38 inspiring Edinburgh events happening this April

IF you're anything like us, the month April brings with it the vague hope of sunshine, warm weather and maybe even a beer garden trip or two.

Thursday, 31st March 2016, 5:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2016, 5:57 pm
There's lots happening in Edinburgh this April. Picture: Toby Williams

Yes, even in Edinburgh. If you live in hope, you won’t die in despair.

When you aren’t basking in that Spring sunshine, though, here are some indoor activities - put together by our friends at Wow247 -that will excite and inspire you until it’s al fresco beer time again.


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1 Apr: Feeding Time at the Zoo – Swing by the Zoo for this exclusive evening event where you’ll enjoy nibbles with the penguins and a starter with the chimpanzees. Learn more about the Zoo’s animals and their nutrition as you enjoy a specially designed menu based around what they eat. (Fri 1 Apr, £40, Edinburgh Zoo, 134 Corstorphine Road, EH12 6TS – more info)

1 Apr: Happysad – Polish punk and reggae-influenced rockers Happysad will no doubt be celebrating 15 years together when they perform live in Edinburgh at the start of the month. (Fri 1 Apr, £19, The Liquid Room, 9c Victoria Street, EH1 2HE – more info)

1 Apr: Rocky Horror Show Ceilidh – Do the Time Warp again (Scottish style) at Ghillie Dhu’s Rocky Horror Show themed ceilidh, in honour of the outrageous and awe-inspiring show’s visit to Edinburgh. Come dressed up in your finest fishnets, corset and heels and enjoy a three course meal before the dancing begins. (Fri 1 Apr, £30, Ghillie Dhu, 2 Rutland Street, EH1 2AD – more info)

2 Apr: Great Grog Bottled Beer Fair – Sample as many beers as you can (there will be more than a hundred available) at Great Grog’s famous bottle fair and buy your favourites to take home and enjoy. (Sat 2 Apr, £10, St Peter’s Scottish Episcopal Church, Lutton Place, EH8 9PE – more info)

2-3 Apr: Edinburgh Comic Con – The city’s own celebration of all things gorgeously geeky returns for the third year running, this time with special guests from the worlds of comics, film and TV, as well as some fantastic interactive events. (Sat 2 – Sun 3 Apr, from £11, Edinburgh International Conference Centre, The Exchange, 150 Haymarket Terrace, EH3 8EE – more info)

3 Apr: Dan Owen – Fresh-faced singer-songwriter from Shrewsbury, Dan Owen, has been gaining both momentum and popularity over the last year, and all the signs suggest he’ll be big in a matter of months – see him at Sneaky Pete’s while you can. (Sun 3 Apr, £8, Sneaky Pete’s, 73 Cowgate, EH1 1JW – more info)

3 Apr: Vertigo – A chance to see Alfred Hitchcock’s famous psychological thriller Vertigo on the big screen, starring James Stewart and Kim Novak. (Sun 3 Apr, £10.50, Cameo Cinema, 38 Home Street, EH3 9LZ – more info)

4 Apr: Akua Naru – African-influenced, US-born hip-hop artist Akua Naru brings her unique and highly acclaimed sound to an intimate gig at La Belle Angèle this month. (Mon 4 Apr, from £11, La Belle Angèle, 11 Hasties Close, EH1 1JD – more info)

6 Apr: CC Smugglers – Folk, swing, jazz and blues influenced six-piece CC Smugglers started out as buskers, but have gone on to share the stage with some of their country heroes and their future looks bright – it’s the definition of a musical rags to riches story. (Wed 6 Apr, £8, Electric Circus, 36-39 Market Street, EH1 1DF – more info)

7 Apr: Cast – Described as ‘The Who of the ’90s’ and revered by the likes of Noel Gallagher, Liverpudlian Britpop band Cast formed in 1992 and – after some turmoil – are back with new management and a new tour. (Thu 7 Apr, £20, The Liquid Room, 9c Victoria Street, EH1 2HE – more info)

7-9 Apr: The Silent Treatment – Go on a (quiet) journey with the Lung Ha Theatre Company as they perform the world premiere of Douglas Maxwell’s play The Silent Treatment. (Thu 7 – Sat 9 Apr, £16.50, 10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED – more info)

8 Apr: Section Boyz – Section Boyz are an inspiring group of South London rappers who scooped the Best Newcomer award at the MOBOs after reaching number 36 in the 2015 UK Album Chart with their independent release Don’t Panic. (Fri 8 Apr, £12.50, Electric Circus, 36-39 Market Street, EH1 1DF – more info)

