6 Best Entertainment in Inverness

Where to see live entertainment in Inverness, Scotland

Where to see live entertainment in Inverness, Scotland

Where to see live entertainment in Inverness, Scotland

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For a small town, Inverness takes a big hit when it comes to live entertainment. Perhaps not surprisingly, since music, dance and festivities have always been very close to the hearts of those who call the Highlands and Islands home. With a wide range of styles and options, there should be something for everyone.

Eden Court Theatre.

With a wide range of entertainment, Eden Court regularly attracts world-class performers. These include plays, ballet, opera, talks, musicals, live music, comedy and more. Located on the banks of the River Ness, with beautiful views of Inverness Castle, the venue is now over 40 years old, but it continues to go from strength to strength. Eden Court also offers many classes and chances for local participation.

Eden Court Theater, Bishop Road, Inverness

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Eden Court Blue Glow | © Vicki Brock / Flickr

Florians

Converted from the old Nissen Hut and originally formed in 1944 to provide entertainment for troops stationed in Inverness, The Florians is an amateur drama club. Hosting about five productions a year, from original plays to well-known classics, the club is often referred to as a hidden gem. The physical space was originally a rehearsal space, with plays performed at Eden Court or on tour, but with the addition of tiered seating, players can now hold their performances in their cramped little theater.

Florian, Booth Avenue, Inverness

Velocity Café and Bicycle Workshop

Promising to promote cycling and a happy, healthy lifestyle, the Velocity Café and Bicycle Workshop doesn’t falter. As a venue, it accommodates entertainment that could slip through the cracks, such as spoken word with poetry and storytelling, giving a new twist to the ancient highland ways of sharing stories. A sumptuous social enterprise, it’s worth checking the listings to see what’s going on.

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Velocity Café and Bicycle Workshop, Crown Avenue, Inverness

Meanwhile up the hill in Crown

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Bluebird Day all day long. Hope you picked the right direction to ride today # inverness #harr #noharr #highlandweather

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cast iron foundry.

With live events seven nights a week, The Ironworks has hosted several names. It’s a purpose-built venue for music, and the variety of musical genres promoted is broad and inclusive. Local talent often has their first experience playing to large audiences within the walls of The Ironworks.

The Ironworks, Academy Street, Inverness

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Guitar | © Paul Hudson / Flickr

Hellions

The oldest pub in Inverness, this bar also offers live music and entertainment every night. On Saturdays, they host a traditional ceilidh, with local popular folk band Schiehallion providing tunes to hang out and stomp your way through. The ceilidh, with traditional Scottish dancing, is often the highlight of many visitors’ stay in Scotland – great entertainment, friendly and without any pretension, everyone should get up and dance.

Hellions, Bridge Street, Inverness

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Scottish dancing | © k4dordy / Flickr

Johnny Fox.

Local bands and performers abound at this bar, located in a great location near the Ness River. A variety of music can be traditional, Scottish, Irish or pop. This place is always filled with lots of locals and visitors, and offers an extensive food menu. There is an opportunity to participate in regular karaoke nights if you feel like testing your own vocal skills.

Johnny Fox, Bank Street, Inverness

HOOTANANNY

Another bar offering famous live entertainment, Hootananny’s – or Hoots, as it’s better known – is divided on different floors. Upstairs is mostly rock music as well as other musical styles, and on the first floor is traditional Scottish music. Every Sunday night through Wednesday, local musicians gather here to play, and the impromptu results are always noteworthy. Saturdays showcase what is heralded as the world’s longest Scottish ceilidh, and dancing is often encouraged as well when bands play on Fridays.

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Guts, Church Street, Inverness

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Festivals

Inverness and the surrounding area host many festivals each year. These are sized in size, with the largest, Belladrum, or Tartan Heart, now in its 13th year and showing no signs of stopping, having gone from 2,000 attendees to 18,500. Other festivals include the Black Isle brewery Jocktoberfest, and the Highlands and Blas Islands Festival with traditional music. Some festivals have not yet been announced or are on hiatus; keep an eye on Inverness Festivals for a comprehensive list.

Scottish Show.

This traditional variety of entertainment includes traditional Highland dancing, bagpipes, dances and songs. There are several options to experience a Scottish show in and around Inverness, including the long-running Scottish Showtime Xperience or Scottish Showtime at Bogbain Farm.

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Inverness Highland Games.

Finally, what guide to entertainment in Inverness would be complete without mentioning local Highland games? Founded nearly 200 years ago in 1822, the plethora of competition seen at the Inverness Highland Games is astounding: massive bagpipes offering a thrilling soundtrack, feats from “heavyweights,” the artistry of traditional dancers and a crowd favorite – tow o’war. If you’re in an area where “Games are on, they’re a must-see.”

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