Official Guide to Edinburgh
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TradFest Edinburgh

Rooted in the past, resonating in the present. Tradition goes live in Edinburgh, with a showcase of arts and culture across Scotland’s capital.

Wednesday 26 April - Sunday 7 May 2017

TradFest Edinburgh is a vibrant twelve-day showcase of Scotland’s thriving traditional arts, with 131 events spread across 34 venues. In 2017 TradFest Edinburgh is a signature event for Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology

Tradfest is a dynamic expereince grounded in the city's environments, people and cultures - embracing seasonal customs with a contemporary spin. Bookended by the Beltane Fire Festival on Calton Hill and the May Day Parade, residents and visitors are warmly invited to bring in the summer with story, song and dance!

Event categories

Tradfest Secondary

Each event during the festival falls under one of six categories:

The People's Heritage: Specially commissioned for the Year of History, Heritage and Architecture 2017, this sees Edinburgh’s storytellers live on location introducing key characters and unique tales from the city’s popular history. No booking required, just discover the places, times and themes, then come along and enjoy short performances in situ. 

Music at Summerhall: This year’s music hub at Summerhall includes The Soundhouse Organisation’s programme along with Edinburgh Folk Club, the Scots Music Group, and ‘On the Radical Road’ – the political, poetic and musical journey of Hamish Henderson, founding father of Scotland’s Folk Revival.

Local Cultures at the Storytelling Centre: Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland's (TRACS) home base on the Royal Mile offers a continuous feast of multi arts and diverse culture with a scrumptious café, bookshop and central Box Office in the heart of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site.

Tradfest in the Town: See Edinburgh afresh as a capital of folk culture, with up close introductions to trad arts. Ranging from ‘The Knitting and Stitching Show’ at the Royal Highland Centre to the ‘Look Again’ series at the National Library of Scotland; from Wee Folk sessions in The Royal Oak to nightly TradFest Sessions at Sandy Bell’s.

Look Again: The National Library of Scotland facade carries figures of history, poetry and music carved by Hugh Lorimer. In this Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, take a fresh look at some vital aspects of Scotland’s past and living culture.

Folk Film Gathering: Edinburgh Filmhouse and the Scottish Storytelling Centre host the third edition of the world’s first festival of Folk Cinema, presented by Transgressive North. This year’s theme is ‘Song and Labour’ with the Gathering exploring the myriad ways in which world cinema has engaged with folk culture: living tradition, people’s history and working class experience. Join the conversation in post-screen discussions or in the Café Bar.

TradFest is supported by Creative Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.

Find out more - including the full programme of events - at the TradFest website >

Find out what else is happening for VisitScotland's Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology >