Glasgow: an undeniable ‘City of Music’

Glasgow: an undeniable ‘City of Music’

From men in tartan kilts playing bagpipes to Scotch whisky, there are certain things most people would associate with Scotland. Yet Glasgow – Scotland’s largest city and host of the 2015 EAIE conference – has a few unexpected tricks up its sleeve. Leading up to the EAIE’s 27th Annual Conference on international higher education, we will be highlighting some of the city’s most amazing and perhaps less-known facets right here on the blog. Opening this series, we explore Glasgow’s inseparable relationship with music.

If aside from being a professional in international higher education you’re also a music fan, you have just struck gold! Home to numerous music venues, recordings studios, music festivals of the most diverse genres, as well as countless higher education institutions offering courses in music – including the highly prestigious Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – it should be no surprise that Glasgow is an official UNESCO City of Music. Its vibrant music scene is truly eclectic, of exceptional quality, and certainly worth experiencing.

Every year in Glasgow starts with Celtic Connections, a music festival with hundreds of events that span over – gasp! – 18 days. In early summer, it’s the Glasgow Jazz festival that takes hold of music lovers for a four-day programme. Mid-August, the World Pipe Band Championship steals the show bringing appreciators of the genre together for a unique weekend of music. In between these and so many other exceptional musical events, the city hosts a whopping 130 music gigs on average per week!

Crowd pleasers

The city of Glasgow is home to five of the six internationally renowned national performing arts companies of Scotland: the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the National Theatre of Scotland, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Opera, and the Scottish Ballet. If you arrive a little early in Glasgow – 12 June to be exact – you may be able to catch a remarkable open-air performance of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at Glasgow Green, the very oldest of the city’s parks, for the 120th anniversary of the BBC Proms.

If classical music is not quite your thing, you might be excited to see one of the UK’s classic indie music venues where bands like Oasis were first spotted and signed; the legendary King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. ‘King Tuts’, as it is locally known, hosts affordable and contemporary gigs on most nights of the week. The indie flair that runs through Glasgow’s veins has given us internationally acclaimed musical legends such as Belle & Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand, and Travis.

Whether you’re a jazz aficionado or a rap fanatic, whatever music genre floats your boat, Glasgow will have something to offer. Make sure to see what is on in one of the city’s many epic venues and let yourself be blown away by the omnipresent musical talent. If you’d like a little help on where to look, Time Out Magazine did us all a fantastic favour by listing some of the best music venues to check out while in the striking City of Music.

Ending on a musical note

If you’re feeling particularly musical during the EAIE conference and would like to be more than just a spectator during your visit to Glasgow, you can join the EAIE choir which will be performing at the Closing Plenary on Friday 18 September.