This fortnight both City and Shire light up for some great festivals from Aberdeen Jazz Festival and Across the Grain from Live Life Aberdeenshire – as well as the folk fringes at Portsoy Salmon Bothy and St Margaret’s Braemar. But it’s not just music – Fertile Ground open their new exhibition ‘Paradigms’ and there are the stirrings of a new visual arts movement with the opening of Tactics for Togetherness. Pair that with a stunning literary line-up from Speakin’ Weird and a whole host of fresh gigs, workshops, and a smattering of Classical concerts and Ballet and, well, you’ve got a pretty vibrant spread to choose from. 

Discover more at

Jazz Scotland’s reconvenes after last year’s event was rudely interrupted by the declaration of lockdown back in March. This hybrid live and online festival seeks to offer the best of both worlds by offering the accessibility of online performances with all the punch of live Jazz. 


Espen Erikson Trio

8pm, 30th September | The Blue Lamp |£13.50 : Internationally famous Norwegian piano trio are one of the world’s leading contemporary Jazz acts and openers of this years festival – melodic, minimal, atmospheric Jazz. 

Seonaid Aitken – Chasing Sakura

7:30pm, 2nd October | The Blue Lamp and online |£13.50 : Scottish Singer and Fiddler Seonaid Aitken tours her new collection of Gypsy Jazz sounds taking inspiration from Japanese music encountered on many visits. 

Tom McGuire and the Brassholes

8pm, 7th October | The Lemon Tree |£12 : Glasgow’s most soulful progeny express their mastery of all things funk and soul in this loud and swinging gig. Influences from Al Green, Bill Withers and James Brown abound. 

Q&A with Help Musicians Scotland

12pm, 8th October | Online Only |Free : Join Suzanne Miller in a live online Q&A for professional musicians in this talk that aims to offer support for all needs in the sector. Discuss Health and Welfare services, funding services and more.

Jazz at the Gallery

2pm, 9th October | Aberdeen Art Gallery |Free : Corlaie Usmani and Connor J Weir present their take on classics by Jazz legends such as Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli and take the gypsy jazz sound to Aberdeen’s premier Arts venue. 


10:30pm, 9th October | The Blue Lamp |£12 : Return to the Blue Lamp at its coolest with this late night gig from Glaswegian trombonist, guitarist, and bandleader Liam Shortall. Discover the thrill of late night jazz with this powerhouse of the Glasgow Jazz scene. 

From the 15th – 22nd October, you can find all of the Jazz festival gigs at the Blue Lamp and Queens Cross Church available to stream on the Aberdeen Jazz Festival website with their £25 Virtual pass. 

Discover more at

Live Life Aberdeenshire’s celebration of traditional scottish music and the Doric language now enters its fourth year with a comprehensive line-up of free online events for everyone. 


Saturday 02 October

Tone, Sound, Shape

4pm: Film premiere exploring the effect that materials and construction practices have on the tone of violins. Presented by internationally-renowned North East fiddler Paul Anderson.

Creative Landscape Poetry Writing

5pm: Explore the landscapes of the mind and earth in this Creative Writing workshop lead by Shetland-based artist Amy Gear. 16+

Sunday 03 October

James Madison Carter

2pm: Dr. Tom McKean joins forces with the Elphinstone Institute to explore the huge collection of Scottish Traditional Music in the Capenter Collection – part of the USA’s Library of Congress. 

Talking Textiles

3.30pm: This multi-purpose talk serves as an introduction to the upcoming celebration of the Book of Deer – an early mediaeval document written in Scots Gaelic in the area around Mintlaw –  as well as launching a new community banner-making programme celebrating the book. 

Doric Poetry and Prose

Throughout the Weekend: Join Across the Grain podcasts that celebrate traditional Doric poetry and short stories brought to you by groups such as Mearns Writers. 

The 11th Haal

1st-3rd October | Portsoy Salmon Bothy, Portsoy | up to £20, concession £6: The Portsoy Salmon Bothy present their 11th year of this stunning Folk Festival with a weekend of Songs, Tunes, Stories, Poetry, Dance, Workshops, and Sessions held around various venues in Portsoy. There is a lot happening from the 1st to the 3rd from a Breakfast club with Tea and Shortbread with Singing and music, to an evening with legendary American folk singer Peggy Seeger. Could be considered an Across the Grain ‘fringe’ event. 

Braemar Folk Festival

1st-3rd October | Braemar | Varying Prices, full ticket £30: Braemar also breaks into a cacophony of folky-trad goodness in this second Across the Grain ‘fringe’ event happening in the Shire. Peggy Seeger is also here on the 1st and is followed by a performance from Project Smok on the 2nd. These live gigs at St. Maragaret’s are accompanied by a host of smaller live music events and sessions – culminating in a grand Farewell Session hosted by the Tom Campbell Trio at Invercauld Mews.

