Edinburgh Big Beach Busk 2019: date, who’s allowed to perform and how to get there

Edinburgh is a city that loves to celebrate the arts, and just because August is coming to an end and the Fringe is over, it doesn’t mean that Edinburgh is finished with live performances.

Thursday, 29th August 2019, 3:43 pm
Will you be heading along? (Photo: Edinburgh Big Beach Busk)

This is everything you need to know about the Edinburgh Big Beach Busk 2019.

What is it?

The Edinburgh Big Beach Busk originally started when organiser Paul Lambie wondered at the lack of music filling Portobello Beach.

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“I invited every musician I knew and more that I didn’t. They all invited friends and that first year we got about 80 buskers,” Paul said on Facebook.

“More people came the following year and more the year after that. People turned out to watch them and the sun, for the most part, stayed out.”

Looking to “unfestival” after the chaos of the Fringe, the Big Beach Busk is described as “an all day flash mob by the sea”.

This year’s Big Beach Busk is special though, as it marks 10 years of being a summer fixture on the Portobello Promenade.

“If I’d known ten years ago I’d be (dis)organising this thing for a decade, I’d have chosen a shorter name to type. It’s a mouthful,” Paul wrote on the Facebook page.

When is it on?

The annual event takes place this Saturday (31 August 2019) and starts at 12 in the afternoon.

The Facebook page says that the event will go on until “you can’t sing and dance no more”.

Who can perform?

Everyone is welcome at the Big Beach Busk. Organiser Paul says that there are no rules, “just busking”.

“You can be any kind of street entertainer you like, from a one man band to an orchestra, a mime/robot, a choir, balloon modeller or magician,” the event page explains.

Looking to move away from the meticulously organised nature of busking during the Fringe in Edinburgh, the Big Beach Busk says that there’s no booking a place to perform and no buying tickets.

“There’s no office or committee or team to ask for permission. No stewards are going to show you to your pitch. Play where you like. This is your thing,” Paul explained.

“Come along and play or come down just to see the spectacle. This is the Beach Busk.”


There are no tickets whatsoever - so whether you want to perform or come along and watch the action, there’s no need to buy a ticket.

“If you’re absolutely skint, you can come down and be part of this for nothing. Bring a flask and a packed lunch, dance and fill your heart with music,” said Paul.

Where is it?

The Edinburgh Big Beach Busk will take place on the Portobello Promenade.

How to get there?

There are a variety of ways that you can make your way to Portobello Promenade.


For keen walkers, it is possible to walk from Edinburgh Waverley to Portobello beach, but it will take you over an hour.


There are a number of buses that will get you right by the water. The services you’ll want to look out for are the 26, 45 and 124.

Getting the bus from Edinburgh Waverley will take you just over 20 minutes.


If you’re looking to get a train to the event you can either get a train to Edinburgh Waverley station and get a bus or you can get a train to Brunstane station.

From Brunstane station, it’ll be about a 15 minute walk to the beach.


If you’re looking to perform at the Big Beach Busk, you might find yourself having to transport a lot of equipment, in which case you might be thinking about driving.

As well as some roadside parking available near the beach, there’s also a car park at Bridge Street which is free to park for two hours and is situated about a 10 minute walk away from the venue.


One of the very first things that the event page states is that “there are no rules”.

Every busker is responsible for themselves, there’s no one in charge to organise things.

There are some guidelines that Paul did include:

- Let’s all try to be kind

- Let’s all show each other respect

- Please respect the prom (lots of us live here)