The Ultimate Festival Guide
Don’t you just love summer with an endless amount of festivals? So do we!
The first thing that comes to mind for most people when mentioning Edinburgh and festival is the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe - almost a month-long festival and the largest arts festival in the world. But we also have other amazing festivals here. Check out our Edinburgh festival guide, and you can impress even the locals with your knowledge.
International Film Festival | 19 - 30 June 2019
The Edinburgh International Film Festival kicks off the summer festival season. Inaugurated in 1947, the same year as the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival is the world's longest continually-running film festival. It showcases the very best in international cinema. Intimate in its scale, ambitious in its scope, and fuelled by pure passion for cinema in all its manifestations, Edinburgh International Film Festival seeks to spotlight the most exciting and innovative new film talent. Explore what's on and book your Film Festival tickets here!
Jazz & Blues Festival | 12 - 21 July 2019
After the International Film Festival, there are a couple of quieter weeks before the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival breaks the silence. Get your groove on at Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival where Edinburgh hosts the very best jazz and blues musicians, artists and groups. There's music to suit everyone in the ten rhythmical and groove-packed days with a range of styles including bop, blues-rock, samba, swing and soul. Plus look out for the free open air Mardi Gras and Edinburgh Festival Carnival events. Find more about the Jazz & Blues Festival here.
Art Festival | 25 July - 25 August 2019
The Edinburgh Art Festival conveniently overlaps with the Fringe, so, you can visit them both at the same time. The Edinburgh Art Festival is the largest UK visual art celebration bringing over 250,000 art and culture enthusiasts together every year. The Art Festival showcases work from new public art commissions, artist-run spaces, museums and Edinburgh's top galleries. This leading-edge programme features established and emerging artists and is sure to inspire and intrigue! The vast majority of the festival is free to attend and includes free events, exhibitions, performances, screenings, artist talks and guided tours. Read more about what happens at the Art Festival.
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo | 2 - 24 August 2019
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has a proud history. They stretch back for almost seven decades. Following the production of ‘Something About a Soldier’ in the Ross Bandstand in 1949, it was decided to create an event which ran alongside the existing Edinburgh Festivals. The official Tattoo was duly created with its first performance in 1950. The Tattoo is an iconic Edinburgh institution and a sellout year after year after year. 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. If you want to enjoy this spectacular, make sure you book your tickets early!
International Festival | 2 - 26 August 2019
The Edinburgh International Festival is on for three weeks and presents breathtaking performances from some of the best creators that the world of arts has to offer. Edinburgh's six major theatres and concert halls, a few smaller venues and often some unusual ones too, come alive with the best music, theatre, opera and dance from around the globe. The International Festival presents events which cannot easily be achieved by any other UK arts organisation through innovative programming and a commitment to new work. Explore what's on here.
International Book Festival | 10 - 26 August 2019
The Edinburgh International Book Festival programme offers over 800 events featuring the most celebrated writers and thinkers in the world. 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 highly regarded programme of events for children and young adults featuring the finest writers and illustrators of children's books and young adult novels. Find out more about the Book Festival.
Festival Fringe | 2 - 26 August 2019
Last but not least, the Fringe. The world's largest arts festival transforms Scotland's capital every August and is one of the top things to do in Edinburgh. Come along and see thousands of performers take to hundreds of stages all over the city to present shows of all kinds and for every taste. The work on show ranges from huge names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers. Audiences can enjoy theatre, comedy, dance, circus, cabaret, children's shows, physical theatre, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events. What makes it unique is totally open-access, the Fringe is proud to include in their programme anyone with a story to tell and a venue willing to host them. Explore the shows here.
Obviously, you’ll need a brilliant place to stay during the festival. Check out our three fantastic hostels in Edinburgh: Castle Rock Hostel, High Street Hostel and Royal Mile Backpackers. Besides comfy beds and amazing facilities, they also have a friendly staff with the best tips so, you won’t miss out any must-see shows or events and great festival vibes.
Whether you haven’t been to Scotland before or live in Edinburgh and want some peace and quiet during the busy month of August, check our tours across the stunning Highlands and Islands.
P.S. Don't forget the great festival outside of the summer season, such as Edinburgh Hogmanay!
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