UNESCO City of Music

since 2008

Glasgow is a vibrant city with a legendary music scene that stretches across the whole spectrum from contemporary and classical, to Celtic and Country. Its venues are equally varied and the city hosts an average 130 music events each week, more than any other Scottish city.

Scottish Opera and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra make their home in Glasgow alongside other national organisations including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scotland, National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) and the Scottish Ensemble. Glasgow has the highest density of higher education institutions offering courses in music and the largest population of music students in Scotland.  Glasgow’s music businesses generate proportionately more output than anywhere else in Scotland.


In August 2008 Glasgow was named a UNESCO City of Music.  One of its immediate goals was to encourage collaborations between Glasgow’s performers, music organisations, festivals, promoters, schools and colleges and their colleagues in the other UNESCO Creative Cities and this remains an ongoing objective.


As a City of Music, Glasgow aims to be:

  • ICONIC: Maintain the title on behalf of Glasgow as a highly visible symbol of the excellence, excitement and pride the city takes in its music, past and present.
  • KNOWLEDGABLE: Acquire detailed knowledge of Glasgow’s Music and thereby become the primary trusted source of information and advice to all interested parties.
  • ACCESSIBLE: Be available to all and seize the opportunity to increase participation and access to music in Glasgow.
  • SUPPORTIVE: Assist those active in Glasgow’s Music through partnership, championing, knowledge and advice.
  • REPRESENTATIVE: Be deeply embedded in the community of Glasgow’s Music and, through dialogue, become ever more representative of the music community.
  • PROMOTIONAL: Seize every chance to promote Glasgow Music past and present by prioritising events, actions and projects with the power to inspire and celebrate Glasgow’s Music.
  • UNIQUE: Work with organisations active in Glasgow’s Music to avoid duplication of effort.

Glasgow as a city continues to blaze a trail in exploring the possibilities of music as an essential tool for urban regeneration, improving quality of life and personal development.


Katie Duffy

Glasgow Life
220 High St, G4 0QW


Facts and Figures

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, and 3rd largest in the United Kingdom.

Glasgow has been named as one of the top 20 ‘Best of the World’ destinations for 2016 by influential publication National Geographic Traveler, the city has also been voted the ‘friendliest city in the world’ in a Rough Guides poll and named a must visit destination by leading publications like the New York Times, The Guardian and Wanderlust.

The city has eight venues in the Top 100 list of places to watch gigs, outside of London, including the SSE Hydro, which is ranked in the top five best global arenas, even beating New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden.


175.5 km² (67.76 sq miles)

2.178 million (2015)

Latest Music Projects

Adelaide project, Bolzano project, Concepción project, Daegu project, Glasgow project, Kansas City project, Leiria project, London project, Norrköping project, Port Louis project

Jazz Day video relay 2024

Glasgow project

Glasgow Small Awards Scheme