Music Festivals in Edinburgh in 2022
Edinburgh, Scotland has so many different types of music festivals throughout the year, music in almost every genre and for every age group. Grab your friends, nab your festival tickets, and spend a day or even an entire weekend listening to great music and getting up-close-and-personal with other festival goers as you vie for a good spot to listen to the music.
Music festivals in Edinburgh are common throughout the summer and into the fall but do tend to wane during the winter months when smaller indoor venues have to be used. Check out the Midstock Festival which is full of family fun complete with amazing headliners or the Hidden Door Festival where you can listen to live music and even watch live theater.
Wondering how to make your way to the festivals? We've written a helpful guide on how to get around Edinburgh. Whether you're a fan of buses, taxis or bikes, you'll know which transportation mode to choose.
Before heading out to join the enthusiastic crowds, store your bags safely with a luggage storage service so you can have a blast at the Edinburgh music festivals without worrying about your things. Check out the fabulous music festivals that will be coming up this summer and fall in Edinburgh and plan on having some safe and exciting fun listening to amazing live music, no matter the genre!
FLY Open Air
Head to Hopetoun House May 21-22 for FLY Open Air. Hopetoun House is one of the grandest houses in Edinburgh that hosts several different types of events throughout the year. FLY Open Air is held annually and has a very loyal following. Artists also choose to return year after year to perform during this two-day festival. Take note, a second concert is held every September and this year the dates are the 16th-18th. Acts are yet to be announced.
Headlining in May this year is Peggy Gou along with a long list of other performers. It is sure to be a fantastic event, especially since it has had to be canceled the past few years due to COVID-19. Get your tickets early, this event tends to sell out quickly. Other acts coming to FLY Open Air for the spring event include ABSOLUTE, DJ Koze, Jasper James, Gerd Janson, and Overmono.
Spend two days at Dalkeith Country Park. Enjoy the Midstock Festival where family fun collides with awesome live music from some of the best tribute bands in the United Kingdom such as Simple Minded and Foo Fighters GB. Held on May 27-28, you can get your tickets online or take your chances that there will be tickets available at the gate.
Kick off the fun on May 27th with a dance themed night where Ultrasonic and N-Trance play live for the crowd. Then on the 28th, Simple Minded (a Simple Minds tribute band) and the Foo Fighters GB (also a tribute group) take the stage after an entire day of live music from other tribute bands. Families are welcome. There are several bars serving Scottish ales and plenty of street food vendors offering delicious food.
Hidden Door Festival
The Hidden Door Festival changes venues each year to bring attention to urban spaces that have been long forgotten and somewhat abandoned. This year, Hidden Door is held from June 9 through June 18 at the Old Royal High School on Calton Hill. Aside from the outdoor stages, indoor stages will also be in use and you do not want to miss the secret basement where shows will be held late at night.
Saint Etienne, Jacksonville, and Miss Represented are headlining the event and this ten-day festival really should not be missed. It is a fantastic party for those who love the performing arts. The festival includes live bands, dance, theater, film, and dialogue. The entire school complex will be transformed into a kaleidoscope of vibrant music, dancing, drinking, eating, and great fun.
The Big Top
This large and in charge music festival is filled with huge headliners that are sure to draw huge crowds from June 10 through June 25. Held at the Royal Highland Centre, this is one of the most exciting music festivals in Edinburgh. Crowds gather under the canvas big top tent to rock out to some of the best live performers of the year.
You will definitely want to get your tickets early for each show you are interested in seeing, they do sell out fast and most times there are no tickets left at the gate. The main headliners include DMA on June 10th, James Mavericks and the Survivors on June 11th, Madness on June 12th, 50 Cent on June 14th, Fat Boy Slim on June 18th, and Biffy Clyro on June 25th.
Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival
The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival has been going strong for over 40 years and showcases some of the best jazz and blues artists in the world. The festival happily promotes over 170 live performances showcasing local talent as well as international artists. It is one of the biggest jazz festivals hosted in Europe and this year, goes from July 15 through July 24 at twenty venues like Assembly Roxy, George Square Spiegeltent, Piccolo, and more.
There are over 70,000 people each year who attend the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival making it a very popular and very crowded event that sells out quickly. With the evolution of technology brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, musicians perform both in person and via video so festival goers can enjoy even more wonderful music.
This year’s festival is showcasing several other fantastic musicians and bands. Just a few names are the David Bowden European Quartet, Yazz Ahmed, Brandon Santini Band, Redfish Blues Band, and more. There will be street food vendors and pop-up bars available for everyone to enjoy.