8-10 Apr: Conpulsion Underworld – Whether you prefer table top or live action role-playing games, war games, board games or collectible card games, gaming convention Conpulsion Underworld has got an event to keep you entertained. (Fri 8 – Sun 10 Apr, from £10, Teviot Row House, 5 Bristo Place, EH8 9AL – more info)

9 Apr: Jonnie Common – Scottish electro-wizard Jonnie Common proves his skills once again with the release of new album Kitchen Sync, recorded using samples of kitchen appliances and accessories. BYOB and head to Song, By Toad’s Leith warehouse to join the launch party – exact address to be confirmed, which makes it all the more exciting. (Sat 9 Apr, £5, TBC – more info)

9 Apr: Big Foot’s Tea Party – Popular electro club night Big Foot’s Tea Party returns to Sneaky Pete’s for a second month, continuing their exciting new residency. (Sat 9 Apr, £5, Sneaky Pete’s, 73 Cowgate, EH1 1JW – more info)

9 Apr: The Cat Empire – Seeing lively Australian ska, jazz and funk band The Cat Empire perform live in the atmospheric Queen’s Hall is sure to put a smile on your face. Having played together for the last 17 years, this band know a thing or two about how to get their audience dancing. (Sat 9 Apr, £25, Queen’s Hall, 85-89 Clerk Street, EH8 9JG – more info)

9 Apr: Where You’re Meant To Be – Where You’re Meant To Be is a funny, inspiring and at times poignant documentary film that stars Aidan Moffat (of Arab Strap fame) and explores the history of traditional Scottish songs. (Sat 9 Apr, £10, 88 Lothian Road, EH3 9BZ – more info)

10 Apr: Irvine Welsh and Robert Carlyle – Expect and look forward to strong language and adult themes during this talk from Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh and the actor who expertly portrayed his most terrifying and memorable character, Francis Begbie. (Sun 10 Apr, £12, Usher Hall, Lothian Road, EH1 2EA – more info)

10 Apr: Gregory Porter – Grammy award winning singer-songwriter and jazz legend Gregory Porter has been wowing live audiences for nearly two decades, and we’re guessing his Edinburgh show at the Festival Theatre will be no exception. (Sun 10 Apr, from £31, Festival Theatre, 13-29 Nicolson Street, EH8 9FT – more info)

10 Apr: Cowgate Pop-Up Market – The free Cowgate pop-up market is back for a third time, with everyone from Opium to The City Cafe lending some space to crafters, vintage clothes sellers, musicians and food vendors, all offering their wares to the public. (Sun 10 Apr, free, Cowgate, EH1 1RP – more info)

10 Apr: The 400 Blows – We don’t think you should ever turn down an opportunity to see Francois Truffaut’s debut feature film The 400 Blows in the cinema – a must-attend screening for any French movie buffs who haven’t seen this coming of age classic. (Sun 10 Apr, £10.50, Cameo Cinema, 38 Home Street, EH3 9LZ – more info)

10 Apr: The Love Bus – Edinburgh singles, get ready to mingle at an unusual speed dating event. Usually used for weddings, The Red Bus is parking up on Castle Street and turning into The Love Bus, inviting any and everyone on board for a drink and maybe even some dancing in the street. (Sun 10 Apr, free, Castle Street, EH2 3AH – more info)

12-13 Apr: Dylan Moran – Off The Hook – Famously grumpy, yet brilliantly funny Irish man (and creator and star of TV series Black Books) Dylan Moran will perform two nights of stand-up in his adopted hometown of Edinburgh after recent sell out tours in the UK, Australia and South Africa. (Tue 12 – Wed 13 Apr, from £27.50, Usher Hall, Lothian Road, EH1 2EA – more info)

12-16 Apr: Jackie the Musical – Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane (before mobile phones and Facebook) to when Jackie magazine was the ultimate source of entertainment and advice. This fun musical will no doubt remind watchers of a certain age of their past attachment to the famous publication. (Tue 12 – Sat 16 Apr, from £18.50, King’s Theatre, 2 Leven Street, EH3 9LQ – more info)

15 Apr: Australian Wine Roadshow – Journalist, author and wine expert Matthew Jukes has tasted (nearly) every Australian wine in search for the best – it’s a hard job, but someone has to do it. This month at Summerhall he’ll present his 100 favourite bottles and explain exactly what makes them so great. (Fri 15 Apr, £25, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall Place, EH9 1PL – more info)

