Refugee Festival Scotland is back for its nineteenth year with a packed programme of events across Scotland, including in Paisley and Barrhead.

The theme of this year’s festival is “Making Art, Making Home”, and will showcase the talents, creativity and resilience of New Scots artists and community groups. Arts, culture and sport are important in creating spaces for old and new Scots alike to meet and learn more about each other, breaking down barriers and highlighting the vibrancy and diversity of Scotland’s communities.

The festival celebrates and supports the diversity of our local communities and the contribution refugees make to Scotland’s cultural life – the food and drink, music and poetry, dance, visual art, language and ideas that refugees bring with them when they begin new lives in Scotland.

Soizig Carey, Arts and Cultural Development Officer at Scottish Refugee Council, and producer of Refugee Festival Scotland, says:

“The whole point of our festival is about opening up doors and creating opportunities for people from different backgrounds to meet and get to know each other. It’s a really positive celebration of the skills, talents and creativity of people making their homes and rebuilding their lives in Scotland.

“The festival gives audiences the chance to say welcome to people who have recently arrived in Scotland and to be part of a positive movement of friendship and solidarity with people seeking safety here.

“This year’s programme is bursting with creativity and we’re convinced audiences will leave feeling inspired and uplifted.”

Refugee Festival Scotland runs from 20th – 30th June, with more than 100 events across Scotland. From Syrian food to Ethiopian poetry, football to dance, visual art and family days, the festival has something for everyone.

The events in Paisley and Barrhead include:


“Positive Steps: Breaking Down Barriers”

Pachedu welcome local diverse communities to come together for a short film and discussion. There will be conversation workshops for families using different topics on each table, traditional games, and a story telling corner ending with music and cultural performances. Plus food and refreshments.

St Ninians Church Hall, Blackstoun Road, Paisley PA3 1NR.

Sunday 23rd June. Free event, all welcome.

Wheelchair accessible, but no accessible toilets.


“From Syria to Scotland – Cultures Working Together”

Follow the map through Syria and taste dishes from different regions while finding out how they are prepared, and chat with the people who made them. Syrian and Scottish costumes, crafts and children’s artwork made by local residents will be on display, as well as video presentations and entertainment from local musicians.

St Andrews Parish Church, 2 Ralston Road, Barrhead G78 2RR.

Thursday 27th June. Free event, all welcome. Fully accessible.

Main photo credit: Iman Tajik