Edit Magazine

The festivals in focus

 The University's involvement with this year's summer festivals in the city is showcased in Edit's 2018 photo gallery.

McEwan Hall with banners during the festivals 2018

Every August, Edinburgh becomes the stage for artists, comedians, actors and creatives from all over the world. Visitors are drawn to the city in their thousands to enjoy performances, shows and exhibitions by an eclectic range of well-known and up-and-coming talent. 

The University has a special relationship with the city's many festivals, offering its buildings as venues and sharing the expertise of staff and students to give people a memorable experience. This year has been no exception. Here are some of the University's highlights from 2018's Edinburgh International Festival, Festival Fringe, Edinburgh Art Festival and Edinburgh Book Festival. 

Five Telegrams opening event for the Edinburgh International Festival 2018
It was the fourth year that the University was an official partner of the Edinburgh International Festival’s opening ceremony. During the epic sound and light event, Five Telegrams, huge projections illuminated the front of the city’s Usher Hall, while a choir of young people sang among the crowd. More than 15,000 people gathered for the outdoor digital and live performance.
ECA students at Five Telegrams opening event for the Edinburgh International Festival 2018
The theme of the event was inspired by the centenary of the end of the First World War. Performance costume students from the University's Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) created capes for the Five Telegrams choir. The students were invited to co-design the costumes as part of the Year of Young People 2018 and undertook extensive research into how soldiers sent messages home.


The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas 2018 billboard
Researchers from the University took part in this year’s Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas at the Festival Fringe. Academics explored a range of topics, blending research with comedy to engage audiences in discussions about important issues.
Data Pipe Dreams show at the Informatics Design Pavillion at the Edinburgh Art Festival 2018
A pop-up pavilion showcasing prototypes and interactive installations from the University’s Centre for Design Informatics was installed on George Street. Data Pipe Dreams: Glimpse of a Near Future, which investigated the possibilities of designing with data, was the outcome of work from researchers, Masters students and a partnership with Tesco Bank.
ECA students at the ECA Masters show 2018
Masters students showcased their artwork at the ECA's annual Festival Exhibition. Pictured are students Huai Ya Lin and Stephanie McGowan with a piece they worked on together.
Artist Siobhan Healy at her Biodiversity exhibition at the Edinburgh Art Festival 2018
A number of ECA’s studios and spaces also featured work as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival. Graduate and Artist-in-Residence Siobhan Healy’s Biodiversity exhibition of more than 30 intricate glass artworks is the result of research into endangered plants and animals in collaboration with artist and writer Alisdair Gray.
Astronomy Victorious exhibition University Research Collections August 2018
The University's Centre for Research Collections partnered up with Edinburgh's Ingleby Gallery to put on two festival shows: Astronomy Victorious at the University Main Library and Jacob’s Ladder at Ingleby Gallery. Running until 27 October, special pieces from the University's collections feature alongside contemporary artists including alumna Katie Paterson. Her Timepieces installation shows a series of nine clocks that tell the time on the planets in our solar system.
Principal Professor Peter Mathieson, winner Tanika Gupta and television and radio presenter Shereen Nanjiani.
The University once again took part in the Edinburgh Book Festival with its prestigious James Tait Black Prizes. Tanika Gupta won the prize for drama with Lions and Tigers, pictured centre with the Principal of the University Peter Mathieson and television and radio presenter Shereen Nanjiani who hosted the event. Craig Brown won the biography prize and Eley Williams won the fiction prize. The James Tait Black Prizes are the UK’s longest-running literary awards.


Alumna author Kaite Welsh was a panel member on BBC radio Four's Open Book live recording at the Edinburgh Book Festival 2018
Alumna author, journalist and critic Kaite Welsh appeared on the panel of a special live recording of BBC Radio 4's Open Book programme hosted by Mariella Frostrup at the Edinburgh Book Festival in Charlotte Square.
Bristo square in the Festival Fringe 2018
The recently refurbished McEwan Hall made a stunning Fringe show venue while Bristo Square was transformed into a lush garden for festival-goers to soak up the atmosphere.
George Square Gardens during the Festival Fringe August 2018
The pop-up stalls and outdoor seating in George Square Gardens were busy as ever this year, offering a welcome break in between festival shows.
Potterrow during the Festival Fringe August 2018
Potterrow, home to student services including the Advice Place and Activities Office, was transformed into a colourful festival venue.

Find out more

2017 festivals photo gallery

The University and the festivals

More Edit supplements

Photography by the University of Edinburgh, David Cheskin, Paul Dodds, Neil Hanna and Justin Sutcliffe.