Jazz & Blues Festival - opening weekend events

Jazz weekend 2017

Hundreds of performers will thrill the crowds on the weekend of 15 and 16 July, as Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival gets underway with two huge, open air and completely free events, the Mardi Gras and Edinburgh Festival Carnival. 

Running from 14-23 July 2017, Jazz & Blues Festival's 2017 programme features over 170 gigs covering a wide range of music at venues large and small, but nowhere will there be bigger crowds than on the streets of the Scottish capital this Saturday and Sunday.

Mardi Gras 2017

The Mardi Gras - Saturday 15 July, 1-4pm

The Festival's opening weekend gets going in style with the ever-popular Mardi Gras, offering four stages of great music in Edinburgh's Grassmarket area.

Acts from across the Festival's programme will feature in one of the city's biggest anual street parties, including:

  • Brass Gumbo, with their distinctive New Orleans flavoured jazz
  • The high-energy latin swing of Rumba De Bodas (above left)
  • Viper Swing's hot gypsy jazz
  • Cool and classy American songbook singer Lorna Reid
  • Norway's Swing'It Dixieband (above right) performing their take on classic Disney tunes
  • Master funksters DopeSickFly
  • Legends of the Scottish scene, Jim Petrie's Diplomats of Jazz
  • Bebop, ballads and blues from Freddie King
  • The University of South Florida Jazztet's fast-paced modern jazz

The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival Mardi Gras takes place in Edinburgh's Grassmarket from 1-4pm on Saturday 15 July. The event is free and unticketed. 


Carnival 2017

Edinburgh Festival Carnival - Sunday 16 July, 2:30-5pm

From the Old Town of Edinburgh to the New on Sunday, as the Edinburgh Festival Carnival takes over 800 performers down the Mound towards Princes Street, along the famous thoroughfare and then into the beautiful Princes Street Gardens for even more fun.

There'll be live music, thrilling dancers, bright colourful costumes, amazing circus acrobats, and spectacular puppetry on show for the thousands lining the route. Think African drummers, Chinese dragons, and lots and lots of sequins and feathers!

This year's Carnival will feature performers from China, South Africa, Zambia, Martinique, The Netherlands, France, Spain and Portugal, as well as Scottish and UK acts, turning the city centre into an international fiesta.

The Edinburgh Festival Carnival takes place in central Edinburgh from 2.30-5pm on Sunday 16 July. The event is free and unticketed. 

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival runs from 14-23 July 2017 and tickets are on sale now. Find out more about the Jazz and Blues Festival, including links to programs and ticketing details.

News item email signup thumb 4

Want news and features about Edinburgh's major festivals delivered straight to your inbox? 
Sign up for our regular enewsletters!

Share this article

Jump to sign up form

Keep Up to Date

Sign up for Festival Updates
Back to top ↑