The Scottish International Storytelling Festival is a ten day celebration of storytelling and oral traditions, not to mention cultural diversity, which brings together both Scottish and international storytellers, musicians and performers.
Taking place in various venues round Edinburgh in late October, this Festival has its heart at the Netherbow Theatre within the Storytelling Centre on the Royal Mile. Other venues include the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
Each year’s festival has a theme – for example, the theme for the 2014 Festival is Once Upon a Place – how the past is handed to the present through stories. The Festival doesn’t only incorporate storytelling – it is inspired by the Scottish celidh tradition and the community gatherings which are all about togetherness and the sharing of anecdotes, ballads and tales. Within the programme there will be celidhs, talks, landscape tours and specially commissioned performances, with the finale weekend coinciding with and celebrating Samhain – the ancient Celtic New Year.
Many of the Storytelling Festival’s daytime events will be family friendly or aimed specifically towards children, but there will also be evening storytelling events aimed especially at adults. And as part of the ten day event, the “Festival on Tour” will also take the storytellers to other Scottish regions, including the Scottish islands.