A Guide to August 2022 Edinburgh Festivals

11th August 2022

From alternative theatre and international film to avant-garde art and side-splitting comedy, Edinburgh is a cultural heavyweight with a heaving calendar of festivals and events.


This August, 7 incredible festivals will fill the city’s bars, venues and theatres with visitors from across the globe. With so much going on, there’s no better time to visit the Scottish capital – and with a railcard you can save 1/3 off your train fare, too.


We’ve rounded up the best Edinburgh August festivals to help you plan your trip.


Edinburgh Festival Fringe

5 to 29 August 2022


This is the big one. Edinburgh’s most famous festival started as a fringe event in 1947, playing second fiddle to the Edinburgh International Festival. Fast forward to today, and the Fringe is one of the most important theatre and comedy festivals in the world.


During August, 1,000s of shows pop up across the city in well-known venues and on street corners. Big-name acts rub shoulders with emerging talent in a whirlwind of good vibes and creative energy. Nowadays, comedy and theatre are the big draws, but there’s dance, opera, spoken word and much more, too.


Tickets range from nothing to around £20. You can book online or at the venue (it’s best to arrive early to get tickets for the most popular shows).


Edinburgh International Festival

5 to 28 August 2022


The Edinburgh International Festival is the other world-renowned celebration of theatre, arts, creativity and performance in August. A smorgasbord of international talent and culture, the festival’s line-up rolls the best theatre, opera, music, dance, talks and film into 3 fun-packed weeks.


The International Festival mostly takes place in Edinburgh’s major theatres: Church Hill Theatre, Edinburgh Playhouse, Festival Theatre, King’s Theatre and the Lyceum – and a handful of other venues.


For tickets, check out the EIF’s website.


Edinburgh Art Festival

28 July to 28 August 2022


The Edinburgh Art Festival injects a vibrant dose of visual art into the city’s summer festival calendar. Visit this year to catch Nadia Myre’s print exhibition celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Union Canal.


There’s also a community art project from Wester Hailes residents, and the nature-themed installation Finding Buoyancy by Scottish duo Pester and Rossi.


The festival brings together the city’s biggest and best galleries, studios and arts spaces. Alongside the installations, there’s a host of child-friendly activities, Union Canal walking and a keynote speech by Dutch visual artist Jeanne van Heeswijk.


The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

5 to 27 August 2022


The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a military spectacle. It’s a celebration of parading, performing, drumming and pipes framed by Edinburgh Castle. The ceremonial experience finishes with stunning fireworks and a lone piper on the castle’s ramparts.


Drawing a global audience all month, 2022’s shows have performances by international acts from Mexico, the United States, Switzerland and New Zealand, as well as the best of the British military. Tickets may still be available, but don’t hang around – annual attendance regularly hits 200,000 people.


Edinburgh International Film Festival

12 to 20 August 2022


The Edinburgh International Film Festival celebrates 75 years with 87 new feature films and 12 shorts. Of the movies featured, 10 will compete for the festival’s main accolade, the Powell and Pressburger Award.


You can see films from all over the world screened in the city’s best cinemas. For tickets, visit the official website.


In addition to the headliners, the festival will run a free programme of family favourites. Think Paddington, Fantastic Mr Fox and Christopher Robin (12 to 14 August).


Edinburgh International Book Festival

13 to 29 August 2022


Over 500 brilliant authors will share their thoughts, talents and tales at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival. In its 600 events, the festival explores Black joy, the nature of crime, women behaving badly, queer love and relationships, our planet and us, and many more topics besides.


You can join readings, workshops, talks and panel discussions galore. Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa joins Noam Chomsky, Jack Monroe, Denise Mina, William Dalrymple, Alexander McCall Smith and Armando Iannucci in the festival’s illustrious line-up of speakers.


All in-person events are at Edinburgh College of Art in the centre of the city’s old town, less than 20-minutes’ walk from Edinburgh Waverley station.


Connect Music Festival

26 to 28 August 2022


Get your music fix at Connect, an extravaganza of global superstars and local Scottish acts. This year, headliners IDLES, The Chemical Brothers, and The National join Scotland’s own heavyweight, Mogwai. Big names Bonobo, Little Simz, Moses Boyd, Caribou and Bombay Bicycle Club provide the soundtrack for the end of summer, over 3 days of live music.


For tickets for individual days or the entire weekend (Friday to Sunday), head to the official website. The festival will take place at the Royal Highland Centre Showgrounds, to the west of the city centre.


You can easily get to the festival by public transport (100 Airlink bus). If you’re staying for the weekend, you can get the full festival experience by camping at the Highland Centre.


Save 1/3 off your train tickets to Edinburgh Waverley when you travel by train with a Railcard. There’s a Railcard for everyone, so take advantage of big discounts and great savings now.