An Overview of our Festivals in 2022 2022 is the 75th anniversary of Edinburgh's birth as a world leading festival city. Formed in the shadow of a worldwide cataclysm, our first festivals sought to use culture as a healing balm to bring peoples and nations together in celebration of our common humanity and help ‘the flowering of the human spirit’. Following the end of both the Edinburgh Science Festival and the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival, we're now getting ready for the rest of our festival year.

In July, we find the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival [15 to 24th July]

The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival is back live, with the dial set to 10 and ready to raise the curtain to let sounds from New Orleans to Brasil wash over the city for 10 days. From serious listening to party music, from 1920s traditional jazz to the here and now. You’ll be delighted to see some festival friends who we have sorely missed including Jools HollandBlind Boy Paxton and festival favourite Davina and the Vagabonds. At the heart of the programme is SPARK, a celebration of Italian jazz featuring the artistry of Sade MangiaracinaFrancesco Zampini, the international artist-in-residence Daniele Raimondi and many more. Festival regular Soweto Kinch brings a new programming voice to this year’s festival with BLAZE, a strand showcasing up-and-coming talent from the wider UK including Xhosa ColeBlue Lab BeatsRosie Frater Taylor and Scotland’s own Anoushka Nanguy. On top of the programme of concerts the Festival will also see the welcome return of the much loved MARDI GRAS and the EDINBURGH FESTIVAL CARNIVAL, Scotland’s largest and most flamboyant multicultural event. Full programme details and tickets are available HERE

Starting the August ball rolling will be the Edinburgh Art Festival [28 July to 28 August]

The UK’s largest annual visual arts festival, which this year will feature leading international and UK artists alongside the best emerging talent, major survey exhibitions of historic figures, and a special programme of newly commissioned artworks that respond to public and historic sites in the city. From photography documenting Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe to carnival-inspired performance art, the 2022 programme features international artists alongside exciting new voices from Scotland, the rest of the UK and beyond. Highlights of the programme include special commissions and performances to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Union Canal and it's people, Tracey Emin's second ever solo show in Scotland, the first major survey of Céline Condorelli in the UK, an exhbiiton on the life of renowned sculptor Barbara Hepworth, Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace, A Taste for Impressionism, and New Arrivals: From Salvador Dalí to Jenny Saville - alongside a 90ft-long inflatable recreation of E.coli and the changing life of a love-heart-shaped rhododendron bush, with the Art Late programme providing an evening of exhibitions, live performance, artists and curators in conversation. Full programme details are available HERE.

Then it's over to the Edinburgh International Festival [5 to 28th August]

Which will present a jam-packed programme of over 80 events across the city, celebrating 75 years of bringing world cultures together. The theatre series includes the shape-shifting Swiss artist James Thiérree, Dutch powerhouse Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, and Tony award-winning star of stage and screen Alan Cumming, plus a brand-new staging of Liz Lochhead’s powerful adaptation of Euripides’ Medea. Symphonic orchestras and international soloists make a return to the city's spectacular venues in full force - including appearnces by the renowned Philadelphia Orchestra and a residency from London’s Philharmonia Orchestra. This year’s enthralling dance programme includes Akram Khan Company’s Jungle Book reimagined, Aakesh Odedra’s Samsara draws from Chinese and Indian mythology and traditions, and Scottish Ballet’s Coppélia. A highlight of the opera programme will no doubt  be Garsington Opera's new production of Dvořák’s beloved opera Rusalka. While the series of contemporay music at Leith Theatre has an incredible line up ranging from Gaelic electronica, boundary-pushing rap, Romanian folk legends, mesmerising Sufi songs and cult indie rock. And it all kicks off with Macro [August 5th] a free, outdoor performance of jaw-dropping acrobatics, dance and live music, created as a collaboration between Scottish and Australian artists. Full programme details and tickets are available HERE

And running alongside will be the Edinburgh Festival Fringe [5 to 29th August]

Being totally open-access, the Fringe is proud to include in its programme anyone with a story to tell and a venue willing to host them. The 75th anniversary of the Fringe will feature an exciting range of shows, with theatre, comedy, music, dance, circus, musicals, variety, cabaret, events and more. With currently c3000 shows on sale, we can only provide a thin scratch of that thick surface when we say that featured in the programme so far is - great theatre from the likes of the iconic Hamlet with Ian McKellen, Paines Plough's Caste-ing and a world first staging of Irvine Welsh’s Porno; an amazing dance and physical theatre programme including Taiwan Season: Tomato, a celebration of Cuban street dance culture in Havana Steet, the return of La Clique, and Circus Abyssinia: Tulu; a veritable who's who of the comedy circuit inclduing Frankie Boyle, Reginal D Hunter, Shazia MirzaRich Hall and Mark Thomas; and music from fringe favourite Camille O'Sullivan, Cara Dillon, Tom Waits For No ManParis: From Piaf to Pop!, and The Tiger LilliesFull programme details and tickets are available HERE

