6 tips to help you plan an online event

Want to be part of Refugee Festival Scotland but don’t know where to begin with organising your online event? Here are six tips to get you started.

1. Chose an event

First, decide what kind of event you would like to organise – a concert, dance performance, cookery demonstration, poetry reading, piece of theatre, short film, or arts and crafts workshop.

Whatever you have planned, make sure you think about how to make your event work for an online audience. Are you inviting them to visit an virtual art exhibition, showing a pre-recorded video, or livestreaming your event in real time?

2. Pick an online platform

There are so many ways to take your event online that it can be hard to know where to start. Have a look at our quick introduction to some of the well-known platforms.

3. How will people take part?

Decide if you would like your audience to simply watch your performance, or whether you want them to actively take part by adding comments to a virtual message board, joining a workshop via video link, or getting involved in an online discussion.

4. Ask people to register

Asking people to sign up or register their interest in your event helps you keep track of numbers. It also makes it easier to send people updates, invitations or web links in advance. Creating a Facebook event is an easy way to do this.

5. Do a practice run

It’s a good idea to do a run-through before your event. This will help you get used to the technology and gives you a chance to spot and deal with any potential problems in advance.

6. Make it easy to take part

Let people know when and how they can join your event and share a link to your live stream or online meeting.

If people need to prepare for your event, let them know beforehand. For example, if you’re hosting a cook-along, provide a list of ingredients and equipment needed to take part.

We can’t wait to see what you have planned for Refugee Festival Scotland 2021. Submissions are open until midnight on Sunday, 9 May.

If you would like help or advice with your event application, please contact our friendly festival team at

For more information, take a look at the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about the festival.

Syrian artist commissioned for Refugee Festival Scotland 2021

We are delighted to announce that Syrian artist Mousa AlNana has agreed to create the branding for Refugee Festival Scotland’s online debut in June.

The painter and graphic designer is currently working on our new festival visuals which will be unveiled next month.

Glasgow School of Art graduate Mousa was the artist behind our powerful World Refugee Day graphic in 2020 and we are excited to be working with him again on this year’s festival. 

Mousa said: “It has always been a pleasure to work with Scottish Refugee Council and their team. Working on Refugee Festival Scotland means a lot to me personally and professionally. As a refugee, it is inspiring to get our voice and vision across.”

You can read more about Mousa and his work in this great profile piece in The National

Refugee Festival Scotland 2021 takes place online this year from 14-20 June. 

The Festival celebrates the contribution refugee communities make when they seek safety and settle in Scotland.

Event submissions are now open. Register your event now.

 Join us online using the hashtag #RefugeeFestScot

Refugee Festival Scotland is coordinated by Scottish Refugee Council.

Being part of Refugee Festival Scotland!

Baz is part of the team organising Refugee Festival Scotland. He tells us why he wanted to be involved and what he’s most looking forward to about this year’s festival.

“Refugee Festival Scotland is a place to connect New Scots with communities across Scotland, a place rich in cultures and traditions where we learn about one another.

It is a platform, online and in-person, for people to come together to dance, talk, eat, feel the harmony in the world and more.

We celebrate what YOU and I have achieved so far and how we, together, have enhanced life here in Scotland.

Here, we have space to walk a thousand miles in each other’s shoes, to tell stories and share experience. Here, there are NO divisions, only unity and great ideas.

The festival is a place where the sky is the limit when it comes to dreams and ideas. It is a safe and open space for people to campaign for change and reach out to others in friendship and support.

This year, 2021, is the 21st anniversary of the festival which without your input, would never have happened.

Each year, we evolve and adapt to changes and use new tools to support and bring people together. As a result of Covid-19, this year’s festival, which runs from 14-20 June, will be different. Many events will be held online to make them accessible to all – and to keep you safe!”

If you are an organiser who would like to submit an event, please click here

Please get in touch if you have any questions:

Refugee Festival Scotland is back!

Calling all artists and performers – submissions are now open for our first ever online festival.

We’re delighted to announce that Refugee Festival Scotland is back – and this year, we’re going virtual!

Join us online, from Monday 14- Sunday 20 June, to celebrate the contribution that refugee communities make to life in Scotland.

The festival brings people from different backgrounds and cultures together to meet, mix and get to know each other better. It’s a unique opportunity to connect and build bonds of friendship through food, drink, music, poetry, dance and visual art.

How can I get involved?

Anyone can take part. If you have an idea for an online event or activity, we’d love to hear from you.

This can take any form – an exhibition, a piece of theatre, a dance performance, a workshop – so long as it’s open to the public and people can access it online.

It has been a difficult year, so we’re looking for events that have the power to inspire and uplift. Share your suggestions for activities that help to overcome barriers, bridge divides and celebrate Scotland’s many communities.

You can also help to spread the word and stay on top of the latest Festival news and updates with the hashtag #RefugeeFestScot.

Submissions from community groups led by refugees or supporting refugees in Scotland are always welcome.

How can I apply?

Please fill in an online event registration. We’re accepting applications until Sunday 9 May but if you are super organised and able to send it before then, that would help us a lot.

If have any questions or if you need help applying, please contact our coordinators by emailing:

إن كنت بحاجة إلى أي مساعدة في تعبئة الطلب أو لديك أي سؤال، رجاءاً لا تترد بالتواصل معنا عن طريق الايميل التالي (راسلنا بالعربية ان كنت تفضل ذلك):

Refugee Festival Scotland is produced and coordinated by Scottish Refugee Council but it is much bigger than us. We work with a Scotland-wide network of wonderful partners to put together the Festival programme.

Get involved and help make this year’s festival one to remember!



World Refugee Day 2020

Next Saturday 20 June is World Refugee Day. This is when we would usually gather on the streets to show solidarity with people seeking refugee protection in Scotland and across the world. But as Covid-19 forces us to physically distance and pushes people into the margins, we have to find new ways to stay connected and informed. We have to make sure that people seeking refugee protection remain visible and heard. Will you take some time this week to understand what people seeking safety are going through? We have collated news, resources and campaigns here.

Syrian artist Mousa Alnana shares his response to World Refugee Day and themes of togetherness and visibility. Download his graphics here to share or use as your social media profile. Show your support online and start the conversation #worldrefugeeday