Edinburgh’s Festivals are unmatched by any other cultural events on the globe. Every year the festivals bring together artists, audiences and performers from every continent and over 70 countries, transforming Edinburgh, there are 12 major festivals for you to enjoy.
Edinburgh International Science Festival (26th March – 10th April 2016)
Our festival year gets underway with the Edinburgh International Science Festival, the world’s first and Europe’s largest science festival is a two week celebration of science and technology, providing endless fun for all the family and the perfect activity over the Easter break. The festival also features a programme of entertaining evening events for adults that offers nights out with a scientific twist featuring discussions, debates, performances, food and drink and memorable interactive experiences.
Imaginate Festival (28th May – 5th June 2016)
This truly magical festival showcases and celebrates the best of children’s theatre from home and around the world, with performances that will delight and inspire the young and young-at-heart. The Imaginate Festival is now the UK’s largest festival of performing arts for this group.
Edinburgh, a city not just for Hogmanay
Edinburgh International Film Festival (15th -26th June 2016)
A mix of red carpet glamour, innovative and exciting cinematic discoveries and massive audience appeal makes Edinburgh’s Film Festival one of the world’s most popular and approachable celebrations of cinema. Past premières have included Dr Zhivago, Taxi Driver, Manhattan, Blade Runner, Back to the Future, Pulp Fiction, ET: The Extra Terrestrial, The Motorcycle Diaries, and Oscar® triumph The Hurt Locker.
The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival (15th – 24th July 2016)
Kicking off Edinburgh’s summer festival season the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, the biggest festival of its kind in Britain presents over 150 gigs at 13 venues over 10 days. From the magic mirrors of the grandiose Spiegeltent to the opulence of the Festival Theatre and from get-down funky clubs to intense listening experiences - the festival matches the music to some great venues including a 17th century church turned hip jazz club.
Edinburgh Art Festival (28th July – 28th August 2016)
Edinburgh Art Festival the UK’s largest festival of visual art which brings together the capital’s leading galleries, museums and artist-run spaces, alongside new public art commissions by established and emerging artists and an innovative programme of special events - the vast majority of the festival is free to attend!
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (5th -27th August 2016)
The iconic Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo features on many a ‘bucket list’ and with good reason! Music, dance and precision display with the Massed Pipes and Drums, the Massed Military Bands, cultural troupes, singers and the poignant refrain of the Lone Piper against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle – each year is different from the last and absolutely unforgettable. The first Edinburgh Tattoo took place in 1950 and from this day to this, not one performance has ever been cancelled!
Edinburgh Festival Fringe (5th – 29th August 2016)
The world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe sees thousands of performers take to hundreds of stages all over the city to present shows from just about every art form. From big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the Fringe has it all whilst remaining totally open-access and proud to include in their programme anyone with a story to tell and a venue willing to host them.
Edinburgh International Festival (5th-29th August 2016)
Every August, the Edinburgh International Festival transforms one of the world's most beautiful cities, presenting three exhilarating weeks of the finest creators and performers from the worlds of the arts. Edinburgh's six major theatres and concert halls, a few smaller venues and often some unconventional ones too, come alive with the best music, theatre, opera and dance from around the globe.
Edinburgh International Book Festival (13th -29th August 2016)
Edinburgh International Book Festival is largest public celebration of the written word in the world and offers over 800 events featuring the world’s greatest writers and thinkers. From rising stars of fiction to Nobel Prize-winners, it’s a place where audiences and authors gather to share ideas, have thought-provoking discussions, be entertained, informed, enthralled and challenged. There is also a wonderful programme of events for children and young adults featuring the finest writers and illustrators.
Edinburgh Mela (27th – 28st August 2016)
Scotland’s biggest festival of world music, dance, and food, with South Asian roots and an international spirit. From Ghanian drumming to Polish folk, Brazilian capoeira and elegant Argentine tango, to gritty Bangladeshi hip hop, the Mela brings together music, dance and performance from all over the world in one joyous, vibrant, weekend-long celebration.
Scottish International Storytelling Festival (21st – 30th October 2016)
Inspired by the Scottish ceilidh tradition and its sense of togetherness, the festival is a 10-day celebration of live storytelling, oral traditions and cultural diversity, bringing together a large number of Scottish and international storytellers and musicians.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay (30th December 2016 – 1st January 2017)
Rounding up our festival year and ringing in the New Year, Edinburgh shows the world how to party with Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Highlighted as one of the ‘Top 100 things to do before you die’ and recently the only festival to appear in the ‘Discovery Channel – Top 25 World Travel Experiences’, Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party is one of the world’s greatest New Year celebrations.
In 2017, they do it all again! Edinburgh didn’t gain its status of the world’s leading Festival City for taking a breather…