August will also see the return of our iconic Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo [5 to 27th August]

This August, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo will make its highly anticipated return with this year’s show, Voices. Staged on the iconic Edinburgh Castle Esplanade, the show will be a celebration of expression, giving a stage to performers and acts from around the globe to share their voice. Over 800 performers from across the world will take part in in this year’s Tattoo, bringing with them incredible music, dance, and performance talents. There will be cultural showcases and musical presentations by performers from Mexico, the United States, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand along with homegrown talent from the UK. Audiences can expect to hear the legendary sound of the Massed Pipes and Drums that will echo around the Esplanade as part of Voices, supported by Tattoo Pipes and Drums, Tattoo Dancers, Tattoo Fiddlers, and musicians from UK Military Regiments. Further details and tickets are available HERE

Later in the month is the Edinburgh International Film Festival [12 to 20th August]

This year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival will return to in-person screenings and events indoors across the city centre at Filmhouse Cinema, Cameo Picturehouse, Everyman Edinburgh at the St James Quarter and Vue Edinburgh Omni and outdoors with Film Fest in the City in St Andrew Square, in a rich programme celebrating the collective cinema experience. The programme of 90 new feature films is structured across 5 strands, with the overall EIFF 2022 theme focussing on the multiplicity and variety of feminisms in contemporary society across their entire programme,in honour of the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Edinburgh International Film Festival which presented the first global film event entirely dedicated to the cinematic achievements of female directors, curated by Claire Johnston, Lynda Myles, and Laura Mulvey. In 2022, EIFF also reimagines its major award, The Michael Powell Award for Best British feature with a renewed commitment to internationalism by presenting The Powell & Pressburger Award for Best Feature Film. Film Fest in the City returns to St Andrew Square Gardens from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th August with a free programme of new and classic cinematic favourites which reflect the wider EIFF themes. And the closing gala film has already been announced as Kogonada’s critically acclaimed After Yang  starring Colin Farrell. Full programme details will be announced on July 20th.

And the August festival calendar is completed by the Edinburgh International Book Festival [13 to 28th August]

More than 600 events featuring over 550 authors, performers, musicians and thinkers from 50 countries will take place at the Edinburgh College of Art but with a new site layout to accommodate more events and bigger audience. Amongst the hundreds of authors taking part this year are Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa, Vietnamese American poet Ocean Vuong, Outlander writer Diana Gabaldon, as well as Noam Chomsky, Jack Monroe, Alexander McCall Smith, Denise Mina, William Dalrymple and Armando Iannucci. New books will be launched and discussed including by Maggie O'Farrell [Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020 winner] and her hotly-anticipated novel The Marriage Portrait,  Irvine Welsh talks for the first time about his new crime novel The Long Knives, Monica Ali introduces her first novel for a decade and the most recent winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Abdulrazak Gurnah, talks about his novel Afterlives. Artistic boundaries will be crossed in events featuring world-famous musicians including Martha Wainwright, Jarvis Cocker, Vashti Bunyan, and Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross. And in waht will surely be a festival highlight First Minister Nicola Sturgeon interviews screen legend Brian Cox about a life on the Scottish stage and his role in television hit series Succession. Around 200 of the events will also be livestreamed for you to watch from home, with a Pay What You Can ticket price. Full programme details and tickets are available HERE.

After a short post summer break, we’re back on the festival trail with the Scottish International Storytelling Festival [14 to 30 October].

From storytelling performances to panel discussions, and a lively family strand of storytelling activities around Halloween, there’s something here for all Festival-goers to get involved with – centred around the Scottish Storytelling Centre, the only purpose built home for storytelling in the UK. Full programme details will be announced during September.

Mara Menzies CAP

And as the year comes to a close we join the festival legend that is Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

Has evolved to become one of the greatest outdoor celebrations of New Year’s Eve in the world, taking place across three days and seeing a host of live music and street arts. As the bells strike midnight, join hands with friends from across the globe in the world’s biggest rendition of Auld Lang Syne! Then get ready for the next year of the Edinburgh Festivals. The contract for the production of Edinburgh's Hogmanay is currently under discussion. No details on the programme or tickets will be available until September at the earliest. So please keep an eye on our social channels - @edfests - for all the latest news.

06 Street Party 04 Chris Watt CAP

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