National Museum of Scotland – Venue Entertainment

pipeband museum events

The National Museum of Scotland is an iconic venue to all who know the city of Edinburgh. For visitors, no trip is complete without seeing both the inside and outside of this magnificent building.

The Museum in the daytime is a fascinating, fun, even magical place for all ages.

But when the doors close to the public the Museum really comes alive. That’s when it becomes a venue available to hire for conference social programs, corporate events, incentive groups, and even whacky things like placing a supercar inside the Museum.

And that’s when Reel Time, as an approved supplier to the venue, gets to exploit this amazing location to create massive entertainment events for clients.

Music and Entertainment for Museum Events

national museum gallery scottish event

The Museum as a venue possesses an unparalleled level of grandeur and elegance through the history contained in its walls, and the walls themselves – the beauty of the galleries, the architecture, the Grand Gallery alone.

Entertainment for a Museum Event should therefore aspire to embody that elegance and create a level of spectacle worthy of such a grand venue.

Key to that spectacle is the Scottish element, fitting in a venue that celebrates the nation’s history. 

The versatility of the many National Museum’s many event spaces means that anything is possible when it comes to Scottish Music and Entertainment. Here are some of the things we do, broken down in to categories: Atmosphere, Scottish Music, Scottish Shows and Performances, Scottish Experiences,  and Scottish Drinks Experiences.


Mobile Bar Hire

We have a range of mobile bar units available to hire. We have provided bars for 1000’s of clients, from leading drinks brands such as Bacardi and Jack Daniels, through to 5-star hotel chains and high-end catering companies.

Brandable Mobile Bar with front-lit opaque panelled bars with high-grade stainless-steel frame, counter and working area. The units can be branded to display your logo or marketing message.

Custom Made Whisky Cask Bar, a bespoke whisky bar made from oak whisky casks, whisky staves and beeswax sealed wooden bar counter. Perfect for whisky promo events or as a focal point for our whisky tasting experiences.

Portable Banquet Bars. Our banquet mobile bars can be wheeled straight into your venue and be ready for service immediately. Highly functional units equipped with everything needed for a quick drink (ice well, speed rail, shelving).

Single Door Bottle Fridges. Freestanding glass-fronted bottle fridges with adjustable temperature. Can hold approximately 50 bottles of beer.

Lighting and Sound (PA)

Fill the vaulted spaces of the museum with music and colour; professional PA sound that maximises the acoustics for speeches and award ceremonies. Professional lighting for the stage and performers, and to light up the venue to emphasise the grandeur of the architecture, or to create a more intimate environment.

lighting package museum event
musuem gallery lighting
Event Production; PA and Lighting

Kilt Hire

Make sure the whole group are ‘kilted-out’ for a full-on evening of Scottish Entertainment. We provide kilt and tartan sash hire.

kilt hire

Scottish Music


Bagpipers and Pipebands

Scotland’s national instrument works beautifully with the acoustics and high ceilings of the National Museum’s galleries. A Bagpiper to welcome guests, inside or out of the Museum signifies that something special is happening. A Piper can also perform a call to dinner, which is handy when guests are scattered about a venue this large. A Piper gathers the guests and leads them to the dining area. A great way to move a lot of people and keep the event on schedule.

A Pipeband booming through the venue, marching through the chambers, is a mesmerising addition to an evening, especially when guests aren’t expecting it. Our Pipebands often surprise guests by starting to play out of sight, then marching from one of the galleries or even upstairs, through the Grand Gallery and stopping in front of guests to perform.

Musical Duos

An elegant touch before and during dinner to softly fill the vaulted spaces of the Museum. Duos can be almost any combination, so clients can always request a particular combination. Popular duos are Accordion and Guitar, and Guitar and Clarsach. For a fuller sound, a duo can become a trio, like our Jazz Trio below, or a quartet if desired.

jazz trio at museum


Reel Time has several function bands to play traditional Scottish tunes and pop cover sets. One of our most popular bands, Scraggly Cats, often plays a Scottish set then leads guests in a Ceilidh before performing a disco/party set of modern and classic pop tunes. Works well for conference events and corporate parties, especially for international functions where guests would like to experience some Scottish music.


