What's on in Edinburgh & The Lothians

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Crowds go wild at the Wickerman Festival, Dumfries & Galloway
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  • 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

Long before the coveted title was first coined, Edinburg was known as‘City of Culture’ throughout the world. Today it remains a hive of cultural activity year-round, and nowhere is this better witnessed than during the city's myriad of festivals. Spanning everything from the performing arts to music, visual art, comedy and literature, the outpouring of creativity during these festivals is second to none.

And the Lothians is no exception, with Highland games, local customs and unique festivals taking place throughout the year.

Find out what's on in Edinburgh & The Lothians and peruse our 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

Festival season officially kicks off with the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. 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.

The Edinburgh Art Festival is the UK’s largest annual celebration of visual art and attracts over 250,000 art lovers to the capital’s internationally renowned galleries, museums and artist-run spaces. Admire in specially commissioned public artworks created by both established and emerging artists and enjoy and take your pick from an innovative programme of events including late openings, live music, film screening, guided tours and family-friendly events.