Our annual, multi-day festivals are the perfect opportunity to experience the wealth of talent and variety of disciplines available here at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. From brand new, innovative student performances to masterclasses hosted by leading musicians, there is truly something for everyone. Each performance is unique, and the festivals give audiences a chance to witness incredible emerging talent from across the Conservatoire or learn from the masters in our world-class facilities. You can learn more about each festival below.

Edinburgh Fringe

In the 17 years that RCS has been going to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, our high quality productions have earned a string of five-star reviews and are some of the hottest tickets in town.

In 2023, our MA Musical Theatre department are returning to the Fringe with performances of the full-length musical Big Fish and contemporary song-cycle Edges.

Big Guitar Weekend

The Big Guitar Weekend is a festival in celebration of classical guitar. Performers from 2022 included Nicholas Goluses, Sean Shibe, Tim Beattie and RCS Guitarists.

The Big Guitar Weekend course runs alongside the performances and provides guitarists of all abilities the opportunity to study with our world-class faculty at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. It is open to guitarists from nine years of age to adult and is designed to support guitarists of all ages and abilities, including the most serious/advanced young pre-professional/professional guitarists in training.

Emergence Festival

Emergence is a festival of new work from the graduating artists of the MFA Acting/Directing Classical and Contemporary Text programme.

Emergence 2023 included four live performances and a short film, presented across two nights within the post-industrial galleries of Glasgow’s Glue Factory. These five projects were the result of what can happen when artists are given a small budget and autonomy to respond to the provocation: what is the future of theatre?

Emergence will take place in Janaury 2024 at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. More information about the festival will be available soon.

Into The New

Into the New is a festival of contemporary performance based in Glasgow. This edition will have several premières of live art and performances created by the final year BA(Hons) Contemporary Performance Practice students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The performances experiment with a wide range of approaches – including channelling, somacoustics, meditation, artificial intelligence – through image, and body-based work. 

Taking place at Tramway, Into the New 2023 delivered two days of performance, as well as talks, exchanges and debates to help evolve performance for the future.

Piano Festival

Our annual Piano Festival showcases the talents of our Keyboard students from the School of Music, featuring a varied programme of familiar music reimagined in new ways, as well as unique collaborations with students from our School of Dance.

Highlights from 2023 include Nikolai Lugansky performing a programme of Rachmaninov piano works in celebration of the composer’s 150th anniversary.

The Piano Festival will return in 2024.


“…Scotland’s most ambitious and daring new music project.” (The Herald)

A longstanding celebration of exciting new music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, PLUG has been part of the RCS calendar for 17 years, with over 300 new works receiving their premiere performances during the run of the festival.

Plug 2023 featured performances by alumni Calum Huggan (Percussion) and Stephanie Lamprea (Voice), the award-winning violin and cello duo GAIA, and Scotland’s leading contemporary music ensemble, Red Note.

PLUG Festival will return in 2024.

Off Kilter

RCS’s BA Acting programme presents Off Kilter 2023 featured three scratch nights of new writing and physical theatre, created by our second year students from our BA Acting programme.

Off Kilter is a playful exploration of form and storytelling, allowing our students to tell the stories they want to tell. The festival is the annual culmination of the BA Acting ‘New Works’ module, and it provides our actors with the tools and resilience that will see them through their careers as creative artists.

On The Verge

On the Verge has been part of the RCS performance calendar for over 10 years, during which time many of the artists have gone on to tour their work nationally and beyond. It’s a showcase of new work celebrating big ideas and big ambition – a step into the unknown.

The work is wide ranging, exploring stories, ideas and questions from the deeply personal to the socio-political and beyond. The projects are united in a shared desire to explore what might be possible both in front of and behind the camera.

On the Verge will return in 2024.


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