What’s on in Edinburgh this summer – 2021
After what feels like one of the longest winters in living memory, summer has come to Edinburgh, and you can feel it! It’s a wonderfully energising feeling to walk through town, as businesses open up and people make plans for the summer. And the good news keeps coming – of venues, theatres, festival and gatherings reopening and welcoming patrons. Keep reading to see what’s happening in Edinburgh this summer.
Whether you’re in Edinburgh looking to fill your calendar with colourful cultural events or if you’re planning a summer trip to the capital city, keep reading to see what’s happening in Edinburgh this summer. From outdoor bars popping up all over the city, to festivals getting creative in their delivery of fantastic events, we are can’t wait for this summer and we hope you come along too.
**The events mentioned below are informed with the latest information available at the time of writing but please bear in mind that last minute changes may occur due to Covid restrictions.
Festivals in Edinburgh This Summer
Festivals are back! With blended lineups – a mixture of in person, outdoor and online events, we are super excited to have events back in our city.
|Edinburgh International Festival
|7 – 29 August
|Edinburgh International Book Festival
|14 – 30 August
|Edinburgh Festival Fringe
|6 – 30 August
|Edinburgh Art Festival
|29 July – 29 August
|28 – 29 August
|Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival
|Edinburgh Corn Exchange
|Edinburgh Science Festival
|26 June- 11 July
The programme and tickets are now available for the Edinburgh International Festival and we recommend making plans soon as tickets are limited. Our personal highlights of the EIF are Sire Simon Rattle; Valery Gergiev and Barry Kosky from BerlinKomishe Opera and Alan Cumming.
The International Book Festival lineup is due to be announced on 6 July and we already know they will be staging a hybrid Book Festival this year – a lovely big online programme streamed live. Alongside this, they hope to have events to attend in-person. This year’s Book Festival will take place at the University of Edinburgh’s Edinburgh College of Art – a new home for the festival.
The Fringe Festival launched their programme – Made in Scotland – which celebrates the best of theatre, dance and music from Scotland live in-person and online. Tickets to the Fringe Festival go on sale at the beginning of July. To find out more and download the Made in Scotland 2021 programme, be sure to visit their website.
With over 35 exhibitions hosted across visual art spaces throughout the city with an online programme of events too. Including the UK & European premiere of Lessons of the Hour by Isaac Julien in partnership with National Galleries of Scotland you’re bound to take in the Edinburgh Art Festival as you make your way around town, with more events listed below.
Exhibitions & Events
Theatres are reopening and event spaces have been given the go ahead to welcome patrons once again!
|Edinburgh Summer Sessions – Various Acts
|6 – 15 August
|Princes Street Gardens
|Victoria & Albert: Our lives in Watercolour
|Until 3 October 2021
|Palace of Holyroodhouse
|Ray Harryhausen – Titan of Cinema
|Until February 2022
|National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two)
|Archie Brennan – Art Goes Pop!
|Until 30 August
|Marine: Ian Hamilton Finlay
|Until 3 October 2021
|City Art Centre
|Russel Howard – Respite
|Rescheduled to February ’22
The Summer Sessions are becoming a vibrant part of Edinburgh’s summer itinerary and this year we will see Tom Jones, Michael Kiwanuka, Anne-Marie, Travis and Simple Minds grace the stage in Princes Street Gardens.
Victoria and Albert: Our Lives in Watercolour is a collection of thousands of watercolours, many illustrating scenes of their public and private lives. They often spent happy evenings together organising their acquisitions into albums. This exhibition – including many works being displayed for the first time – marks the bicentenary of the births of both Victoria and Albert. These colourful, dynamic watercolours capture the pomp and spectacle of the British court, foreign travel and diplomacy, the exploration and shaping of a modern nation and, importantly, the close-knit family at the heart of it all.
The captivating exhibition showcasing the impact Ray Harryhausen has had on cinema, not only through his own work, but how his work inspired some of the world’s greatest movie makers is currently exhibited at the National Gallery of Modern Art. This exhibition will capture the minds and creativity of all ages, drawing you in to the magical world of special effects and movie making.
After a visit to this exhibition, you’ll want to watch a movie! Support our independent cinemas in Edinburgh, the Dominion Cinema in Morningside is reopening this week, and the Cameo Cinema in Tollcross.
Cocktails in the city
It’s not only festivals and events coming back to Edinburgh this summer, after spending the better part of a year with their doors closed, bars have come back with a bang! Edinburgh has some of the best beer gardens with great views, like the rooftop terrace at Cold Town House and Edinburgh’s cocktail bars are spilling out on to the streets to adapt for social distancing. Festival Village brings a light atmosphere to Princes Street, located above Waverley Mall with a focus on local brands like Edinburgh Gin, Pizza Geeks and Fizz & Pearl, a popup champagne and seafood bar, you can have a ball in the city this summer.
Edinburgh this summer – All foodies welcome!
Foodies visiting Edinburgh this summer will rejoice with all of the choice! Reserve a spot at one of Edinburgh’s best restaurants with a view to take in the iconic cityscape over delicious dishes. You can further support our city in recovery by eating local with some of the finest Scottish fare on offer. And of course you can’t go a miss trying somewhere new as many eateries have popped up since lockdown first began. The newly opened St. James Quarter has several exciting food and drink establishments will be opening throughout the summer so definitely keep an eye on latest addition to Edinburgh’s skyline.
Without doubt, Edinburgh this summer will not be totally back to normal but we hope you can enjoy all it has to offer.
Featured home: Leslie Place
Leslie Place is a charming, cosy apartment in a great location just off Raeburn Place. With plenty of light and a shared garden to the rear, it’s a perfect home for the summer and located in Stockbridge, there is a lot to enjoy locally, but so close to the city centre you’re only a 15 minute walk from the action.