Glasgow Turns Up The Beat

Photo: The National Theatre of Scotland’s production of The James Plays © Manuel Harlan

- April 1, 2016

Since sanctioned to host a fair back in the 12th century, Glasgow hasn’t noticeably slowed down in the entertainment arena. Part of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network and designated City of Music, Scotland’s largest city boasts an average 130 music events each week.

Favorite haunts include the famed Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut (which even has its own record label), regularly ranked by musicians and guests as the city’s top live music venues. The stage at King Tut’s launched numerous acts that have gained international recognition.

Club favorites with LGBT visitors include stylish The Riding Room (also known as the Joint on the Corner), where revolving entertainment covers everything from magic shows to burlesque. Other clubs currently popular on the scene include flashy Delmonicas (Dels), elegantly swish The Polo Lounge, newcomer AXM Club and intimate Underground (formerly Revolver Bar).

It’s nearly always show time, thanks to the delightful fact Glasgow is home to five internationally acclaimed national performing arts companies — the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, National Theatre of Scotland, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Upcoming performances at the Scottish Opera include the fairy tale Rusalka opening in April, with Anne Sophie Duprels in the title role.

Post-show, enjoy a sip at Drygate, the U.K.’s debut experiential craft brewery, or head to The Pot Still on Hope Street, one of the city’s favorite whiskey bars. Built in 1835 by a wine and spirit merchant, the staggering collection of malt whiskeys includes Laphroaig 14 Cask Strength from Cadenhead’s and 12-year old Buchanan’s Black & White. At alehouse and malt whiskey bar The Bon Accord, you can sample from more than 380 malt whiskeys in stock — and if it’s Wednesday, test your wits during quiz night.

An after-5, music-specific tour makes an enjoyable way to discover the city’s musical connections. Glasgow Music City Tours offers regularly scheduled and made-to-order options.

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