18 things to look forward to in Edinburgh in 2018

2018 is set to be a busy year in Edinburgh, with plenty of exciting events and new openings to look forward to, as well as the return of many popular festivals.

Thursday, 28th December 2017, 3:33 pm
Updated Friday, 29th December 2017, 10:14 am
Street food, craft drinks and artisan produce will be on offer at Foodies Festival this summer (Photo: Foodies Festival / Facebook)

Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival

Start 2018 as you mean to go on by visiting the brand new Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival, which focuses on helping attendees get fit, eat well and feel good.

The two-day event includes talks, workshops, fitness classes and health advice from top names such as Dr Rangan Chatterjee, Professor Richard Wiseman, Jasmine Hemsley, Shona Vertue and Tom Kerridge.

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Whisky Stramash aim to create fun, interactive events for both whisky experts and novices (Photo: Whisky Stramash / Facebook)

27-28 January 2018 at Assembly Rooms, George Street, EH2 2LR - edinburghwellbeingfestival.com

Hidden Door

Independent, non-profit arts festival, Hidden Door, will return for its fifth year in 2018 with a programme of poetry, cinema, dance, art and music.

Taking over the old Leith Theatre and nearby State Cinema, the festival transforms abandoned spaces into unique community venues at the same time as showcasing local creative talent.

Attendees can take part in coffee tasting sessions (Photo: Edinburgh Coffee Festival / Facebook)

25 May - 3 June 2018 at 28-30 Ferry Road, EH6 4AE - hiddendoorblog.org

Six Nations Championship

Annual rugby tournament, the Six Nations, sees the Scotland rugby team play Wales, Ireland, England, France and Italy at various home and away games.

The crucial Calcutta Cup match (Scotland versus England) will take place at BT Murrayfield on 24 February 2018.

Whisky Stramash aim to create fun, interactive events for both whisky experts and novices (Photo: Whisky Stramash / Facebook)

3 February - 17 March 2018 at BT Murrayfield Stadium, Roseburn Street, EH12 5PJ - sixnationsrugby.com

Scot Gin Fest

Scot Gin Fest will be stopping off at several locations throughout Scotland this year, including The Caves in Edinburgh.

Find out about the best Scottish gins, taste plenty of samples and take part in masterclasses to become a gin expert.

Attendees can take part in coffee tasting sessions (Photo: Edinburgh Coffee Festival / Facebook)

12 May 2018 at The Caves, 8-10 Niddry Street, EH1 1NS - scotginfest.co.uk

Tough Mudder’s Cousin in the City

Cult mud-based assault course, Tough Mudder, is coming to Edinburgh with a punishing 5 kilometre route through Holyrood Park.

After completing “probably the toughest event on the planet” - requiring strength, stamina, speed and teamwork - participants can relax in the Mudder Village with live music, street food and craft beer.

25 August 2018 at Holyrood Park, EH8 8HG - toughmudder.co.uk/events/2018-edinburgh-5k

Edinburgh Coffee Festival

Back for its fourth year, the Edinburgh Coffee Festival aims to celebrate the city’s vibrant coffee scene.

Visitors will be able to watch demonstrations, take part in interactive workshops and listen to talks, as well as drink coffee from local vendors and shop for coffee and equipment at the marketplace.

6 October 2018 at Edinburgh Corn Exchange, 10 New Market Road, EH14 1RJ - edinburghcoffeefestival.co.uk

The Registers

Due to open in spring 2018, The Registers is a vibrant new area of the city centre, based around the old Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters in St Andrew Square.

The building and surrounding area will be transformed to include The Edinburgh Grand (luxury serviced apartments), offices at The Mint Building, and various shops and cafes, as well as a brand new restaurant from the DiMaggio Group.

Expected spring 2018 at 42 St Andrew Square, EH2 2AD - chrisstewartgroup.com/the-registers-edinburgh

Russell Brand Re:Birth

Comedy fans won’t have to wait until 2018’s Fringe to see some live comedy, as Russell Brand comes to the Playhouse with his new stand-up show, Re:Birth, in April.

Other comedians to who will be performing in Edinburgh in 2018 include Jason Manford, Kevin Bridges, Dave Gorman, Chris Ramsey and Sarah Millican.

