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Edinburgh Festivals

June 2016

In the summer, Edinburgh is always giddy with excitement as many diverse and eclectic festivals take over the city for weeks. The capital is transcended by a dynamic mix of colour, sound and performance, attracting audiences and entertainers from all over the world from June - August. The festivals promise an endless array of unforgettable experiences, whatever your interests are.
In fact, it’s here that you’ll probably discover some new passions too. The only question is: how much variety can you squeeze in to one trip?  

Fringe performers on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh ©Kenny Lam/VisitScotland

Festival city
The Royal Mile is one of Edinburgh’s most legendary streets, where a flash of tartan is never far from sight. During the festivals, the High Street is filled with street performers, musicians and a flurry of festival flyers, tempting you to squeeze in more shows. As you meander down the cobbled street, stop by one of the souvenir and whisky shops for a unique Scottish memento or enjoy a well- earned cup of tea in the heart of the Old Town, and watch city life go by.

Famous faces
In August, Edinburgh is most certainly the place to be. At this time of year, it’s often best to simply soak up the electric festival atmosphere and see what unique adventure it takes you on. This year, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will entertain for three weeks with hilarious comedy, sketch shows, musicals, improvisation and much more.

Whilst enjoying a swift pint between shows, keep an eye out for a few famous faces, as the city turns into a stomping ground for celebrity performers and special guests. 

Edinburgh skyline from Calton Hill ©Kenny Lam/VisitScotland

To the theatre, darlings!
The Edinburgh International Festival brings the best of theatre, classical, opera and dance from 5 – 29 August 2016.

With beautiful ballet from classical ballerina Natalia Osipova, the festival continues as a mesmerising platform for some of the world’s most acclaimed acts as well as some bold new works. Don’t miss Tony award-winning actress Cherry Jones in Tennessee Williams’ heart-breaking family drama, The Glass Menagerie at the King’s Theatre, or the incredible outdoor public art display, Deep Time, which officially opens the 2016 Festival on 7 August delving into 300 years of Edinburgh’s history.

What else is on?
It’s not all about August. This year, the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival returns from 16 - 24 July, with concerts taking place across the capital. The legendary ‘boogie woogie king’ Jools Holland is back with his incredible rhythm and blues band, there is more high-energy blues from Davina & The Vagabonds, and don’t miss festival favourites Hot Antic Jazz Band from France.

From 17 - 28 June, the world of cinema arrives in the city for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, welcoming film buffs, actors and directors for exclusive screenings, and of course, a few glamourous red carpet appearances too.

The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh © Kenny Lam/VisitScotland

Time out
Edinburgh is a fantastic city to explore on foot, if you find yourself with a little time to spare in between all of the festival fun. There are many lovely areas, including Stockbridge in the north west of the New Town, which is made up of trendy cafés, boutique shops, and hosts a popular foodie market every Sunday. No trip to Stockbridge would be complete without a stroll to the nearby Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, where you can spend an afternoon admiring stunning floral displays, tropical glasshouses and rare plant species from around the world.   

Or, why not have a browse around the Edinburgh International Book Festival in Charlotte Square? Famous writers attend this festival every year for Q&A sessions, special talks and signings, or you can simply absorb the relaxed vibes of the tented village in Charlotte Square, and enjoy some well-deserved chill time with a good book.  

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo © Kenny Lam/VisitScotland

Don’t forget, there are many other festivals going on too. The Edinburgh Art Festival, the multi-cultural Edinburgh Mela, and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo take place during the summer.

Are you planning a trip to the summer festivals? Keep up-to-date with the latest news from all of Edinburgh’s Festivals and visit VisitScotland’s Festivals and Fringe page for more information.

Please note: The events and shows mentioned are subject to selling out, please always check details with the event organiser.

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