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I’ve created no secret about my adore for Edinburgh. It is a city steeped in history, boasting wonderful architecture and brimming with an arts and foodie scene. The usual best items to do in Edinburgh include things like a pay a visit to to Edinburgh Castle, a stroll down the Royal Mile and tucking in to a meal involving haggis and a dram of whisky. Cliche perhaps, but all on the Edinburgh bucket list nonetheless!

But there’s a further element Edinburgh that could have escaped your notice. Edinburgh is a festival city, in reality, it is the most significant festival city in the planet. Through the year there are eleven festivals covering every thing from storytelling and performing arts, to science and epic New Year celebrations. And anytime there’s a festival taking place the city buzzes with an electric atmosphere of excitement!

I’m continually shocked when I mention Edinburgh’s festivals to other travellers from outdoors the UK and they either haven’t heard of them, or perhaps just a single or two in passing. Right after speaking to individuals so considerably about it, I decided it is about time to create about why Edinburgh’s festivals will need to be added to your will have to-do list!

I’ve been living in Edinburgh on and off for six years now and I’ve been fortunate sufficient to go to an immeasurable quantity of festival events in that time. But there are nevertheless a lot of items I didn’t know about the festivals for most of that time!

So if you are questioning why precisely these festivals ought to be bucket-list worthy and what you actually will need to know, right here are ten details to get you began:

  1. The only occasion larger than Edinburgh’s Festivals is the Olympic Games, and festival ticket sales are equal to the FIFA Planet Cup. That is a lot of individuals and a lot of tickets!
  2. The Edinburgh International Book Festival is the biggest book festival in the planet and in its 17-day run they sell extra books than a higher street book shop sells in a entire year.
  3. The Edinburgh International Festival, showcasing the arts, started way back in 1947 as a way to bring individuals with each other following WWII. They nevertheless invite performers from all more than the planet to the city. 
  4. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe began actually on the “fringe” of the International Festival in 1947. Eight bold theatre groups turned up uninvited and applied the chance of the currently present crowds to execute. That enterprising spirit continues currently with option spaces across the city morphing into venues for any variety of show you can consider. You can set up an umbrella and contact it a festival venue. Seriously.
  5. Also in the spirit of the original, the Fringe Festival is nevertheless regarded to be “open access” which indicates that everyone can show up and execute what ever they like. There are more than 50,000 performances at the Fringe! And that is not even which includes the street performers that take more than the Royal Mile for the month.
  6. The United Kingdom’s biggest visual art festival requires location in August, with more than 30 venues becoming applied to residence Edinburgh Art Festival commissions, which includes standard gallery spaces but also distinctive locations like inside the Robert Burns memorial and beneath a railway bridge!
  7. The Edinburgh Festival’s have been house to some of the most significant names in the business enterprise, which includes Billy Connelly, Robin Williams, Emma Thompson, J K Rowling, Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese, Stephen Fry, George R R Martin, Alan Cumming… I could go on but you get the notion, so get oneself right here to see it!
  8. The world’s longest-operating film festival is held right here in June and also started in that golden festival year of 1947.
  9. Hogmanay is the Scottish New Year celebration, and now Hogmanay in Edinburgh is a single of the cities most significant events. It is the only festival to seem in the Discovery Channel’s Major 25 Planet Travel Experiences and actually is one thing to behold. I ought to know, I’ve been for a lot of New Year’s in a row!
  10. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo held it is 1st efficiency in 1950, and considering the fact that then no show has ever been cancelled. It incorporates performers from all more than the planet, who showcase their talents on the forecourt of Edinburgh Castle. The Tattoo has travelled overseas 4 occasions, taking Edinburgh Castle with them every time… or a set that appears precisely like it! If you are fortunate you could possibly get the likelihood to see it on their subsequent tour, but it nevertheless can not examine with seeing the actual issue from the grandstands perched on Castle Rock.

When are Edinburgh’s Festivals?

The height of the festival year is in August when 5 festivals run simultaneously:

  • The Edinburgh International Festival
  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe
  • Edinburgh International Book Festival
  • Edinburgh Art Festival
  • The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The population of Edinburgh doubles for the month, as individuals flock to the city to revel in the festival atmosphere, an added bonus to the usual best items to do in Edinburgh. Verify out my fast guide to all the Festivals in August to make the most of your practical experience!

But if you are not coming to Edinburgh then it does not imply you are out of luck. Come outdoors of August and appreciate standard storytelling purchased back to life at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival in October. Or appreciate Edinburgh prior to the pre-August madness at the Jazz & Blues Festival in July or the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June. 

Spring in Edinburgh is a single of my favourite occasions of year to pay a visit to, and it also indicates you can pay a visit to the Edinburgh Science Festival or the Edinburgh Children’s Festival. or a celebration of performing arts for kids, just to mention a couple of of the other festivals!

And, of course, there’s Hogmanay at New Year and all the Christmas Markets are on then also!

Edinburgh Festivals August - Edinburgh Tattoo bagpipers

Edinburgh’s festivals ought to be on your bucket list since they actually are like absolutely nothing else. I’ve in no way been to a festival anyplace else, exactly where the entire city is transformed into a single massive venue for your entertainment and enjoyment. Edinburgh Festivals are the heart of Edinburgh city on show, with all it is history, creativity, and downright quirkiness there for you to see.

Have you heard of Edinburgh’s festivals? Are they on your bucket list?

Locate extra about all eleven of Edinburgh’s festivals at the Edinburgh Festival City website or on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Sonja x

More than the years I’ve attended some festival events in partnership with Edinburgh Festivals, Go to Britain and Go to Scotland. As constantly, opinions are my personal (like you will need me to inform you otherwise when I rave about Edinburgh all the time!).

Initially published in August 2016.

Sonja – Migrating Miss

Sonja is a Kiwi who now lives in Scotland, following possessing lived in five other nations along the way. She shares her living abroad experiences and greatest suggestions to make your travel experiences the greatest they can be!