Haddo Arts Festival

8th-17th October | Haddo House, Tarves | Free: Haddo House spruces up its already illustrious interior and grounds through the introduction of some select exhibitions to the site. See how the collections of HAddo House are transformed through the additional of new atmospheric lighting in ‘A Different Light’ or peruse the grounds and their various art installations from Sarah Calder and and a photography installation 


30th September – 30th October | Look Again Project Space, St. Andrew St., Aberdeen |Free : Following the success of the oily ‘CRUDE’ exhibition last month, Fertile Ground returns to the Look Again project space this time with an exhibition featuring the works of contemporary practitioners from Aberdeen and Plymouth. A wide-ranging look at how systems of ideas, values, and practice interact with everyday environments.

Travelling Gallery

1st – 2nd October | Stonehaven Leisure Centre, Stonehaven |Free : Part of the Across the Grain festival, Scotland’s Art-In-A-Bus Travelling Gallery comes to Stonehaven to showcase of the country’s finest contemporary visual art. 

Tactics for Togetherness Opening Evening

3rd October | 123 George Street, Aberdeen |Free : Brand new visual arts group launch their project in response to the recent British Art Show 9 with a focus on bringing people together. 

A Traveller’s Dye-ry

4th -9th October | Hy Stonehaven |Free : Stonehaven’s Hy Pop-up shop is hosting a new exhibition of photography and yarn-dying featuring works from across the world. 

Poetry @ Books and Beans

30th September | Books and Beans, Belmont St., Aberdeen |Free : Join the Belmont Street literary regulars with their latest instalment in their live poetry series. This time, P@BaB is joined by two superstars of the Aberdeen poetry and spoken word scene – Noon Salah Eldin and Kimberlie Petrie who have both been featured on Leopard Arts before. 

Speakin’ Weird

6th October | Spin, Littlejohn Street, Aberdeen | £3, £2 for Students : Join Aberdeen’s top Spoken word open-mic night for their second outing post-lockdown. This time, Orla and pals are joined by 3 headline performers from the Glasgow-based collective Wanderlust Women – Lesley Benzie, Linda Jackson, and Donna Campbell. Each boast recent publications with Lesley Benzie also featuring a Doric publication. The trio will be joined by plucky performers from Aberdeen’s of all aptitudes and styles and featuring music, poetry, prose, mad rants, the lot. Love it. 

Ghost Of A Smile

6th October | New Deer Public Hall, New Deer, Aberdeenshire |£10 Adults, £7 u18s : Two of Charles Dicken’s stories presented with a comic twist. Adapted and directed by Gavin Robertson. 

Scottish Ballet: Starstruck

7th – 9th October |His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen |£16-£37 : A renewed and improved version of Gene Kelly’s classic choreography set in the glamour and hubbub of 1960s Paris

Bond – An Unauthorized Parody

6th October/11th October | Finzean Hall, Finzean/Collieston Community Centre | £32 – £7 : Following performances across the world, Gavin Robertson returns with a humourous take on the James Bond series right in time for the release of the new film – in which Bond meets his worst enemy yet, Ian Fleming himself. 

Done To The Death, By Jove! 

9th October/10th October | Bennachie Centre, Chapel of Garioch, AB51 5HY/Johnshaven Village Hall, Johnshaven | £32 – £7 : Gavin Robertson and Nick Collett are very busy this fortnight in Aberdeenshire, with a third show this time parodying the world of Sherlock Holmes and his plucky side-kick Doctor Watson. 

Friday 01 October

Atlas : Empire, Glass Monkey, Gulls

8pm | Krakatoa, Trinity Quay, Aberdeen |£5, £4 students : An evening of alt- and pop-rock performers featuring Glaswegian headliners. Followed by Neon Lounge club night.

Soundbath and Songs

7pm |Quaker Meeting House, Crown Street, Aberdeen |£11 : Performance of songs by local acoustic artist Cadman the Aviator followed by a calming soundbath.


8pm | Cafe Drummond, Belmont Street, Aberdeen |£6 : Indie-pop up-and-comer from Dumfries brings his smooth sound.

Saturday 02 October

Trash Disco – ‘Back To Our Roots’

11pm |The Tunnels, Carnegie’s Brae, Aberdeen |£6 : Funk and Disco house DJs return after 11 years away from their Aberdeen home. 

Scottish Chamber Orchestra – The Emperor

4pm |The Music Hall, Union Street, Aberdeen |£13-£29 : World-famed pianist Lukas Geniusas performs a concerto by Beethoven followed by a Mendelssohn symphony. 


