What’s on in Edinburgh: August

What’s on in Edinburgh: August

There are still several more weeks of long days and short nights to enjoy in Edinburgh this summer before the temperatures drop and Autumn comes to cool things down. Whether you are looking for activities to enjoy with the family, a romantic evening for two, a cultural expedition or something altogether more off the wall, there’s no place quite like Edinburgh for variety. In fact, the only concern you should have this summer is choosing between the best of the best events. 

Let us guide you through some of this August’s highlights to help you choose.


Edinburgh Art Festival – 28 July - 28 August

If you like to stay at the cutting edge of the art scene, Edinburgh’s Art Festival might be just be the perfect event for you to attend. Edinburgh Art Festival is the largest annual celebration of visual art in the UK, welcoming 250,000 visitors a year, and it features a unique blend of established names and new faces. 


The majority of events are free to attend and the line-up includes exhibitions, performances, screenings, artist talks and guided tours. Some of this year’s highlights include work by leading international artists such as Damián Ortega, Louise Bourgeois, John McCracken, Joan Mitchell and Robert Ryman.


Royal Military Tattoo – 5 - 27 August

The Royal Military Tattoo considers itself a ‘global gathering – showcasing the talents of musicians and performers from every corner of the globe.’ The performance includes artists from over 48 countries with almost a third of the 220,000 strong audience coming from overseas each year. With so many people congregating from around the work, it is small wonder that the Tattoo has developed a reputation for its vibrant and friendly atmosphere.

The Royal Military Tattoo is iconic in both its celebration of Scottish heritage and global talent too. Watch the precision display of the Massed Pipes and Drums, and song and dance from the Massed Military Bands, cultural troupes and singers.

Each year’s performance is centred around a unique theme. This year’s tattoo celebrates the Queen's 90th birthday and 'Tunes of Glory’. It is safe to say 2016’s Tattoo is set to be very special.

The festival has a long history of selling out so buying tickets as soon as possible is advisable to avoid disappointment.


Edinburgh Festival Fringe – 5 - 29 August

Edinburgh film festival is quite simply the world’s largest arts festival. The panacea for all your cultural needs, this stunning collection of comedy, dance, circus, cabaret, physical theatre, musicals, opera, music and even children’s shows is a reflection of humanity at its very best. 

Shows are proudly free from entry fees and inclusive in nature. In the words of the festival organisers, ‘the Fringe is proud to include in their programme anyone with a story to tell and a venue willing to host them.’ This attitude has helped attract the best in established, new and emerging talent over the years.

This year’s Fringe includes a non-stop two-week reading of the Chilcot papers, Sir John Chilcot’s 6,000-page report on the Iraq war. The event has attracted a dazzling line up of volunteers including Stewart Lee, Omid Djalili and Ian Rankin.


Edinburgh International Book Festival 13-29 August

Edinburgh’s International Book Festival welcomes more than 800 authors taking part in 700 events each year. The festival is partially free entry, with its home in Charlotte Square welcome to all, while certain on site events are ticketed. This year is set to include plenty of thought-provoking discussion, workshops, and events.

With a whole hosts of novelists, poets, scientists, illustrators, comic book creators, historians, musicians, Nobel and Booker Prize winners, environmentalists, biographers, philosophers and sportsmen, there is always something to suit every individual.

The highlight of this year’s festival is hosted by Nobel Laureate, Alice Munro as she presents a dramatic adaption of two of her stories taken from the collection, The View from Castle Rock.















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