10 April 2018 at Edinburgh Playhouse, 18-22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA - atgtickets.com/russell-brand-rebirth/


Music festival, ScotFest, is coming to the Royal Highland Centre in 2018 with a line-up of ‘90s and ‘00s favourites.

Boyzone, B*Witched, Liberty X, The Jacksons, East 17 and Five will all be taking to the stage over the two-day festival, which has both camping and glamping options available.

6-7 July 2018 at Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, EH28 8NB - scotfestuk.com

Edinburgh Restaurant Festival

Showcasing the best restaurants the city has to offer, the Edinburgh Restaurant Festival will be taking place in February 2018.

The ‘Moveable Feast’ event will allow diners to sample a different course at venues across the city, and many restaurants will be offering special set menus or discounts to encourage diners to try something new.

February 2018 at various venues - edinevents.com/edinburgh-restaurant-festival

Whisky Stramash

Lovers of whisky are in for a treat at the Whisky Stramash, a two-day event showcasing the best whiskies in the world in a fun and non-stuffy environment.

There will be a huge array of whiskies from both Scotland and further afield to sample and purchase, as well as various workshops and masterclasses, plus food, beer and cocktails to enjoy.

19-20 May at Surgeons’ Hall, Nicolson Street, EH8 9DW - thewhiskystramash.com

Edinburgh International Magic Festival

One of Edinburgh’s more unusual festivals, the Edinburgh International Magic Festival returns for its ninth year this May.

As well as the return of popular events like the MagicFest Gala and the Secret Room, the team also have some brand new magical experiences and events up their sleeves.

11-19 May at various venues - magicfest.co.uk

Roy Orbison: In Dreams Hologram Tour

Using state of the art technology, music fans will be able to see the legendary late Roy Orbison performing live on stage - in the form of a hologram - accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

Other tribute events in Edinburgh this year include Purple Rain - A Celebration of Prince, FastLove - A Tribute to George Michael, and This Is Elvis.

Theatre fans can look forward to stage musicals such as Hairspray, Wicked and Titanic: The Musical at the Playhouse.

12 April at Edinburgh Playhouse, 18-22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA - atgtickets.com/roy-orbison-in-dreams-the-hologram-uk-tour

Pride Edinburgh

An annual celebration of LGBTI+ culture, Pride Edinburgh centres around a traditional Pride March through the city, with politicians, community activists and individuals taking part.

The festival also includes live music, a community fair and various other events, welcoming approximately 10,000 people each year.

16 June 2018 at various venues - prideedinburgh.org.uk

Holyrood Distillery

The first single malt whisky distillery to operate in Edinburgh for over 100 years, Holyrood Distillery, is expected to open in late 2018 or early 2019.

Taking over the old Engine Shed building on St Leonard’s Lane, the distillery will include a visitor centre to give people a hands-on, sensory experience.

Expected late 2018 at 19 St Leonard’s Lane, EH8 9SH - holyroodparkdistillery.com

Foodies Festival

Long running food and drink event, Foodies Festival, returns to Inverleith Park in August 2018.

The Chef’s Theatre will host demonstrations, talks and masterclasses from top chefs and bakers, plus there will be lots of street food and artisan produce to try, along with drinks and live music.

3-5 August 2018 at Inverleith Park, Arboretum Road, EH3 5NZ - foodiesfestival.com/edinburgh-food-festival

Bananarama at Edinburgh Castle

Iconic ‘80s band, Bananarama, are playing a one-off gig at Edinburgh Castle this year.

Perhaps surprisingly, it will be their first ever outdoor live performance, and also the first time the original line-up has played in Edinburgh.

The 2018 Concerts at the Castle series will also see Il Divo and Del Amitri take to the stage.

20 July 2018 at Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, EH1 2NG - edinburghcastle.gov.uk/whatson/concerts

Royal Highland Show

Having been running for nearly 180 years, the Royal Highland Show is one of the most iconic events in Edinburgh’s annual calendar.

Celebrating the best of farming, food and rural life, visitors can expect traditional entertainment, the ‘Grand Parade’ of livestock, and Scotland’s Larder Live, showcasing fresh and seasonal produce from across Scotland.

21-24 June 2018 at Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, EH28 8NB - royalhighlandshow.org

• This article originally appeared in our sister publication the iNews.