Over The Bridge Festival
This is a new music festival in Edinburgh that has people already buzzing because of the line-up of talent and the headliners that are already booked including several of the UK’s most popular artists and bands. Get your tickets now and spend the weekend dancing and rocking out to Razorlight, Ella Eyre, Feeder, and James Arthur. This three-day festival starts on July 29 and goes through July 31 in the Stockbridge area.
There is even an exclusive area that will be set up for those with VIP tickets and you can enjoy a dedicated entrance so you can avoid the crush of the crowd. You also get all-day access to the VIP area with comfortable couches and seating where you can relax and wait for the next acts to perform. There is even an exclusive food and bar area for VIPs and the most important is private toilets.
Out East Festival
Located in Dalkeith Country Park, the Out East Festival is a family-friendly time complete with child-friendly activities. There are five music stages and a DJ tent where you can enjoy heart-pounding music from several great acts such as Sister Sledge and several local DJs. Come out on August 6-7 to listen to fab music and you can even take part in creative workshops on both days.
You will want to check out the cabaret tent and the comedy tent where you will laugh until your sides hurt. There are plenty of spaces where you can kick back and chill during the festival. While here, check out the art exhibits on display from several local artists. There are also plenty of food and drink tents set up throughout the park.
Party at the Palace
While not in the city limits of Edinburgh, Party at the Palace is located in Linlithgow which is about 50 minutes away by car or 20 minutes by train. Held at the Palace Theatre on August 13-14, Party at the Palace has over 50 live acts performing over two days, making it a truly marvelous experience. This is a fundraising event and you will want to get your tickets early to support a great cause.
Acts already lined up include Del Amitri, Callum Beattie, The Human League, and Ocean Colour Scene. There really is a little something for every music taste. Speaking of taste, there are several delicious street food vendors that set up shop during the festival.
Get there for the VIP pre-party that starts at 6:30 p.m. to enjoy live music from the Eric Barchiesi Jazz Trio, munch on hors d’oeuvres, drink champagne, and get a commemorative photo. The main event will begin at 7:30 p.m. with live music and wonderful food from several local restaurants.
The theater is sectioned off into sections or suites including Megan’s Suite for upbeat dance music and Upper Megan’s Suite for acoustic music performed by Byron Nash. There is a coffee and hot chocolate bar that also has several sweet treats and there is also a whisky and cigar bar in the courtyard.
Connect Music Festival
Filled with big name acts that include The Chemical Brothers, Black Coffee, Massive Attack, and Jon Hopkins, this iconic dance festival is held August 26-28 at The Royal Highland Centre. Due to COVID-19, the festival did take a two-year break but is back and bigger than ever this year. There is a speakeasy and wellness area at the festival as well as VIP areas and boutique camping.
The Connect Music Festival is organized by the same organizers of the T in the Park festival, which has been canceled indefinitely. There are three stages where acts perform as well as DJ tents where you can dance the night away. Music from around the world is showcased at this festival from traditional grassroots Scottish to techno, hip hop, rap, and even folk.
The entire Connect experience is truly marvelous with comedy skits, dramatic readings, visual arts, terrific food and drink and lots of locals and tourists enjoying a weekend full of fun, good food, great music, and companionship. Each day sees different bands and artists, you will want to check the event website for a full list.
The Scots Fiddle Festival
Held November 18 through 20, The Scots Fiddle Festival began in 1996 as a way to celebrate Scots fiddle music. With performers from around the globe, this is one interesting festival you really do not want to miss. There are even music workshops and open mic sessions where amateurs can get on stage and entertain the crowd.
Festival organizers moved the festival to a bigger venue because it keeps growing each year, so get your tickets and head over to The Pleasance to listen to some of the best fiddling in Scotland. The Pleasance Café and Bar is open for business during the festival so there is plenty of food and drink for everyone.
Edinburgh International Festival
While not technically a music festival, this arts festival does feature quite a bit of live music from internationally renowned artists. This year, the festival is held from August 5 through August 29 with visual art exhibits, workshops, dance parties, and lectures. It is one of the biggest festivals in the United Kingdom.
This festival has been going strong since 1947 and is jam packed with so many fun and interesting things to see, do, and just experience. From classical opera to hip hop and rap, there is definitely something for everyone. It is a kid-friendly event with a special kiddie area filled with activities, art, music, and fun.
Planning to stay some more days in Edinburgh?
After the festival ends and cleanup begins, you may want to take the time to see more of Edinburgh. If you come into the city for a long weekend, read our guide to seeing this terrific city in 3 days. There are so many fantastic attractions to see and experience. So enjoy the Edinburgh music festivals in 2022 and plan to add in time for shopping or museum hopping. Hop off at Waverly Station and take a stroll down The Royal Mile and check out museums like Holyrood House and Edinburgh Castle.