University at the Festivals

Our Role

We coordinate the University of Edinburgh’s involvement in all of Edinburgh’s festival activity, large and small scale events and filming throughout the year.

We work in partnership with University colleagues and external stakeholders to identify and develop cultural events and opportunities that will benefit the University and further enhance its contribution to the cultural and civic life of Edinburgh.

We co-ordinate the use of the University estate as a major hub for Edinburgh’s festivals and city events (circa 1.25 million people from around the world attend shows at University buildings each August) as well as commercial film and television use.

Edinburgh’s busy calendar of events also enables the University to showcase and share the thinking and research led by our academics and students.

FESTIVAL CITY

Edinburgh is the world's leading festival city, with a range of major annual festivals bringing talents from more than a third of the world's countries to our streets and stages. Dating back to 1947, the Edinburgh International Festival was established after World War II to stimulate "a flowering of the human spirit" and bring people from across the world to connect through creative endeavour. In that same year, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Edinburgh International Film Festival also started to amplify this aspiration and enable more people to take part. Sidney Newman, Reid Professor of Music at Edinburgh University was instrumental in this original vision.

Other festivals followed, from military grandeur to intimate jazz and blues, captivating science to underground theatre and children's entertainment. As these festivals grew into world-leading celebrations, international excellence in art, culture and science became a permanent and inescapable part of Edinburgh's identity. The City is now a hotbed of cultural interaction, creative innovation and challenging academic thought with the University of Edinburgh at its heart. The University is proud to support such an animated cultural scene, with events covering a range of subjects from art, science, film and media to literature, music, technology and more.

VENUES

The campus’s facilities are varied, offering both interior and exterior spaces suitable for use. Some buildings are new, some historic, but all carry a unique character. Our tenants use them in different ways including bringing in their own pop up venues. 

If you are interested in finding out more about the University’s available facilities or you’d like to book a venue for your event, please contact us.

University Venues

THE SUMMER FESTIVAL SEASON

Every summer, Edinburgh is home to one of the world’s greatest celebrations and explorations of human intellect and creativity. Noted as the number one travel experience in the UK by Lonely Planet, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe brings visitors from around the world to celebrate in Edinburgh. In August 2019, the festival saw nearly 4000 shows take place across 323 venues.

The University is a bustling central hub for this entertainment, providing a home to over one third of the festival’s performances. We are proud to be the largest landlord for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with a growing list of tenants: