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Edinburgh is the world’s festival city. There are twelve festivals throughout the year, half of which are celebrated during the months of July and August. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the Scottish capital during the summer. Here are some of the events they can enjoy.
The Edinburgh International Festival
This is the original Edinburgh festival which began in 1947. Actors, musicians, dancers and opera singers from all over the world perform to huge audiences. You need tickets for most events which take place in theatres around the city.
The Edinburgh Art Festival
This festival is modern and has been celebrated for around ten years. It is a fantastic opportunity to see some of the city’s best visual art in art galleries and museums. Most events are free and include events such as fashion shows and art exhibitions.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This is the largest arts festival in the world with thousands of shows which take place across the city. Anyone can perform in the festival and over 20,000 artists take part, so there is always a huge variety of acts to choose from. Go to the Royal Mile, one of Edinburgh’s main streets, to watch performers such as magicians, acrobats and comedians for free. However, it can get very busy as thousands of tourists and local people fill the city streets to enjoy the shows.
The Edinburgh International Book Festival
The largest book festival in the world began in 1983 and takes place every year in Charlotte Square Gardens in the centre of Edinburgh. There are over 700 events for children and adults who love books. You can meet many authors, talk to them, ask them to sign a book or listen to them talk about their stories. Children can listen to stories and watch illustrators draw pictures of the stories.
The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival
Music lovers come to this festival to enjoy music shows around the city. One of the highlights of this musical festival is the street carnival which is free to all. Artists perform street theatre, dance and circus shows in amazing costumes and everyone can enjoy the music and join in the dancing.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
This show is 65 years old and takes place every evening during the festival outside Edinburgh Castle. You can listen to pipers and drummers in military bands, watch traditional Scottish dancing and enjoy a firework display in the Edinburgh night sky. More than 200,000 people buy tickets to watch the show live and around 100 million people watch it on TV all over the world.
Worksheets and downloads
Which of Edinburgh's summer festivals would you most like to see?