Edinburgh Festival Carnival: dates, times, what’s on and road closures

This weekend, Edinburgh is the stage for the eye popping extravaganza of the Edinburgh Festival Carnival.

Will you be heading out to see the festival? (Photo: Edinburgh Festival Carnival)
Will you be heading out to see the festival? (Photo: Edinburgh Festival Carnival)

With dance, music, events, shows and more, it promises to be an amazing day out for all the family.

What’s the Carnival about?

The Edinburgh Festival Carnival paints Edinburgh with music, dance and colour to mark the opening of the 2019 Summer Festival season.

The first festival to kick off after the carnival is the Edinburgh Blues and Jazz Festival, running from 12 July to 21 July.

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    The Edinburgh Festival Carnival describes itself as “an adventure in rhythm and melody with music, dance, colourful costumes and street entertainment.”

    Where and when is it on?

    On Sunday 14 July, Princes Street and the gardens will play host to the Edinburgh Festival Carnival.

    An incredible parade will start at the top of the Mound at 2pm before making its way down to West Princes Street Gardens for 3pm. Admission is free and over 800 carnival performers will be in attendance.


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    There will be music, dance, costumes, circus, acrobatics from all over the world.

    From 3pm till 4:30pm, the carnival sounds of the world will be heard from the stage of the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens.

    From 3:30pm to 5pm, there will be dance, music, circus, street arts and a special area just for kids.

    You’re invited to see “the colour, spectacle, sounds and electric atmosphere.”


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    What else is on, times and tickets?

    There are loads of events on at the festival running from today (12 July) until Monday 15 July.

    The running of events is as follows:

    12 July


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    Circus! Circus! Cirus! - This show sees talented artists come together from across the world, packed with acrobatics, contortion, juggling and stunts. Starts at 6:30 at St Brides Centre, 10 Orwell Terrace. Tickets cost £8 and you can get them here.

    The World Turned Upside Down - This show presents a unique and riveting mix of theatre, circus, dance, music and acrobatics from the talents of over 40 performers from all over the world. Starts at 9pm at St Brides Centre, 10 Orwell Terrace. Tickets cost £15 and you can get them here.

    13 July

    The World In One City - Celebrating international talents, this show features programming that embraces the likes of Caribbean, Asian and European music, dance, circus and street arts. With artists from Scotland, Chile, USA, Jamaica and more. Starts at 5pm at St Brides Centre, 10 Orwell Terrace. Tickets cost £5 and you can get them here.


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    Black and Red Cabaret of Chaos - With a dress code of black and red, this show is packed with international entertainment and carnival insights from around the world. Storm the dance floor and enjoy the sounds from Carnival favourites Bombrando (Portugal), KalentuRa (the Netherlands), Gwanaval (Martinique). Starts at 8:30pm at St Brides Centre, 10 Orwell Terrace. Tickets are £16.58 and you can get them here.

    15 July

    Chinese Arts and Cultural Show - Featuring a special celebration of the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, with Chinese drag and lion puppets, opera, dance, circus and music ensembles, with special visiting performers from China. Starts at 6:30pm at the Festival Theatre. Tickets start at £5 and you can get them here.

    Road closures


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    According to a roadworks and events report from Edinburgh council, the festival will see a few closures around Edinburgh.

    The closures as are follows:

    Saturday 13 July: Grassmarket service road will be closed.

    Sunday 14 July: In central Edinburgh, Mound Place will be closed from 7am till 3pm, The Mound at 12:30pm and Princes Street (between South St. David Street and South Charlotte Street) will be closed between 1pm and 4pm.