The Grand Gallery has enough space for several hundred people to enjoy Scottish dancing. Led by a ceilidh band and a ceilidh caller to keep everyone doing the right steps, plus Highland Dancers to maintain order on the dance floor. We offer a new service called ‘Strictly Come Ceilidh Dancing’, where guests are taught the dances, then judged by fellow guests or professional dancers to win a prize. For those who find fun in competition!

ceilidh at the museum

Scottish Shows and Performances

Haggis Address

An invigorating recital and performance of Robert Burns’ ‘Address to a Haggis’ by a fully outfitted bagpiper. Watch Roddy perform at the Museum below:

Highland Dancers

Our professional highland dancers perform with our bands, twirling away in a kilted frenzy as they perform reels, jigs and the highland fling. They also help keep Ceilidh dancing together, and can judge ‘Strictly Come Ceilidh Dancing.’

scottish highland dancers at the museum


A 10-piece band that fuses rock, pop, and Scottish music into a 25 minute stage show designed to blow audiences away. Accompanied by 3 mini-kilted dancers. It’s a show-piece for guests to watch, and Tartanium can then lead the audience in a few ceilidh dances.


A high-energy multi-Bagpipe band with drums, keys and guitar, often to play a big entrance set to start the night with a bang. Pipedown plays dance, rock, and pop hits with a Scottish flair on top as Bagpipes take the melodies of popular songs.

The Clann

Scottish Fighting Experts ‘The Clann’ travel forward in time from the 13th century while on a brief sabbatical from Robert the Bruce’s Army. Surrounded by thousands of years of Scottish history, The Clann fight among themselves with weapons that would one day end up in a Museum exhibit, and teach guests about traditional warrior dress, weapons, and fighting style. Perfect for history buffs!

Fire Performers

When you really want to stand out, set  things on fire. For the re-opening of the Museum in 2016, our fire performers were on the steps outside of the Museum, putting on a show to remember. Nothing says spectacle quite like fire. This is especially great for the winter months.

For a fire-like spectacle inside the Museum, our Fire Performers can switch live flames out for LED lights and perform ‘Poi.’

fire performers outside museum

Scottish Experiences

Bagpipe Workshop

Learn how to play the bagpipes. A great way to get out of your comfort zone in a difficult activity. Playing the bagpipes is not easy, but if you can make a good sound, it will sound even better echoing through the stone halls and high ceilings of the Museum.

Virtual Reality Experiences

Strap on virtual reality headsets and embark on our virtual tour of Scotland! An immersive experience both visually and audibly with a specially commissioned Scottish score by Will Marshall.

In late 2018 we took 400 tech professionals on our VR journey at the Museum. Read more about that event here.

Scottish Drinks Experiences

Whisky and Scottish Gin Tasting

In keeping with the theme of elegance, enjoy a Whisky tasting or Scottish Gin tasting in in style whether in the Grand Gallery or the cosy entrance-hall, surrounded by ancient-feeling stone walls. Learn about local spirits from a Whisky or Scottish Gin Expert. We can also provide Whisky and Gin Stations with experts on hand to answer any questions or give advice, but without a formal tasting, if you are looking for a more casual evening, such as a networking event.

Read more about past whisky and gin events for conference social programs at the Museum.

whisky glasses

Cocktail/Mixology Masterclass

The perfect venue for this touch of class. Learn how to make classic cocktails while you drink them! Try new drinks, ingredients, and perfect your shaking technique. Led by a Master Mixologist.

Contact Reel Time to book Scottish Music, Entertainment, or a Scottish Experience for your night at the Museum event.

Have an idea for something that hasn’t been mentioned? Talk to our Events Team to bring it to life in this space.

Reviews from Museum Clients

“Myself and the team would like to thank you for organising Tartanium for our event at the National Museum of Scotland on Monday evening.  The band and the dancers were fantastic and the group all got up to dance and thoroughly enjoyed themselves and spoke about it all today.  It was a superb night and we loved Tartanium.” Corporate event at National Museum of Scotland, Tartanium band October ’19

Pipedown reviews:

‘Takes me back to being in Ibiza. But in Scotland, with bagpipes’ Gillian, January 2019, Burns night event

‘Great pre dinner act for a Scottish evening. Got our guests in the party mood as soon as they arrived.’ Gregor, November 2018, Corporate client, National Museum of Scotland

‘Memorable crossover between well known dance culture and Scottish music.’ Esther McGibbon, Opening ceremony performance SEC, June 2018