What’s on in Edinburgh: May 2015

Imaginate Festival 2015 (Monday 11th – Sunday 17th)

Now in its 26th year, Scotland’s annual international festival of performing arts for children and young people is again to be held in venues throughout Edinburgh.

A free Imaginate Festival Family Fringe is billed to take place during the festival’s closing weekend, featuring arts and crafts in addition to shows and performances. The full festival programme, comprising 14 shows, can be found here, and you can also download the festival brochure. Bookings can be made with the Traverse Theatre, with individual tickets costing £12 (£8 concessionary rate) and only available in person (10 Cambridge Street) or over the telephone (0131 228 1404). Family tickets are in increments of £8 per family member, with a minimum number of children to qualify.


Summerhall’s Beer FestivALE! (Friday 15th and Saturday 16th)

Hosted in the emblematic Summerhall venue, this beer and spirit festival returns for its spring iteration, offering stalls, street food, music, brewery and distillery tours (during the daytime sessions), and DJs (during the night-time sessions). Tickets cost £8 per session, and also include drinks tokens to the value of £4.


Festival of Museums (Friday 15th – Sunday 17th)

This festival comprises a wide range of activities for all audiences from museums and galleries across the country. Ticket prices and booking procedures vary by venue; listings are updated daily, and those for Edinburgh and the Lothians can be found here.



Yotties’ Week at The Royal Yacht Britannia (Monday 18th – Thursday 21st) [pictured]

Between 18th to 21st May, Britannia will welcome back some former Royal Yachtsmen (‘Yotties’) to share their stories. The yachtsmen will don their historic uniforms and regale visitors with their accounts of what life was like for the 240-strong crew who manned the royal residence while it was in service. Adult tickets cost £14 (with a concessionary rate of £12.50 available to students and over-60’s) plus a £1 booking fee, and can be purchased here.


Edinburgh International Tango Festival (Friday 22nd – Monday 25th)

The highlight of this not-for-profit event, run by the Edinburgh Tango Society, is its Summer Ball, boasting live music from the up-and-coming Sexteto Visceral young orchestra. A series of afternoon matinées, evening shows and milongas (an Argentinian ballroom dance, predecessor to the tango), dancing workshops (beginner to expert), and DJ sets will run over the course of the weekend.

Tickets range from £4 per day for the Tango Café to £25 for the Summer Ball, while a range of discounted packages are available for multiple ticket purchases until Friday 8th May. Bookings can be made using the booking form or by emailing bookings@eitf.org.uk.


Hidden Door (Friday 22nd – Saturday 30th)

Hidden Door is a volunteer-run not for profit arts festival, this year comprising nine days of music, visual art, cinema, and theatre between its Secret Courtyard on Kings Stables Road and Edinburgh’s Bongo Club. Some of its arts programmes are now up on the website, as are details of the launch party (entry only £3) and opening night line-up.

Entry price varies by date, with tickets generally costing upwards of £10, including a small service fee. Tickets for just the Secret Courtyard, or for the Secret Courtyard and the Bongo Club, can be purchased here, while those for only the Bongo Club must be purchased from their website.


The Edinburgh Whisky Stramash (Saturday 23rd – Sunday 24th)

This event will procure over 200 whiskies from around the world for visitors to sample, as well as a series of whisky-related experiences to partake in. All samplings and experiences are included in the ticket price, while food and souvenirs will be available to purchase separately. Tickets for each weekend slot cost around £30, while an additional secret subsidiary event (scheduled for the Friday evening) costs around £10.


Gardening Scotland (Friday 29th – Sunday 31st)

The Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh is to host Scotland’s biggest gardening and outdoor living fair, spanning three days and featuring a plethora of horticultural paraphernalia and expert gardeners, on hand to inform and advise visitors.

Garden Avenue will also be displaying the work of garden designers tasked with inspiring visitors with what can be achieved in typical home gardens. A Food Theatre, Food Fayre, and Craft Marquee are also billed for the event, as are kids’ educational and play activities.

Advance tickets for the Friday cost £15, while those for the Saturday or Sunday come in at £13. All tickets are subject to an additional 50p processing fee.


As usual, we’ll provide reminders and ongoing coverage of several of these events on our Facebook and Twitter channels, so follow our accounts to stay up to date. Let us know what you’re planning to do in Edinburgh this May using the comments function, and stay tuned to this blog for future entries in the series and more besides.


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