Edinburgh Festival dates

Edinburgh International Science Festival (1–16 April 2017)

Do you ever want to learn, but don't want to go through the rigmarole of reading things and writing notes and paying proper attention to very dull people in hot, busy classrooms? Don't worry, Edinburgh has the solution for you. And there's no…

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Edinburgh Beltane Fire Festival (30 April 2017)

What’s that coming over Calton Hill? Yes, it’s the annual Beltane Fire Festival, complete with fire, frolics and lashings of body paint (and a lot of cold, cold bodies underneath it). Celebrating the beginning of the summer season, this unique…

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Imaginate Festival (27 May–4 June 2017)

Earlier than the others which huddle under the Edinburgh Festivals umbrella in August, this Festival takes place in May and June, both in the Capital and on tour throughout Scotland (sometimes reaching as as far as Shetland). Like its more prominent…

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Leith Festival (10–18 June 2017)

A week-long community festival held in the historic port of Leith with a programme covering art, music, theatre, dance and historic tours.

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Edinburgh International Film Festival (21 June–2 July 2017)

Film critic Mark Kermode describes it as "like Cannes - only civilised". And who are we to argue? For previous visitors lucky enough to have sampled its unique atmosphere, this is what we now expect each year from the EIFF, now firmly settled into its…

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Edinburgh International Magic Festival (30 June–8 July 2017)

MagicFest pulls another rabbit out of the hat with a programme of close-up conundrums, mindboggling illusions, comic cabaret and other feats of the impossible. The festival features workshops as well as shows and ends with the illustrious Closing Gala…

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Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival (14–23 July 2017)

The biggest of its kind in Britain, the Jazz & Blues Festival gets the festival season off to a swinging start in July, making sure everyone's in the mood before its larger festival cousins hit town. And expect that Glenn Miller classic along the…

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Edinburgh Art Festival (27 July–27 August 2017)

Edinburgh Art Festival (EAF) is Scotland’s largest annual celebration of visual art. Uniquely, the festival offers the chance to experience the best contemporary Scottish artists in the context of exhibitions of the most important International artists…

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe (4–28 August 2017)

Sprawling, diverse and just a little bit crazy, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is The Edinburgh Festival for the hordes of punters and performers that descend on the city every year. From its humble beginnings in 1947, when a handful of companies that…

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Edinburgh International Festival (4–28 August 2017)

Founded in 1947, the Festival rose out of the ashes of the Second World War to provide 'a platform for the flowering of the human spirit'. Its most visible flowering, in August at least, is now 'the Fringe', formed the same year by actors denied space…

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Edinburgh Military Tattoo (4–26 August 2017)

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo displays the musical talent of the British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and International military bands and display teams on the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle. It takes place every evening throughout August, come rain or…

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Edinburgh International Book Festival (12–28 August 2017)

Amid the frenetic activity of the other festivals, this one is an oasis of calm. Talking place beneath canvas in the genteel surrounds of Charlotte Square, the Book Festival is a celebration not only of the written word, but also of the big ideas that…

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Freestival

With the intention that the public, performers and venue managers all have the best experience, La Favorita Freestival puts on free shows in central venues. As with the other free festivals, you can watch the shows for free and are encouraged to…

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Edinburgh Mela

Please note: the 2016 Mela has been postponed until Autumn. Founded in 1995 to showcase the talents of Edinburgh’s ethnic minorities, Edinburgh Mela has now grown to regularly attract more than 20,000 people to its extraordinary range of theatre…

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Edinburgh Food Festival

The Edinburgh Food Festival fits neatly in the time between the end of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival and the start of the majority of Edinburgh’s summer festival. Based in George Square Gardens it focuses on debates about food issues…

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Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival

A new festival celebrating the crossover between entertainment and technology. The EDEF gives audiences the chance to experience enhanced performance, storytelling and film through virtual reality, games and event cinema.

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Free Festival

Inspired by PBH's Free Fringe, the Free Edinburgh Fringe Festival was founded in 2004 by Laughing Horse Comedy promoters Alex Petty and Kevin McCarron with the intention of curbing the spiralling costs of putting on Fringe shows.

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Just Festival

True to the spirit of the Edinburgh Festivals as a whole, the Just Festival is international, multi-cultural and multi-faith. Formerly known as the Festival of Spirituality and Peace, it promotes open dialogue across the divisions of race and religion…

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Free Fringe

Founded in 1996 by Peter Buckley Hill (PBH) the Free Fringe has become an annual fixture of the Edinburgh festival calendar. The ethos of the Free Fringe is that performers are not charged for their performance spaces and in return will not charge…

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Fringe by the Sea

Small but perfectly formed and set in beautiful North Berwick, Fringe by the Sea is a miniature of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Highlights include the Belhaven Spiegeltent, part of the 'tented village', which will be home to eclectic musical…

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Forest Fringe

Grassroots performance festival Forest Fringe occupies Out of the Blue Drill Hall in 2013 The Forest Fringe's original manifesto could not have been more aupicious: 'Making space for risk and experimentation at the Edinburgh Festival and…

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Festival of Politics

Away from all the chaos, the comedy and the craziness of the Fringe comes the chaos, the comedy and the craziness of politics. Getting its own platform in 2005, The Festival of Politics is now a main part of the latter stages of the summer season…

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Scottish International Storytelling Festival

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival is an autumnal celebration of storytelling - both traditional and contemporary - in the Edinburgh-based Scottish Storytelling Centre. Though it takes place in October, this Festival is not unlike its…

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