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Music and Entertainment in Edinburgh

Your guide to Edinburgh / Music & Entertainment in Edinburgh

Music and entertainment in Edinburgh

Music & Entertainment in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and the second-most populous city in the country. If you're planning a visit to this hilly and compact city, you'll discover plenty of things to do in Edinburgh. Whether you're interested in art, music or food, check out a few of these exciting events happening around the city so you can enjoy a memorable trip to Edinburgh.

For easy reference: Video transcript
For easy reference: Video transcript
For easy reference: Video transcript
For easy reference: Video transcript

Music Events

Edinburgh has a robust music scene that attracts up-and-coming artists and international stars alike. If you're looking for some of the best things to do in Edinburgh, consider attending some of these popular music events.

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival

89 Giles Street 

The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival brings in some of the best jazz and blues artists from around the world. The festival is one of the biggest of its kind in Great Britain and runs over 10 days in July. It features over 100 shows in styles that include soul, bop, blues-rock, swing and samba. When you attend the festival, you'll be able to enjoy these concerts at a variety of iconic venues around the city, such as Festival Theatre, Teviot Row House Student Union, The Jazz Bar and Grassmarket.

Wide Days

Teviot Row House Student Union

If you love music, consider attending Wide Days. This three-day music convention was launched in 2010 and now comes back to the city every April. Wide Days is open to anyone who wants to attend, and you don't have to be part of the music industry to check out the presentations, panels, interviews and showcases. 

While the daytime presentations take place at Teviot Row House Student Union, other showcases during the event will occur at different venues around the city. The last day of the event also includes a Festival Takeover, where three popular Scottish festivals offer a taste of what you can expect when you attend the real thing.

Sporting Events

Sports are a big part of life in Edinburgh. If you want to join other Edinburgh fans to cheer on the home team, the following are some of the best sporting events in the city.

Heart of Midlothian Football Club

Tynecastle Park

Football is popular throughout Scotland, and Edinburgh is no exception. The city is home to two professional teams. Heart of Midlothian FC, usually just called Hearts, is based in the Gorgie area and plays in the top-tier Scottish Premiership. The team was formed in 1874 by a group of friends, making it the oldest football club in Edinburgh. If you want to catch a Hearts home game, you can see them play at Tynecastle Park.

Hibernian Football Club

Easter Road Stadium

Hibernian Football Club, known as Hibs to those in Edinburgh, is a professional football club that also competes in the Scottish Premiership. The team plays in the Leith area of the city and has home games at Easter Road Stadium. As the two oldest professional clubs in Edinburgh, the Hibs and Heart of Midlothian have a fierce rivalry. If you're not afraid to pick a side, you can attend an Edinburgh derby, which is the unofficial title given to any football match between these two teams.

Edinburgh Rugby

BT Murrayfield Stadium

Another popular sport in the city is rugby. The Edinburgh Rugby is one of two professional rugby teams that play in Scotland. They compete in the Guinness PRO14 league with the Glasgow Warriors, which is the other professional rugby team in the country and Edinburgh Rugby's oldest rival. If you want to experience one of these rough and thrilling games for yourself, you can catch a home game at BT Murrayfield Stadium.

Edinburgh Capitals

Murrayfield Ice Rink

If you enjoy watching sports played on ice, the Edinburgh Capitals are the team for you. The team formed in 1998 and play in the third-tier Scottish National League. If you want to attend a home game for the Capitals, bundle up in warm clothes and head to Murrayfield Ice Rink. You can expect plenty of action and an exciting atmosphere. The regular season for the Edinburgh Capitals runs from September to March.


Food and Drink Events

From unique dishes to specialty drinks, Edinburgh has a buzzing culinary scene worth exploring. If you're interested in free things to do in Edinburgh, one of these food and drink events in Edinburgh might be the perfect option for you.

Edinburgh Food Festival

George Square Gardens

The Edinburgh Food Festival is a 10-day event in July that celebrates quality Scottish food. The festival is free and open to visitors of all ages. As you stroll around, you'll find stalls offering a variety of delicious options. You can pick up some plant-based dishes at FacePlant Food, try out traditional pies at Jarvis Pickle, savor decadent treats at Thinking Chocolate and get some of the best honey in the country at The Scottish Bee Company.

Foodies Festival

Inverleith Park

Another excellent festival dedicated to great food that you should consider is the Foodies Festival. This fun event runs for three days during the beginning of August. The festival includes mouthwatering food, live music, master classes, workshops and more. Head to the restaurant tents to try dishes from several of the most popular restaurants in the city. The live music stage will have performances from top emerging artists in the area. The event will also have a bake-off, children's cooking classes and guest appearances from some of the top chefs in the city.

The Rum Festival Edinburgh

Assembly Rooms

Edinburgh isn't just about celebrating good food. You can also enjoy great drinks when you check out The Rum Festival Edinburgh. The Rum Festival Edinburgh brings the flavors of the Caribbean to the city for two days at the end of September. The event will showcase more than 100 different rums, including some that are new and exclusive. During the festival, you'll also get to enjoy dancing, live entertainment, talks from industry experts and plenty of tasty food.

Cultural Events

In addition to great music, fun sports and outstanding food and drink events, Edinburgh also hosts a variety of cultural events throughout the year. Whether you want to explore Scottish lore or discover new art, you'll have a wonderful time at one of these top cultural events.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Downtown Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which is usually shortened to The Fringe, is one of the largest art festivals in the world. For three weeks every August, downtown Edinburgh welcomes over 53,000 performances and over 3,300 shows in 300 venues. Artists who perform at The Fringe range from big names in entertainment to those who are just starting their careers. As you walk around the city, you'll find an incredible variety of performance genres, including comedy, theatre, dance, cabaret, circus, children's shows, spoken word, opera and musicals.

Edinburgh Art Festival

Downtown Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Art Festival is one of the leading visual arts festivals in the country. This incredible event takes place from the middle of July to the middle of August and brings together museums, galleries and other artist-run venues throughout the city. The festival includes more than 40 exhibitions that showcase fine art, contemporary art and abstract art. The majority of the events during the festival are free to attend, including artist talks, exhibitions, performances, guided tours and screenings.

Edinburgh International Festival

The Hub

The Edinburgh International Festival is an annual performing arts festival that spans three weeks in August. The event brings in top performers from around the world in theatre, music, opera and dance to perform at various venues around the city. During the event, you'll also be able to check out a series of visual art exhibitions, workshops and talks. Although performances take place at different venues around the city, you can purchase and pick up tickets at The Hub.

Edinburgh International Children's Festival

Downtown Edinburgh

If you're searching for one of the best things to do in Edinburgh with kids, make plans to check out the Edinburgh International Children's Festival. This nine-day festival occurs at the end of May and presents some of the best shows in theatre, dance and puppetry designed for the young and the young at heart. The events of the festival take place at different venues around the city, including Traverse Theatre, Southside Community Centre, Brunton Theatre and the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival

Scottish Storytelling Centre

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival runs for 12 days in October and showcases inspiring performances, informative workshops and a variety of talks and events centered on traditional storytelling. The festival started in 1989 and has grown every year as people become more captivated by the charismatic storytellers. In addition to storytelling performances, the festival will also include panel discussions and plenty of engaging family activities.

Whether you want to take part in a festival dedicated to the performing arts or you want to see an exciting sports game in person, Edinburgh has something for you to enjoy. You know you'll have an amazing time when you make plans to experience these top things to do in Edinburgh during your next visit.