International Festival in the Community

The Edinburgh International Festival is committed to developing rich long-term connections with Edinburgh’s communities.

We want to deepen our connection with the people who live and work in the world’s Festival City. Our core values of discovery and connection permeate our partnerships with Edinburgh’s vibrant communities.

In 2024, we will launch our Community Connections Hub in collaboration with an Edinburgh-based group of people who dedicate their lives to bringing people closer together. Across an 18-month residency, we find routes to reflect the ideas and creative interests of different communities within the International Festival. This is a two-way realisation of joint ambitions that enriches the local community with the spirit of the International Festival.

Performances in the community

Every August we work with local partners and International Festival artists to bring performances and workshops into spaces across the city, from African hairdressers to healthcare settings. In 2023, Endea Owens hosted a drumming workshop in Edinburgh’s Saughton Park in partnership with The Welcoming. Simon Bolivar travelling with the Care Van Edinburgh to perform pop-up moments across the city and London Symphony Orchestra performing in several NHS settings. These moments provide enriching opportunities to connect people in their own neighbourhoods with world-class performances.

Culture Clubs

Culture Clubs bring different communities in Edinburgh together to share a meal and attend a performance together. Community groups take it in turns to host the meals, bringing people together by shared experiences, interests and locations. Recent partners include Vintage Vibes and Lyra Young Company and our first ever BSL Culture Club hosted by Deaf Action.

Festival Favours

In 2021, 32 groups across the city were given their own piece of the Festival. Through Festival Favours, we reconnected with and built new relationships with groups spread across Edinburgh, including charities, clubs and societies, as well as community centres, care homes and social spaces. Each group received a bespoke celebration moment in which an artist or creative visited them in person or connected with them digitally, bringing joy and creativity to the group’s participants and activities.

Supporting Partner