This year, the festival's theme is 'Connect', offering people from all walks of Scottish society the opportunity to connect with people who have come here seeking refugee protection. The message being that these 'new Scots' are our neighbours, colleagues, classmates and friends.

The festival will explore the different actions we can take to build and strengthen connections between local communities and with the new Scots rebuilding their lives here.  

Festival highlights include:

Share My Table Open Day, Tramway Glasgow, 1 July 10.30am – 3.30pm

Since January 2017, Share My Table has brought together refugees and local Scots to connect through food and stories. Co-ordinated by Scottish Refugee Council and supported by Creative Scotland, Tramway and the Hidden Gardens, this multi-art form project brings together people and food from around the world as a starting point for conversations about belonging and welcome, as new and established Scots get to know each over a multicultural meal.

There will be food, conversation and interactive creative activities throughout the session. Families welcome but adults should be aware of the challenging themes.

The Art of Connection, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh. 19 - 23 June

An exhibition of refugee portraits by artist Hannah Rose Thomas. You are invited to join the exhibition launch on 21 June to discover how artist Hannah Rose Thomas connected through her art with refugees in Jordan and Calais.  View refugee art, connect with the Mental Health Foundation’s Refugee Programme and explore how you and your community can more deeply connect with the global refugee crisis.

Dundee Rep's Youth Theatre presents The Blue Road + HOME Double Bill, 23-24 June

The Blue Road is an exciting new play by writer Laura Lomas exploring memory, loss and our capacity to begin again. HOME takes inspiration from The Blue Road and draws on personal and political stories from near and far, exploring what home means to us in 2017. 

Edinburgh City of Sanctuary Ceilidh Connections, 1 July, 5-11pm

A special ceilidh to celebrate the many people, places and organisations that make Edinburgh a welcoming city for people seeking sanctuary. A family-friendly evening with shared food, followed by dancing and music from diverse community groups.

Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network, 20 June - 2 July

GRAMNet’s festival calendar is brimming with fascinating and thought-provoking events this year, with a strong focus on connections, conversations and knowledge sharing across geographies. Join them for discussions, exhibitions, storytelling evenings and much more throughout June.

Plus, the Scottish Refugee Council is supporting community-led groups across the country to participate in the festival by organising an activity in their local area. Choose from more than 30 family-friendly fun days, sports events, music nights and discussions and gain insight into what life is like for refugees living in Scotland. 

To see the full Refugee Festival Scotland event programme and find out what's happening near you, visit You can also connect with Refugee Festival Scotland on Facebook and Twitter, and join the conversation using #RefugeeFestScot.