Let your imagination run wild at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin….
The Scottish International Storytelling Festival runs from 13 to 29 October 2023.
About the Scottish International Storytelling Festival
The Scottish International Storytelling Festival both celebrates and preserves the proud tradition of oral storytelling handed down through the generations, with audience involvement and shared experience a key component of the Festival.
Expert storytellers command the attention of the room as they weave their tales of life, love, magic and mystery in a setting akin to a community gathering. Often accompanied by live musicians, tellers transport the audience to other times and places through little more than the power of the imagination and their skill with the spoken word.
History of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival
Established in 1989, the Festival has grown from strength to strength. In its first year it welcomed 700 attendees. By 2022, audience numbers had reached 39,862.
The main venue is the Netherbow Theatre at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, with partner venues in the city including Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland and Museums & Galleries Edinburgh.
Stories and legends
The Festival runs for just under two weeks each October and culminates on or close to Halloween and the related Celtic celebration of Samhuinn, which marks the end of summer and the start of winter. 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 present.
Scottish tradition is just part of what the Storytelling Festival has to offer though, as guests from across the world share stories and legends of their own lands. This internationalism further enriches the Festival, particularly at the many cross-cultural event that offer a platform for sharing 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 family-friendly activities.
So, if you’re thinking of a city break to Edinburgh, consider visiting in autumn to experience thrilling and mysterious worlds hidden from view, yet made real by the power of a tale well told.
2023 – ‘Right To Be Human’
Marking the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the theme for 2023 is ‘Right To Be Human’
Encompassing the wider storytelling and creative community, this year’s programme will celebrate and explores all aspects of our common humanity.
During the festival there will be stories told about the impacts of war, gender inequality, censorship; ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious prejudices; and other threats and challenges on our human rights as a global nation.
View the full 2023 programme on the Scottish International Storytelling Festival website.
This page was created in collaboration with our friends at Festivals Edinburgh.
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