16 Apr: Andy Shauf – Heartfelt Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf is due to release new album The Party on May 20, but you can hear it before the masses when he visits Edinburgh in mid-April. (Sat 16 Apr, £8, The Mash House, 37 Guthrie Street, EH1 1JG – more info)

16 Apr: Glass Caves – A word of mouth phenomenon, rock four-piece Glass Caves self-funded their debut album before finding themselves supporting the likes of Augustines live and headlining a packed show at Club NME at Koko in London. (Sat 16 Apr, £6.60, Sneaky Pete’s, 73 Cowgate, EH1 1JW – more info)

20 Apr: Afrikan Boy – London-based Grime MC Afrikan Boy has not only supported rapper MIA on tour, he also appeared on an official remix of her well-known track ‘Paper Planes’. Afrikan Boy’s bass-heavy sound seamlessly brings together influences from both his Nigerian heritage and London upbringing. (Wed 20 Apr, £8, Electric Circus, 36-39 Market Street, EH1 1DF – more info)

21 Apr: Scottish Aeropress Championship – Watch 36 expert baristas battle it out at Summerhall for the chance to become the Scottish Aeropress Champion – who will serve the best brew? There’ll be coffee (obviously) and fantastic food on site, as well as entertainment from Edinburgh’s own Supermoon. (Thu 21 Apr, £10, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall Place, EH9 1PL – more info)

21-24 Apr: Dead by Dawn – The 23rd annual Dead by Dawn horror film festival is happening at the Filmhouse – as always – with tons of terrifying UK premieres, classic screenings and extra special guests. Absolutely not one for the faint-hearted. (Thu 21 – Sun 24 Apr, £75, Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road, EH3 9BZ – more info)

23 Apr: The Big Discovery Festival – This brand new one day music festival will take place between The Mash House, Cab Vol and Sneaky Pete’s and will feature some fantastic homegrown Scottish talent, including bands like Jakil, We Came From Wolves and Patersani. (Sat 23 Apr, £15, various venues – more info)

24 Apr: Howl’s Moving Castle – As long as you don’t mind sharing the cinema with a few nippers, any early risers can catch this one-off screening of Studio Ghibli’s magical and mesmerising classic Howl’s Moving Castle at Filmhouse. (Sun 14 Apr, £4.50, Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road, EH3 9BZ – more info)

27 Apr: Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Young, York-born indie musician Benjamin Francis Leftwich is due to release the long-awaited follow up to his debut album Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm in August this year, but you’ll no doubt get a preview if you catch him live at Electric Circus. (Wed 27 Apr, £12, Electric Circus, 36-39 Market Street, EH1 1DF – more info)

27 Apr-8 May: Tradfest – Scottish cultural festival Tradfest is back for another year, with a packed programme of traditional music, storytelling, dance, folk drama, folk film and literature events – there’s something for everyone. (Wed 17 Apr – Sun 8 May, various prices, various venues – more info)

28 Apr: Shonen Knife – They may have been making music together for 35 years, but ground-breaking Japanese all-female pop-punk trio Shonen Knife are still sounding fresh and exciting. Admired by the likes of Kurt Cobain and John Peel, the band truly changed the landscape of music history in their time. (Thu 28 Apr, £12, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall Place, EH9 1PL – more info)

29 Apr: Molotov Jukebox – Fronted by singer and Harry Potter actress Natalia Tena, London six-piece Molotov Jukebox are a brilliantly unconventional outfit with a distinct signature sound they like to call ‘Gyp-step’. (Fri 19 Apr, £12, Electric Circus, 36-39 Market Street, EH1 1DF – more info)

30 Apr: Pitt Street Market – You know the drill by now – same place, different vendors. This month’s exciting installment of the pitt street food market will see some new local foodies step up to the plate, but there’ll still be the same great atmosphere. (Sat 30 Apr, free, 125 Pitt Street, EH6 4DE – more info)

30 Apr: Beltane Festival – Edinburgh’s unique modernisation of the ancient Iron Age Celtic Beltane ritual is quite the spectacle, with a dramatic procession and other performances once thought to encourage the arrival of summer. Finish off the evening warming yourself by the huge, traditional bonfire with some hot refreshments. (Sat 30 Apr, from £8, Calton Hill, EH7 5AA – more info)