4pm |The Beach Battle Bar, Beach Esplanade, Aberdeen |£22 : All day terrace party featuring Bounce and Anthems spun by Andy Whitby.

Gerry Jablonski

8pm |Cafe Drummond, Belmont Street, Aberdeen |£10 : Dad-rock band for the 21st Century enlivens the classic Belmont Street Venue.

Joshua Grant

8pm |The Cellar, Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen |£7 : Indie-pop central belter brings his immensely popular tour to the intimate confines of the Cellar. Expect the real Glasgow sound. 

BFG/The Trauma/Masenko

8pm |Captain Tom’s, Ann Street, Aberdeen |£5 : Local recording studio showcases debut rock-and-rollers BFG and The Trauma and welcome classic-rock inspired Masenko. 

Sunday 03 October

Roddy Woomble

7:30pm |The Lemon Tree, West North Street, Aberdeen |£19.25 : Frontman from Idlewild unveils his newest material of his solo career. Expect enigmatic lyrics, smooth vocal tones and delicate guitar playing. 

Showhawk Duo

7:30pm | Unit 51, Carnegie’s Brae, Aberdeen| £14.85 : Incredible guitar duo bring a selection of dancefloor fills with their unique ‘Acoustic Rave’ sound. Expect genre bending virtuosity. 


Wednesday 06 October

Scouting for Girls

7pm | The Lemon Tree, West North Street, Aberdeen| £27.50 : 00s Teenage heartthrobs return to British stages in their massive 2021 42 location tour. 

Friday 08 October

Breabach 2021

7:30pm | The Lemon Tree, West North Street, Aberdeen| £15.40 : Award-winning contemporary Scottish folk band return to Aberdeen after winning ‘Band of the Year’ and ‘Album of the Year’ at the MG Alba Scots Trad Awards. 


8pm | Cafe Drummond, Belmont Street, Aberdeen| £10 : ‘Dreamy’ rock-and-roll band with inspiration from several 20th Century pop-music traditions. Regarded as one of Scotland’s best psychedelic bands. 

Run to Vega/Virtues/Ruptured Ducklings

8pm | Krakatoa, Trinity Quay, Aberdeen| £5, £4 students : An evening of punk rock and hard rock bangers, with the experimental and progressive sound of Run To Vega headlining. 

Saturday 09 October

All Night Passion

11pm | The Tunnels, Carnegie’s Brae, Aberdeen| £8s : Disco-house aficionados return to The Tunnels with their funky sounds of Disco, Love and Magic. With support from Bestley.

Ceramics/Late Landing + support

8pm | Krakatoa, Trinity Quay, Aberdeen| £5, £4 students : An evening of heavy rock sounds and metal infused guitar-work. Featuring veteran Late Landing from the North-East of Scotland. 

Sunday 10 October

Royal Scottish National Orchestra: Mozart Clarinet Concerto

3pm | The Music Hall, Union Street, Aberdeen| £13-£29 : Scotland’s premier classical outfit perform works from Mozart, Sibelius and Vaughn Williams’ 5th Symphony – recently voted the best British Symphony – in this afternoon concert. 

The Undertones

7:30pm | The Lemon Tree, West North Street, Aberdeen| £27.50 : Massively influential post-punk outfit are still going and bring their unqiue sound to Aberdeen. Band behind ‘Teenage Kicks’. 

Monday 11 October

Aberdeen Chamber Music: Quaretto Nous

3 and 6pm | Queen’s Cross Church, Albyn Place, Aberdeen| £14 : Italian classical Quartet, considered one of the most interesting of its generation, perform a hour long set of  Bazzini and Beethoven. 

Tuesday 12 October

Del Amitri

7pm | The Music Hall, Union Street, Aberdeen| £40 : Melodic Rock grandees still got it after their last studio release… 19 years ago. A set featuring their greatest hits. Uplifting, comforting, with lyrical bite. 

Colours of Nature

7th October, 7pm | Online |£7 : The Barn at Banchory host this talk Louise Barrington as she guides listeners through the process of naturally dyeing fabric from seasonally and locally available everyday products. This will also discuss how switching to natural dyeing products has effected Louise’s own art practice. 

Bar Scrawl

8th October, 8pm | Aberdeen Arts Centre, West North Street, Aberdeen |Free : Cocktails and creative writing abound in this improvisational workshop that allows audience members to collaborate on Theatrical scripts to be read and performed by the Arts Centre’s in house acting team. 

Black Light Woodcut Printing

9th October | Peacock, Castle Street, Aberdeen | £175 : This brand-new four-week course takes place over the four weeks leading up to Halloween for you to get involved with creating spooky black-light woodcuts. Lead by professional woodcut experts, participants will have full access to the woodcut workshop as well as experienced guidance. Each week covers a different part of the process.