The Festivals

Edinburgh’s Festivals are Scotland’s world-leading cultural brands with expertise, vision, impact and international recognition unmatched by any other cultural events on the globe. They are distinctively Scottish and yet profoundly international, drawing artists, audiences and media from every continent and over 70 countries each year. They are cultural platforms, forums for national and international debate, economic powerhouses, drivers of ambition and creators of cohesion. They represent Scotland at its most confident, its most open and its most creative.

The founding principles of the Edinburgh International Festival, back in 1947 - to enliven and enrich the cultural life of Europe, Britain and Scotland and to ‘provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit’ after the devastation of World War II - are just as relevant today as they were over 60 years ago. (For more information on the history of Edinburgh’s Festivals, click here).

International festival directors, programmers, cultural planners and strategists are all drawn by the Festivals’ astonishing wealth of culture. Edinburgh’s Festivals offer highly prized platforms and showcases for performing companies and artists, thinkers and scientists from around the world. With so many promoters, producers and festival directors congregating in the city every year, the Festivals offer unique opportunities for work to be seen, ideas to be exchanged, and business to be done.

Edinburgh’s Festivals are a distinctive feature of Scotland’s tourism offer, essential to defining it as a dynamic year-round destination for residents; an exciting, cultural magnet for visitors; a rich, creative working environment for businesses and their employees and a lively and vibrant atmosphere in which students can study and socialise. They offer remarkable and unrivalled international platforms and springboards for artists and companies, represent major attractions and influence for those choosing to live, work, visit and invest in Edinburgh and Scotland. They define Scotland’s cultural identity on the global stage.

Edinburgh’s Festivals make an enormous contribution to Edinburgh’s reputation as one of the most attractive and inspiring cities in the world. From their beginnings in 1947 the Festivals have been instrumental in transforming Edinburgh into a cosmopolitan, outward-looking and welcoming city. Edinburgh’s Festivals make a major contribution to the quality of life of the people of the city region and of Scotland as a whole. They invest in the growth and development of individuals and communities, through the rich, diverse and highly accessible nature of the work they present. Through their active commitment to participation, they extend the impacts of their programmes with important education and community initiatives.