Official Guide to Edinburgh
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Scottish International Storytelling Festival

Let your imagination run wild at the Storytelling Festival.

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Perfectly positioned in the heart of Edinburgh’s autumn, the Storytelling Festival is a real gem, providing cosy haven from the colder, darker weather outside, while often echoing it through spellbinding tales of darkness and light.

Claire Mcnicol Credit Solen Collet

[Image credit: Solen Collet]

The festival both celebrates and helps preserve the proud tradition of oral storytelling handed down through the generations, a form of entertainment neither literary nor theatrical and yet somehow a wonderful combination of both, with audience involvement and shared experience a key component.

Expert storytellers command the attention of the room as they weave their tales of life and love, magic and mystery in a setting akin to a community gathering. Often accompanied by live musicians, tellers transport their audiences to other times and places through little more than the power of the imagination and their skill with the spoken word.

Maramenzies Shares Stories At The Guid Crack Club Credit Peter Dibdin

[Image credit: Peter Dibdin]

The Festival runs for just under two weeks each October and culminates on or close to Halloween and the related Celtic celebration of Samhuinn, marking the end of summer and the start of the year’s darker period. And while not all tales told are of the supernatural, there’s an enticingly dark tenor to much of the programme which will thrill and intrigue those lucky enough to be present.

Engaged Audience Credit Solen Collet

[Image credit: Solen Collet]

Scottish tradition is just part of what the Storytelling Festival has to offer though, as guests from across the world arrive to share stories and legends of their own lands. This internationalism further enriches the Festival, particularly at the many cross-cultural events which offer a platform for the sharing and melding of traditional cultures.

The Festival also goes beyond the experience of live storytelling, with opportunities to take part in workshops, guided tours of Edinburgh’s famously atmospheric old streets, and a range of activities for families to enjoy.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival Kids

So, if you’re thinking of a city break to Edinburgh, consider visiting in autumn to experience thrilling and mysterious worlds hidden from our view, yet made real by the power of a tale well told.

Find out more about the Scottish International Storytelling Festival at www.sisf.org.uk.

This page was created in collaboration with our friends at Festivals Edinburgh. Have a look at their website for more information on the fantastic festivals our city has to offer.