Huge numbers for Art Festival summer success

Edinburgh Art Festival has enjoyed another highly successful summer, with almost 300,000 attendances and engagements in the annual event's 12th edition, and bringing great art into all sorts of spaces - including the city's main train station.


Over the course of the one-month festival, visitors were treated to some of the very best in contemporary and historic visual art, in spaces across the Scottish capital.

The festival featured 41 exhibitions at 28 venues across the city, plus 6 special pop up events and a new initiative, Platform, dedicated to supporting early career artists.

There were 7 new commissions created for the festival under the theme of the Improbable City, including Charles Avery's spectacular, multicolour Tree no.5 (from the Jadindagadendar) (above) which wowed visitors to Edinburgh's Waverley Station throughout August.

Other commissions included work by (below, clockwise from top left) Emma Finn, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Ariel Guzik, Julie Favreau and Hanna Tuulikki.


The festival also held a number of very popular events as part of its Festival Detours and Art Late strands. Each included intimate performances from artists including Phill Jupitus, Carol Ann Duffy, Man of Moon and Miaoux Miaoux.

The 2015 programme attracted strong audiences, with 78,216 attendances at ticketed exhibitions and events; 146,019 recorded attendances at galleries and festival commissions; and an estimated 73,490 engagements with publicly sited projects.

Young people were also well catered for as the festival continued their work with Alchemy Arts on the Explorers programme. In Spring 2015 primary school children and local community groups took part in workshops exploring the themes and artists in the 2015 programme.

The ideas and experiences generated from these workshops helped to provide material for the EAF Explorers Guide, an accessible family activity guide to some of the central exhibitions during the August festival itself. 

Edinburgh Art Festival also ran a series of ‘Summer School workshops’ during the festival, for community groups, children and individuals with special support needs. The workshops involved a variety of art activities relating to the Explorers pack, followed by visits to exhibitions and artworks featured in the booklet.  

Edinburgh Art Festival 2016 will take place from 28 July to 28 August. For more information on the festival, please visit our EAF page.


  • Charles Avery, Tree no. 5 (from the Jadindagadendar), 2015. Co-commissioned with Parasol Unit in London. Photo Festivals Edinburgh
  • Emma Finn, Double Mountain, 2015, Courtesy of the artist
  • Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, The King Must Die, 2015. Photo Ruth Clark
  • Kemang Wa Lehulere, Join the Dots, 2015. Photo Ruth Clark.
    Courtesy of the Artist and STEVENSON G
  • Ariel Guzik, Holoturian, 2015. Commissioned by EAF and the Arts Catalyst. Photo Ruth Clark
  • Julie Favreau, She Century, 2015. Photo Ruth Clark. Courtesy of Artist and Battat Contemporary
  • Hanna Tuulikki, SING SIGN; a close duet (film still), 2015 

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