Time to catch festival fever

The University is again at the heart of the world-famous Edinburgh Festivals.

Bristo Square at night during the Festival

With 12 different festivals to choose from, and as many as 2,500 different events on offer, the city is host to the biggest arts festival in the world.

The University and many of its staff and students traditionally play a key role in many of the events and this year is no different. Here we present some of the highlights.


The Edinburgh Festivals website has details of all shows, venues and how to book.

Edinburgh Festivals

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Signs in the Pleasance cpurtyard for festival venues

The University provides over 40 theatre and performance spaces for Festival Fringe performances. Last year, nearly a million tickets were sold for performances in University buildings.

The extensive Fringe programme includes performances in Assembly Theatre, George Square Gardens, David Hume Tower, George Square Theatre and New College.

Among the many events taking place, some exciting outdoor Polish Theatre will be hosted at Old College Quad. The Teatr Biuro Podrozy company will perform three shows: Macbeth, Planet Lem and a one-off performance of critically acclaimed 'Carmen Funebre'. KTO Theatre will perform 'The Blind'.


Festival Fringe tickets which have been purchased online can be picked up from the University Visitor Centre at 2 Charles Street.

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Find the Visitor Centre on campus maps

Edinburgh International Festival

New College during festival season

The University is playing a leading role in the Edinburgh International Festival this year which offers three weeks of the very best in international opera, music, theatre, dance and debate.

Experts from the College of Humanities and Social Science are taking part in a series of discussions in the areas of journalism and history, nationhood, music and the arts.

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Charlotte Square once more hosts the world’s largest celebration of the written word, with more than 750 events in the Edinburgh International Book Festival programme.

Among the events, the annual James Tait Black Prizes will be announced. Britain’s oldest literary awards are awarded by the University to the best works of fiction and biography published in the previous year.

Edinburgh Art Festival

The University is hosting several exhibitions and events.

  • Rachel Mayeri, a Los Angeles based artist will show Primate Cinema: Apes as Family, a drama written for chimpanzees, in Edinburgh College of Art’s sculpture court.
  • Also at the College, a collaboration between artists Chris Dorsett and Margaret Stewart will be displayed. Cast Contemporaries reconsiders the role of reproduction antique sculptures as catalysts for experimental contemporary art.
  • Tent Gallery at the College’s Evolution House will exhibit More Than a Bird, the New Enlightenment Project, a significant but as yet unrecognised Scottish cultural movement
  • Tim Rollins and KOS make their Scottish debut with an exhibition in the Talbot Rice Gallery at Old College, including new work and a series of Art and Knowledge workshops.
  • Also on show at the Talbot Rice will be an exhibition of Donald Judd’s studio drawings. Working Papers focuses upon the instructional drawings he and his fabricators created.
  • Artist collective, ~ in the fields, who were recently awarded the Alt-w Design Informatics residency, have created three pieces of new work for the festival. One of the works, 'Yen to See Distant Places', is a networked artwork connecting Inspace on Crichton Street, and St. Andrew Square. The technology that supports it has been developed by the University.

Festival of Politics

George square during the festival

Hosted in the Scottish Parliament, the Festival of Politics will draw upon expertise and insight from University experts.

Historian Professor Tom Devine is taking part in an event exploring Scotland’s key historical events.

Festival of Spirituality and Peace

Founded after the 9/11 attacks to foster understanding between faiths, the Festival has organised events with the University’s Global Health Academy and the Prince Alwaleed Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World.

Events include a series focusing on how society can develop better understanding of death and dying.

The series is curated by the Africa in Motion Film Festival and the University's Global Health Academy - a centre which brings together experts from across the University to tackle global health issues.