Edinburgh. 2016. The Edinburgh Festivals.

What are the dates for the Edinburgh Festivals in 2016? Here they are. Make sure you’re here and in the loop…

Edinburgh Castle in Winter

Edinburgh by Thomas Haywood

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Edinburgh’s Festivals in 2016

Edinburgh International Science Festival

26 March to 10 April

Edinburgh’s annual Science Festival is the world’s first celebration of science and technology, and one of Europe’s largest science events. This two-week festival made of talks, workshops and demonstrations is known for its creative, provocative and fun programming that has recently covered subjects as diverse as the science of ghosts, chocolate and laughter to the legacy of Charles Darwin and the views of Richard Dawkins.


The Imaginate Festival

28 May to 5 June

Ideal for family audiences, The Imaginate Festival brings local and international performers together to present a wonderful programme of fun-filled, free shows for children and young people. The Bank of Scotland Imaginate Festival is now the UK’s largest festival of performing arts for this age group, and will kick off in Edinburgh before touring the rest of Scotland.


The Edinburgh Festival of Cycling

11 to 21 June

Scotland’s greatest celebration of bicycle culture is now in its 3rd year. Cited by the Guardian as one of the UK’s best clycling festivals, this is a showcase for all aspects of bike culutre and the city itself. This year sees more rides, more films and more talks, plus books, photographs, workshops and more.


The Edinburgh International Film Festival

15 to 26 June

Renowned around the world for discovering and promoting the very best in international cinema – and for heralding and debating changes in global filmmaking. Intimate in its scale, ambitious in its scope, and fuelled by pure passion for cinema in all its manifestations, EIFF seeks to spotlight the most exciting and innovative new film talent, in a setting steeped in history. Showcasing the best in international film and documentary genres, past premieres have included Dr Zhivago, Taxi Driver, Manhattan, Blade Runner, Back to the Future, Pulp Fiction, ET: The Extra Terrestrial, The Motorcycle Diaries, and Oscar triumph The Hurt Locker.


Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival

15 – 24 July

The biggest festival of its kind in Britain presents over 140 gigs at 13 venues over 10 days. The best international musicians rub shoulders with top Scottish talent to present unique collaborations and outstanding musicianship. Highlights of previous programmes include Roy Hargrove, Joe Temperley, Chick Corea, David Murray, China Moses and Van Morrison.


Edinburgh Art Festival

28 July to 28 August

More than 40 museums, galleries and pop-up spaces come together in August to programme the Edinburgh Art Festival, with free entry to most exhibitions. It presents the best, most exciting and intriguing work in visual arts practice.


Edinburgh Festival Fringe

5 to 29 August

The one and only. An explosion of theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, music, children’s shows, exhibitions, musicals, and street performers brings over 2,500 shows to over 250 venues in Edinburgh throughout August. Expect the unexpected – any and all performers are welcome, with acts ranging from the experimental and emerging, to new material from household names.


Edinburgh International Festival

5 to 29 August

Inaugurated in 1947 as a celebration of peace through the arts, the Edinburgh International Festival showcases the very best and most prestigious international companies. Featuring opera, music, theatre and dance from around the world, the International Festival is one of the most accessible events of its league, with tickets starting at £8.


Edinburgh International Book Festival

13 to 29 August

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is the largest public celebration of ideas and the written word in the world. Over 900 participants from 47 different countries are welcomed to the elegant surroundings of Charlotte Square Gardens in the historic heart of Edinburgh, the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature. More than 220,000 people come to the gardens to soak up the atmosphere, take part in creative workshops and attend meet-the-author events.


Scottish International Storytelling Festival

21 – 30 October

For centuries live oral storytelling, blended with music and song, has carried Scotland’s voices from generation to generation -and round the world. The Storytelling Festival is a ten-day celebration of traditional and contemporary storytelling, oral traditions and cultural diversity, bringing together artists and audiences from Scotland and beyond.


Edinburgh’s Christmas

20 November 2016 to 4 January 2017

Christmas in Edinburgh is a magical time of year, with a jam-packed schedule of events and activity throughout the city, as well as a host of mouth-watering foodie destinations to visit and high street and independent retailers to suit all tastes and budgets  Be sure to wonder around the European, Scottish and Children’s markets, catch a show in the famous Spiegeltent or take a turn on the ice rinks, big wheel, or for the brave, the Starflyer.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

30 December 2016 to 1 January 2017

Join the torchlight procession as 25,000 people carry their torches through the architecturally stunning medieval heart of Edinburgh. Dance beneath the stars with 80,000 revellers at the world famous Street Party, with live music stages, traditional Ceilidh dancing, and some of the hottest names in pop and rock music today. See in the New Year with the city’s famous Midnight Moment fireworks lifting from Edinburgh Castle as the crowds break into a rendition of the world’s favourite Scottish song, Auld Lang Syne.

Another great way to keep in touch with us is via Twitter @edinburghfest.