Overview Of The 2021 August Festivals

All our Festivals have now announced their 2021 programmes, so we've pulled together the following overview of what will happen during August - noting that they’ve all been working with health professionals, the Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council and other relevant authorities to implement appropriate measures to ensure the safety of audiences, artists and staff. 

Edinburgh Art Festival [29 July to 29 August]

Art - Lessons of the Hour

The 17th edition will bring together over 35 exhibitions and new commissions in visual art spaces across the city, complemented by an online programme of events and digital presentations. Amongst the highlights are major new commissions and presentations by leading international artists, including the European premiere of Lessons of the Hour by Isaac Julien in partnership with National Galleries of Scotland; and two new festival co-commissions - Tak Tent O' Time Ere Time Be Tint by Sean Lynch [in collaboration with Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop] and Song of the Union by Emeka Ogboh at the Burns Monument [with Talbot Rice Gallery]. You can read about some of the highlights HERE and view the full programme on the festival website.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe [06 to 30 August]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CvSgu5XV6I It may be smaller this year but the Edinburgh Festival Fringe still has a huge range of shows for all the family taking place in Edinburgh: 106 venues across the city hosting 673 shows, with 428 of those in the real world. This year, for the first time ever, the programme features an exciting range of both online and in-person shows, with theatre, comedy, music, dance, musicals, variety, visual art, events and more represented - in many venues long associated with the Fringe including Assembly, Corn Exchance, Gilded Balloon, Pleasance, Summerhall, The Stand, Storytelling Centre, Traverse and Underbelly. In addition to ticketed shows, the Fringe’s world-famous street events will be returning this August. You can read about some of the highlights HERE and view the full programme on the festival website.

Edinburgh International Festival [7 to 29 August]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-pSRbrAU-g The Festival presents an ambitious programme with over 170 classical and contemporary music, theatre, opera, dance and spoken word performances, including 15 premieres and new commissions - featuring Nicola Benedetti, the London Symphony Orchestra, Laura Mvula, Anna Meredith, Damon Albarn, Alan Cumming, Domhnall Gleeson and many more. The shows will be staged at 10 indoor and outdoor locations across the city during the three-week festival, with the vast majority in three pop-up 'pavilions' - at a new culture quarter at Edinburgh Park, at Edinburgh Academy Junior School’s playing fields and at Edinburgh University’s Old College quadrangle - each of which will feature covered concert stages and socially distanced seating to create a beautiful setting for audiences to safely enjoy live music, opera and theatre once more. You can read about some of the highlights HERE and view the full programme on the festival website.

Edinburgh International Book Festival [14 to 30 Aug]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTKADk32V7o Although they can’t promise sun, the Book Festival will be bringing hundreds of the world’s best writers and thinkers to take part in live conversations this August, including events with Nobel Prize winners Amartya Sen and Kazuo Ishiguro, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Booker Prize winners Salman Rushdie, Bernardine Evaristo, Richard Flanagan and Scotland's own Douglas Stuart (with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon) and many more. This year they'll be exploring stories and ideas for a changing world, one dealing with the impact of Covid-19, climate change, poverty, inequality and the varied effects of technology, with authors, politicians, doctors and others discussing the overlapping crises we face – and how we can move forward. In their new home at Edinburgh College of Art the Festival has created three broadcast studios, two of which will accommodate limited audiences. These new facilities enable the festival to offer author conversations to worldwide audiences and to those closer to home who are unable to join in person - 250 events for adults, children and families omline, all available to watch on a Pay What You Can basis. You can read about some of the highlights HERE and view the full programme on the festival website.

Edinburgh International Film Festival [18 to 25 August]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tmao1mlrnSA The 74th Edinburgh International Film Festival takes place at the heart of Edinburgh’s festival season, between 18 and 25 August, and presents a fantastic programme of feature and short films celebrating the long-awaited return to cinema. This special programme of in-person and digital screenings includes 31 new features and 73 shorts – with 18 marking their world and 3 international premieres at the Festival – and with 50% of the new features in the EIFF 2021 programme from a female director or co-director. The majority of Festival screenings take place at the Festival’s home, Filmhouse, with the Opening Gala and Special Preview at Festival Theatre and special screenings at partner venues across Scotland, along with introductions, Q&As, in person events and more screenings being available through a dedicated, accessible streaming platform Filmhouse at Home. You can read about some of the highlights HERE and view the full programme brochure HERE

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