As well as a host of live performances, talks and discussions hosted at the National Museum of Scotland, an exciting programme of associated events will be taking place across Edinburgh during the exhibition run. These events and performances are an extension of our celebration of Scottish pop music and, in many cases, will include artists and performers who also feature in the exhibition itself.

World premiere: What Girls Are Made Of

Traverse Theatre
Sun 5 – Sun 26 Aug 2018
(No Mon performances)

It’s 1992. In a small town in Fife, a girl is busting to get out into the world and see what's on offer. And an ad in the local paper declares: Band Seeks Singer.

Grunge has just gone global, scruffy indie kids are inheriting the earth, and a schoolgirl from Glenrothes is catapulted to a rock star lifestyle as the singer in a hot new indie band. Touring with Radiohead, partying with Blur, she was living the dream. Until she wasn’t.

Based on her meticulously detailed, pull-no-punches teenage diaries, this is the true story of Cora Bissett’s rollercoaster journey from the girl she was to the woman she wanted to be.

Performing with a live band, directed by the Traverse’s award-winning Artistic Director Orla O’Loughlin (Meet Me At Dawn, Milk, Swallow), Cora (Midsummer) celebrates life’s euphoric highs and epic shitstorms, asking what wisdom we should pass on to the next generation – and which glorious mistakes we should let them make.

What Girls Are Made Of

© Niall Walker and Mihaela Bodlovic.

For event details and to book tickets visit the Traverse website.

A Traverse Theatre Company and Raw Material co-production in association with Regular Music.

Edinburgh International Festival: Light on the Shore

Leith Theatre
9–25 August 2018

In association with Rip It Up, Light on the Shore brings together major bands, artists and collectives to celebrate the diversity, virtuosity and originality of Scottish popular music as part of the Edinburgh International Festival.

Crossing genres – from folk to hip hop, electronica to rock – and spanning decades, Light on the Shore showcases some of those who have built Scottish music’s international reputation as well as those who are remaking it for a new generation. It will also welcome a series of specially curated nights by local festivals and promoters, each with their own unique aesthetic, politics and following, to put their stamp on the programme. Several artists in the programme also feature in the Rip it Up exhibition, including Mogwai, King Creosote and Karine Polwart.

Explore the full programme here. Booking opens for Friends and Patrons at 12 noon on Wednesday 2 May. Booking opens for everyone at 10.00 am on Friday 4 May. 

  • Anna Meredith © Kate Bones

    Anna Meredith © Kate Bones
  • Django Django

    Django Django
  • GRIT © Mihaela Bodlovic

    GRIT © Mihaela Bodlovic
  • Karine Polwart © Paul Heartfield

    Karine Polwart © Paul Heartfield
  • King Creosote © Calum Gordon

    King Creosote © Calum Gordon
  • Lau

  • Mogwai

  • Neu! Reekie! © Kat Gollock

    Neu! Reekie! © Kat Gollock
  • s t a r g a z e

    s t a r g a z e

Edinburgh International Festival

Edinburgh's Greatest Hits: The Story of the Capital's Music

16 June– 25 November 2018

To coincide with Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop, join Edinburgh Music Tours for an entertaining and informative guided walking tour telling the story of the musicians who have stayed, played and made music in Edinburgh.

Covering folk to funk, pop to punk and past to present, the tours trace the people, venues and gigs that made Edinburgh’s music. Brought to you by the team behind Glasgow Music City Tours.

Tours run every Saturday at 13:00–14:30 & 15:00–16:30. Additional tour 11:00–12:30 on 4, 11, 18 & 25 August.

£14 adult, £12 concession. Visitors to the exhibition can use the discount code RIU18 to get £2 discount on walking tour tickets.

To book tickets visit

Edinburgh Music Tours

SHAMANIC by The AniMotion Show 

Edinburgh University Old Quad
28 September 2018

A visceral collision of alternative rock, live painting/projection and architecture, this outdoor show will transport its audience into sensual overload through a live union of sound and vision. The line up consists of Fay Fife (The Rezillos) on vocals and theremin, artist Maria Rud, Ted McKenna (The Sensational Alex Harvey Band) on drums and percussion, Kid Congo Powers (The Cramps/The Gun Club/The Bad Seeds) on guitar and vocals, Chris Agnew (The Rezillos) on bass and Marilyn Carino on electronics +vocals, with a prelude reading by Rula Lenska.


The music created for SHAMANIC is a soundclash of 60s garage, alternative rock and contemporary electronica, laced with a punk spirit, and a defiant DIY spirit runs through all aspects of the show’s development.

SHAMANIC is in association with and was partly inspired by Rip It Up. Find out more and book tickets at

Past events

Southern Exposure at Summerhall

Friday 15–Sunday 24 June

This June, Summerhall hosted 10 days of outdoor live music and events in partnership with the National Museum of Scotland, Synergy Concerts, Nothing Ever Happens Here and Edinburgh International Film Festival to coincide with the launch of Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop.

  • The Skids © Nick Henderson

    The Skids © Nick Henderson
  • Big Country

    Big Country
  • Idlewild

  • Paws

  • Man of Moon

    Man of Moon
  • Be Charlotte

    Be Charlotte
  • Broken Records

    Broken Records
  • Emma Pollock

    Emma Pollock
  • Stanley Odd. Photo © Jannica Honey.

    Stanley Odd. Photo © Jannica Honey.
  • Withered Hand. Photo © Pam Berry.

    Withered Hand. Photo © Pam Berry.


Header image: Objects on loan from Simple Minds.

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Rip It Up events
Join us for an eventful programme of talks and live music

From live music to key note sessions to kids' craft, join us for an eventful programme to accompany our Scottish pop exhibition.
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Discover the story of Scottish pop music as we take you on a musical journey from the 1950s to the present day in our new exhibition.

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