Edinburgh is the world’s leading festival city, with a range of major annual festivals bringing talents from more than a third of the world’s countries to our streets and stages. With an array of festivals taking place in the spring and summer months, here’s what is coming up in this year’s ‘other’ festival calendar:
EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE FESTIVAL
6-21 April 2019
The theme of this year’s festival is ‘frontiers’ and in particular the frontiers in space. It’s the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, so look out for plenty of planetary themes in the packed programme. There are frontier sub themes too, including: digital, engineering, environmental and healthcare. Everyone is catered for, from kids to grown-ups, covering topical subjects such as medical cannabis and fake news. The ever-popular Gastrofest is back, revealing the science behind food, while we pose the question: “Is our obsession with cleanliness bad for us?”. Centred around the City Art Centre, see the website for details of other venues.
Full programme available at www.sciencefestival.co.uk
The pagan procession returns to Calton Hill to bring in the advent of summer. Eye-popping costumes (or lack of), flaming torches and primal drumbeats are the order of the evening, and although the event is family friendly, performances begin at sundown and finish at 1am. Parents should be aware that performers may be partially nude. It’s a ticketed affair, with almost 8,000 people expected to take in the spectacle this year. See the website for more information.
For more information see: www.beltane.org
EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL
25 May-2 June 2019
The festival celebrates its 30th year with 15 productions from eight countries taking place over a three-week period. From babies to teenagers, there are visually engaging shows that everyone will enjoy. Mappamondo (pictured) reveals a world where natural elements collide with percussion and dance, and is suitable for two to five year olds. English theatre company Punchdrunk perform its groundbreaking interactive show Small Wonders, inviting audience participation to create a memorable event. Many of the shows will tour Scotland, ensuring that as many people as possible get a chance to be involved.
Full programme available at www.imaginate.org.uk
Based in a converted warehouse in Leith, the festival returns this year, with cool music, tasty gastro grub and all the beer you can drink. Yes, that’s right, your ticket price includes unlimited beer from brewers far and wide. Some confirmed at time of writing are 6º North, Fierce Beer, Tempest Brew Co and Cromarty to name a few. Music acts confirmed this year are Belle and Sebastian and Gentleman’s Dub Club. New for 2019 is one of Edinburgh’s most popular restaurants, Aizle, who will be adapting some of their key dishes to help fuel the festival.
For more information: www.edinburghcraftbeerfestival.co.uk
The celebration of all things to do with gin returns to Summerhall in May. The explosion of different gins across the UK, and in particular Scotland, has seen an increased appetite to know more about the history of the drink, cocktail recipes and production processes. There will be plenty of gin brands old and new to keep you interested, and returning this year are Arbikie and Pickering’s, who will be providing tastings and masterclasses.
For more information see: www.summerhalldrinkslab.co.uk/juniper-festival
EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
19-30 June 2019
Inaugurated in 1947, Edinburgh International Film Festival is the world’s longest continually-running film festival. With an emphasis upon new talent, discovery and innovation, EIFF’s vibrant programme of films and events combines a commitment to audiences with a strong ongoing stake in the development of the UK and Scottish film industries. This year, the 73rd edition will feature some 650 public, media and industry screenings throughout the Scottish capital, including a weekend of free films in the city’s St Andrew Square as part of Film Fest in the City.
More information at www.edfilmfest.org.uk
For more information on all of Edinburgh’s major festivals and to plan your Festival City experiences visit: www.edinburghfestivalcity.com