What's on in Edinburgh & The Lothians

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Crowds go wild at the Wickerman Festival, Dumfries & Galloway
Homecoming 2014 ››

Browse all our Homecoming 2014 events listings

  • The Edinburgh International Book Festival, Charlotte Square
    The Edinburgh International Book Festival, Charlotte Square
  • Children conducting an experiment at the Edinburgh Science Festival.
    Edinburgh Science Festival © Kenny Lam
  • A gold painted living statue on the Royal Mile during the Festival
    A Fringe performer on the Royal Mile
  • The Mardi Gras Carnival at the opening of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, the Grassmarket
    The Mardi Gras Carnival, the Grassmarket © Kenny Lam
  • The E4 Udderbelly, a Festival Fringe venue in Bristo Square
    The E4 Udderbelly, Bristo Square

Edinburgh is a hive of cultural activity, and nowhere is this better seen than in the city's festivals. With performing arts, music, drama, exhibitions, films, comedy and talks, the outpouring of creativity during Edinburgh’s festivals is second to none. With everything from Highland games to fascinating local events, there is lots going on across the Lothians too.

Find out what's on in Edinburgh & The Lothians all year round by using the events listings below. Although the festivals run all year round, the summer months - and August in particular - are when festival fever reaches its height.

August festivals

The Edinburgh International Festival, founded in 1947, is the official centrepiece of Edinburgh’s festivals. Running for four weeks, this performing arts festival has world-class displays of theatre, dance and music. The Festival ends with a spectacular firework display at Edinburgh Castle.

Why not play the Suggest My Fest app via the Festival Facebook page to help you choose what you'd like to see at the EIF?

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe runs alongside the International Festival. The Fringe is the world’s largest art festival, with over 2,500 different shows last year. The Fringe has strong ties with comedy and drama, as well as featuring more unusual acts such as puppetry and circus performers. For those who want their money to go a little further, there are also hundreds of Free Fringe events.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is another August must-see. Almost a thousand musicians, pipers, drummers, singers and dancers from around the globe perform on Edinburgh Castle Esplanade. This unforgettable spectacle is brought to an emotional and poignant close each evening as a lone piper, high on the castle ramparts, plays a haunting lament. For a fantastic multicultural flavour, don't miss the Edinburgh Mela which celebrates the city’s diversity with music, dance, exhibitions and more.

Another August festival is the Edinburgh International Book Festival, staged in the elegant surroundings of the city centre's Charlotte Square. The event regularly attracts a world-class selection of authors, with previous appearances from Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling and Ian Rankin amongst many others. With around 700 events each year, including free evening events, you’re sure to find the right genre to suit your literary tastes.

Opening with a Mardi Gras in the Grassmarket, July's Jazz and Blues Festival is a high-energy festival with two weeks of vibrant music in venues across the city.

Film, science and storytelling

There are also festivals spread throughout the year. The Edinburgh International Film Festival is held in June, and shows a vast range of new films from around the world. With its glitzy premieres and cutting-edge independent films, the Film Festival brings a touch of Hollywood glamour to Edinburgh.

The two-week Edinburgh International Science Festival is held at the end of March. With interactive experiments, talks and much more for all ages, you can discover more about the mysteries of our world.

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival in October is Scotland's annual celebration of traditional and contemporary storytelling. The festival brings together artists and audiences in entertaining and inspiring live storytelling performances, thought-provoking talks, workshops and discussions and fun family activities.

East Lothian festivals

In the summer, the Lothians boasts festivals such as Fringe by the Sea in North Berwick and the British Pipe Band Championships in Bathgate. Over the autumn and winter months, the Lothians host festivals including the Lennoxlove Book Festival and the Lammermuir Festival. You'll find Highland games, local fairs and festivals throughout towns and villages.

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  1. Gradings

    North Berwick

    A three mile circular running race for competitors of all abilities.

    Dates

    6 Aug 2014
  2. Young Storytellers (Ages 8-16)

    Type

    Sport & Leisure

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    Learn storytelling skills and techniques.

    Dates

    25 Apr 2014
  3. Hollie Smith

    Type

    Music Event

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    Soul singer-songwriter.

    Dates

    22 Jul 2014
  4. Gradings

    Edinburgh

    Find out more about the library's resources for family history research.

    Dates

    14 Apr 2014 to 9 Jun 2014
  5. Gradings

    Edinburgh

    Build an earth clock to trace all the major events in the planet's history.

    Dates

    8 Apr 2014 to 18 Apr 2014
  6. Derek McGuire: Paw Tracks

    Type

    Arts & Cultural

    Gradings

    Livingston

    Paintings inspired by personal experiences, memories and hopes.

    Dates

    25 Apr 2014 to 1 Jun 2014
  7. Gradings

    Edinburgh

    Sensory science stories.

    Dates

    14 Apr 2014 to 18 Apr 2014
  8. Next Of Kin

    Type

    Sport & Leisure

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    This exhibition presents a portrait of Scotland at war.

    Dates

    18 Apr 2014 to 31 Mar 2015
  9. Caitlin Moran Live!

    Type

    Literary

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    The columnist and author discusses what it is to be a woman, her take on feminism and her books.

    Dates

    11 Jul 2014
  10. Arthur's Amble: Walk

    Type

    Sport & Leisure

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    A gentle guided walk around Hunter's Bog and St Margaret's Loch.

    Dates

    2 Jun 2014 to 28 Jul 2014
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