City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Events


Format: 23 Jun 2018

Saturday, August 11 2018

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Established in 2004, the Edinburgh Art Festival is the newest major addition to Edinburgh's Festivals in August, but it filled a longtime gap.

The Edinburgh International Festival may have come first, but generally it's the Fringe that Edinburgh is best-known for. There's really nothing quite like it - "the largest show on Earth".

The stats bear that out: 2018 will see 56,796 performances of 3,548 shows in 317 venues across Scotland’s capital city. It's a sprawling, anarchic, sleepless month of live performances. There are hundreds of free shows and pay-what-you-want shows at the Fringe as well.

The flagship Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) marks its 71st anniversary in 2018. A high-brow assembly of some of the world's best music, opera, theatre, and dance companies, the festival was launched in 1947 as a stage for peace and unity in Europe after the Second World War. It was out of the Festival that the now massive Edinburgh Fringe sprung and grew in subsequent years.

For scale, no show in Edinburgh can rival the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Literally hundreds of performers, both from Scotland and bands and outfits from abroad, gather under the dramatic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. The series of displays, which take place on the castle esplanade (an 18th century parade ground), combine breathtaking shows of military precision, often a battle re-enactment, military bands, traditional dancers, and a rousing finale of mass pipes and drums, topped by the lone piper playing from the castle battlements.

The temporary, tented village at Charlotte Square's Georgian garden, in the heart of Edinburgh's New Town, is the venue for the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Launched in 1983, the "biggest festival of the written word in the world" brings 900 or so writers, poets, thinkers, politicians, photographers and artists from 55 countries to debate, discuss, argue and inspire. The book fest includes a major programme of children's book events.