Creative Capital

Edinburgh is an international creative and cultural centre, home to the world's biggest arts festival and the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature.

People come to visit Edinburgh from across the globe to share their passion for arts, culture and ideas. The city sets the stage for world-renowned events such as The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and is the location for many television and film productions, including recent box Office hits Sunshine on Leith, Cloud Atlas and One Fine Day.

 Edinburgh Festivals Facts

  • Edinburgh's festivals are a unique cultural phenomenon and each year they attract over 4 million people.
  • Only the Olympics and the World Cup exceed the number of tickets sold for Edinburgh’s festival events.
  • The Edinburgh International Festival was established in 1947 and is ranked as one of the most important cultural celebrations in the world. On average the Festival presents over 160 performances involving over 2,500 artists to an audience of up 400,000 each year.
  • The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world with live theatre and comedy performances. In 2014, a total of 49,497 performances of 3,193 shows were staged in 299 venues and ticket sales reached 1.94 million.
  • The Edinburgh International Science Festival is the world’s first science festival, founded in 1989 and remains Europe’s largest with 200 events and visitor numbers in excess of 90,000. 
  • The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), established in 1947, is the oldest continuously running film festival in the world, screening over 150 feature films from over 50 countries.
  • The Edinburgh Art Festival (EAF) is the UK’s largest annual festival dedicated to visual art.
  • The Edinburgh International Book Festival is the largest of its kind and hosts almost 800 authors from over 40 countries around the world. 
  • The summer festival season ends with an explosive grand finale – a concert in Princes Street Gardens orchestrated with a breathtaking fireworks display over Edinburgh Castle and enjoyed by an estimated 250,000 people.
  • Edinburgh hosts the biggest New Year street party in the world.  Edinburgh's Hogmanay welcomes over 80,000 revellers to Princes Street and the surrounds entertained by live music, a sell-out Concert in the Gardens and dazzling firework displays.

Film Edinburgh Facts

  • Edinburgh is a film friendly city. Film Edinburgh is the area’s local film office covering Edinburgh, Lothians and the Borders and deal with over 500 filming enquires per year.
  • Edinburgh city region was a film location for 350 productions in 2013, including feature films, TV dramas, commercials, documentaries, light entertainment and photo shoots.
  • Key films shot on location in Edinburgh: Cloud Atlas, The Railway Man, Sunshine On Leith, Filth, Trainspotting, Case Histories, Under The Skin, The Escape Artist, One Day, The Da Vinci Code, Chariots of Fire.
  • Over 400 people work in the film industry based in Edinburgh, the equivalent to 26% of Scotland’s crew.

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