Edinburgh Festivals

Crowded Festival

Crowded Festival

Edinburgh is a city well known and appreciated for its almost never-ending stream of fascinating festivals.

There is barely a month which doesn’t incorporate a festival of some kind, drawing an ever changing stream of visitors to this bustling city. From city-wide all-encompassing festivals like the Fringe and Hogmany, to the smaller single-venue festivals; from science to arts to culture… Summer months are busiest and often the entire city is taken over!

Festival street performer

Festival street performer

Arts festivals

The Edinburgh Film Festival, a week-long early-Summer event, began as a documentary showcase but now also shows internationally acclaimed movies – and attracts major stars!

Edinburgh’s Art Festival is held in August, and hosts more than forty exhibitions at museums, galleries and other venues. Generally held in August too, the Festival Fringe’s interesting history and eclectic mix of performances draw ever-increasing crowds – fans of stand-up, contemporary dance, music and performance art, won’t be disappointed in what the Fringe offers!

Music festivals

Music festivals

Music Festivals

The Edinburgh International Festival as well established cultural festival of classical music each August. There’s also a Jazz and blues festival held in Summer. Obviously these are very major large festivals, but some smaller events are of just as much interest. The Scottish Guitar & Music Festival features exhibitions from instrument and equipment manufacturers, concerts at day and night time, and competitions. Generally held in and around the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, the Baron Suite and the Bistro, over 150 acts perform/compete.

Science Festival & Imaginate

Edinburgh’s Science Festival is held each Spring. It doesn’t simply entice children into scientific discovery with giant sized balloons and interactive activities, it holds events and workshops for all ages, abilities and levels of interest! Of course, most festivals do have plenty to entertain children, but there are some specific events for kids – for example, the Imaginate Children’s Festival, which allows access to performing, idea exchange ideas and skill sharing in real theatres. Usually held in May, Imaginate successfully mixes dance, drama, and arts performances.

Literature Festivals

Edinburgh’s Story Telling Festival, held in October, gifts the listener with ten days of magic, mystery and adventure from the worlds’ greatest storytellers who entertain and expand their oral tradition.

Their International Book Festival is held early August. Edinburgh’s great literary history has meant this has become the largest book festival worldwide. Held in Charlotte Square and hosting more than 700 events each August, it includes education events, workshops, discussions, readings and performances from internationally acclaimed poets, musicians and writers. Their website is at

Multicultural MELA Festival

The Mela festival generally takes place over the late August bank holiday weekend, and brings together Scotland’s Asian communities with music, dance, food, fashion and more… From Bhangra to Bollywood; from family-friendly events to green activities, this event is growing in popularity each year. The various music stages host shows by ethnic performers and others.

Big Festivals

Edinburgh holds an annual hogmany festival each year, popular and spectacular, and something to look forward to after Christmas! The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is generally held throughout August and is a spectacularly beautiful and atmospheric event to watch.

Edinburgh Music Festival Links

Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.