Official Guide to Edinburgh
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Edinburgh: Festival city all year round

30 August 2016

So it's official - Edinburgh's summer festival season is over. If you are on a bit of a post-August downer then brighten up - Edinburgh is festival capital of the world and it wears that crown all year round! If the idea of waiting 11 months for your festival fix works you into a cold sweat, read on to discover even more festival fun which is closer than you think... 

Scottish International Storytelling Festival 

Scottish International Storytelling Festival Cr Solen Collet

Late October

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival every autumn. This 10 day extravaganza features a jam-packed schedule of storytellers and musicians from Scotland and beyond, with lots to get involved in for families, children and adults alike. With a strong community feel and a sense of togetherness, every year people gather togeter to hear tales, anecdotes, music, songs and ballads. 

A lot of events take place in the Storytelling Centre on the Royal Mile, but this festival takes advantage of some of the most atmospheric venues in the city, including the National Museum of Scotland, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, the National Library of Scotland and other cultural institutions. 

To find out more about this year's schedule, have a look at TRAC Scotland website

Edinburgh's Hogmanay

Hogmanay Fireworks Cr Lloyd Smith

[Image credit - Lloyd Smith]

Late December - Early January

Everybody should celebrate the New Year in Edinburgh at least once in their lifetime. The world-famous Edinburgh's Hogmanay is an action packed three day festival and celebrates the New Year like no other city on earth. The big open-air Street Party on Princes Street, which brings in the bells with big live acts, a thrilling funfair and breathtaking fireworks, is probably the most well-known fixture in this festival's schedule, but there are loads more special events happening across the city, including choral singing, traditional Scottish music and a Loony Dook in the Firth of Forth!

The festival opens with the sensational Torchlight Procession, when thousands of people march through the streets of the City Centre with glowing torches, led by the Up Helly Aa’ Vikings. Even as a spectator, it's an incredible sight to behold.

Edinburgh International Science Festival

Edinburgh International Science Festival Look At Laughter

Late March - Early April

Every March, Edinburgh plays host to one of Europe's Largest science festivals. The two week programme of innovative events and demonstrations encourages people from all walks of life to discover and further understand the world around them. Expect eye-opening workshops, spellbinding shows from top science perfomers, discussions, debates, and so much more. 

The Edinburgh International Science Festival aims to get everyone excited about science and technology, regardless of age or background, and it even runs a a special education programme that has reached over a million school pupils so far. 

This is one science event programme that's not just for geeks - it's for absolutely everyone! 

Imaginate Festival 

Imaginate Festival Junges Ensemble Stuttgart Presents Johannes Margarethe Image Karolin Back

Late May - Early June

The Imaginate Festival is Scotland’s international festival of performing arts for children and young people. Every year, performers from Scotland and beyond congregate in Edinburgh to showcase their spellbinding performances for young people (and the young-at-heart!). 

Having attracted over 86,000 people in the last seven years, it is a firm favourite with children, families, teachers and carers like. 

Edinburgh International Film Festival

EIFF Photographers

June 

A must for movie buffs - the Edinburgh International Film Festival is a hive of exclusive world premieres, with some of the biggest film stars strutting their stuff on the red carpet. During June, Edinburgh becomes home to some of the year's most exciting film screenings, from tomorrow's great blockbusters, to lesser-known independent cinema productions and groundbreaking documentaries.

If you like going to the movies, you'll love the Edinburgh International Film Festival, as it's a great opportunity to get a sneak peak at the next big thing on the silver screen. 

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 

Edinburgh Jazz And Blues Festival Cr AJ Blair

July

A treat for both jazz connoisseurs and newbies alike, the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival boasts ten days of fantastic jazz and blues grooves from all around the world. With a huge range of performers from all four corners of the globe, there really is something for every mood and musical taste.

Part of the appeal of this festival is the diversity of its venues - where else can you see a 17th century church transformed into a hip jazz club?! From the glitzy mirrors of the Speigeltent to intimate jazz bars, this festival takes advantage of some of the greatest and most interesting spaces Edinburgh has to offer. 

The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival really ramps up the festival atmosphere with their free open air Mardi Gras and Festival Carnival event. With the colourful costumes, outlandish props and in-your-face music and dance, it's really hard to miss and a highlight of many Edinburgh local's calendar! 

So, Edinburgh is not just a festival city for August. As you can see, there are lots of diverse festivals all year round for the people of Edinburgh to enjoy. With such a full annual schedule, August will be back around again before you know it! Find out even more about the year's festival schedule with Festivals Edinburgh.

Explore our festivals section >