Forever full of surprises and spontaneous twists and turns, one of Edinburgh’s many star qualities is its status as the world’s leading festival city. From the famous Fringe to a magnetic magic extravaganza, here are the upcoming festivals worth frequenting for some serious summer fun.
You don’t have to be a local to appreciate the magical essence of Edinburgh. As the largest programme to date, the 2017 MagicFest is destined to entice all senses. We’re not just talking about card tricks and pulling rabbits out of a hat. In honour of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, MagicFest is set to host a jam-packed menu of riveting events revolving around the ‘Levitations’ theme. Set across the city’s historical and architectural masterpieces, highlights include magic tours, a magic fair, solo shows galore and the UK debut of From The Dark, a show initially created for the blind featuring the only illusion ever to be performed in total darkness, aimed at both sighted and non-sighted audiences.
📅 Friday, 30th June – Saturday, 8th July
Edinburgh International Film Festival is a hotbed of endless creativity uniting the filmmakers, movie buffs and other industry professionals in what is the oldest continually running film festival in the world. Formed in 1947 and still going strong, EIFF is a platform for UK and international film screenings covering a wealth of different strands or topics. This cinematic gold mine, an invigorating celebration of the cathartic nature of film, plays hosts to over 1300 filmmakers.
📅 Wednesday, 21st June – Sunday, 2nd July
A melodious feast to the ears and soul, the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival takes the crown as one of Europe’s top 10 Jazz Festivals. With over 170 performances gracing the city’s slew of beautiful buildings and musicians from all over the world, people are in for a treat. Established in 1978, the festival covers the age-old classic early days to hot new hits. Between the free open air events (like Mardis Gras and Festival Carnival) and concerts of blues-rock, acoustic, boogie-woogie, southern blues and way more, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Fest instills an unprecedented surge of hypnotic sounds that simply make you want to move!
📅 Friday, 14th July – Sunday, 23rd July
One to watch out for, Life & Style Edinburgh is a brand spanking new event overflowing with fashion shows, celebrity speakers, workshops, pop-up shops and complimentary beauty treatments. This two-day extravaganza showcases Edinburgh’s status as a desirable city, while playing to all ‘style goals’ and reveling in lustworthy lifestyle goodies. Event enthusiasts can explore the myriad of themed rooms spanning the realms of technology, fashion, food, drink, fitness, beauty and interior design. With so much fun condensed into one space, the possibilities are endless.
📅 Saturday, 1st July – Sunday, 2nd July
A magnet for art lovers and thinkers alike, the Edinburgh Art Festival is the biggest annual celebration of visual art in the UK. In honour of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, this year’s commissions programme pays homage to the reasoning behind the 1947 creation of the Edinburgh Festival and the 1917 publication of ‘The Making of the Future: A Manifesto and a Project’ by Patrick Geddes. From exhibitions and performances, to screenings, guided tours and artists talks, EAF transforms Edinburgh into a bubble of artistic masterpieces by both renowned and upcoming contemporary artists.
📅 Thursday, 27th July – Sunday, 27th August
The festival of all festivals, Edinburgh Festival Fringe is an almost indescribable cultural affair. Every August, Edinburgh transforms into a vibrant hub of creative ingenuity with its show-stopping programme of performances. Thousands of performers take to stages — some makeshift, others famous — with debut shows. From the weird to the magnificent, the Fringe is the largest open access arts festival in the world, drawing together comedians, actors, acrobats, magicians, cabaret aficionados, musicians, artists, street performers and more. Just wait, the city takes on a universe of talent and the crowds go wild.
📅 Friday, 4th August – Monday, 28th August
Year upon year, the Edinburgh International Festival wows the worldly masses until they think they can be wowed no more… then the next year’s programme is announced! Adding bunches of personality and immense talent to the city’s six major concert halls and venues, the EIF runs alongside the Fringe and offers the best in opera, music, theatre and dance. From dynamic collaborations and intuitive renditions of tried and true works, to fresh world premieres and profound productions, this festival draws the shining stars of entertainment right to Scotland’s doorstep.
📅 Friday, 4th August – Monday, 28th August
As the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature and seat of the Scottish Enlightenment, it only makes sense that Edinburgh’s International Book Festival is a sight to behold. Every year, the Charlotte Square Gardens plays host to hordes of writers, readers, authors and dreamers eager to present their newest selection of literary gold. Highlights include discussions a plenty, book signings and memorable conversations with some of the greatest thinkers of today. With 750 events and the whole gamut from emerging fiction writers to Nobel Prize winners, the whole ordeal is a dreamland for book worms.
📅 Saturday, 12th August – Monday, 28th August