of friendship told through music & interactive games. To book a spot, email 


Compassion to Hope (4:30-5:30 PM) – Edinburgh

This one is in Edinburgh! An hour of music and poetry, a bit of reflective silence and celebration.  

A Day of Hope & Cultures Celebration (5-7 PM) – Glasgow 

Celebrate World Refugee Day by listening to some music and taking part in discussion and activism campaigns.

Twaano: From Zambia to Scotland Poetry and Open Mic (6-8 PM) – Online 

Award-winning Zambian Poet Musenga Katongo will host a wonderful evening of poetry & connection from both Zambia and Scotland. There will be an open mic too! This event is a virtual one, register for it here. 

JUNE 21 

Tartan – A Global Story (10:30 AM) – Dundee

Explore the history of Scottish tartan and its connection to migration at the V&A in Dundee. Email to book a free spot. 

Wheel of Fortune (6-7:30 PM) Glasgow 

A play about the UK immigration system, integration, life and death. This one is sure to be moving. Reserve your free place here.

Musicians in Exile (7:30-8:30 PM) – Glasgow 

An inspirational performance providing opportunities as musicians with refugee and asylum-seeking experience. 

JUNE 22 

Tree of Life (3-6 PM) – Glasgow 

Voices of Peace women group from the Village Storytelling Centre invites you to a Storytelling Performance including a story sharing, art, and movement workshop. They encourage you to bring some food from your culture to the event to share. 

Coming Home Exhibition Opening X SiO Poetry Evening (6:30-11 PM) – Edinburgh

Witness the exhibition opening of artist Sophia Bharmal and a beautiful lineup of BiPoC poets and performers who will explore their connection to Home, Identity and Culture. Register here to purchase a payasyoucan style ticket.

…A Thing With Feathers (6:45-11 PM) – Glasgow

Performances from award-winning Senegalese musician Seckou Keita with the RSNO, Joyous Choir and Hiba, this event is not one to miss! Celebrate the power of music. Free tickets? Yes please.

JUNE 23 

Fashion Parade in Diversity (1-3 PM) – Glasgow

A parade during which hopeful & meaningful connection between New Scots is highly encouraged. 

10 Years of Joy (5:30-8 PM) – Glasgow

Maryhill Integration Network (MIN) will be celebrating 10 years of the Joyous Choir! Come listen to them pay tribute to those who have made this group possible. 


Dance Workshop (1:30-2:30 PM) – Aberdeen

Fusion Youth Dance Company will be hosting a dance session for children aged 8-12. Book a slot here. 

Tac an Teine – Sharing Our Songs, Stories and Music (2-4:30 PM) – Inverness

Members of the local Gaelic and Ukranian communities will be putting on a wonderful afternoon of traditional music, song and friendship. If that wasn’t enough, afternoon tea will also be served. 

We’re here, We belong & We dance: Latino Dance Project (3-3:30 PM) – Glasgow

Watch members of the Latin American community of Glasgow in a wonderful dance performance.  

Folk Music of Kurdistan (7-8:30 PM) – Edinburgh

A live performance of traditional Kurdish folk music in the heart of Leith! Free and open to all. 

Kassack (Traditional Dance) (6-10 PM) – Glasgow

A cultural performance with singing and dancing. All are welcome to join in the fun. 


Well, there’s certainly a lot to see isn’t there? I hope these events will inform and inspire you with all the wonderful diversity our Scottish communities have to offer. We hope to see you at an upcoming show soon! 

 Refugee Festival Scotland 2023 runs from 16 – 25 June. Check out what’s on where you are.