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Songlines was a city-wide event taking place on the middle Sunday of the International Festival inviting everyone to take part in a unique celebration of singing. It was inspired by the indigenous Australian ancestral tradition of passing on ancient sacred stories as large song cycles that preserve the living link between land and people.

Singing connects peoples across the globe and there is no human culture, no matter how remote or isolated, that does not sing to celebrate or express what it is to be alive. The human voice seeks expression and whether it be on a rowdy football terrace, in a serene concert hall or simply warbling in the shower, singing has guided, soothed and filled our lives for centuries.

Following on from the success in 2015 of the brass band project, Fanfare, the International Festival presents Songlines on Sunday 21 August to capture the joy and power of shared song.

Throughout the day and across the city opportunities to participate in singing and listening were available in unexpected venues, spaces and places. 


Sunday 21 Aug
2pm and 4pm

Featuring songs by

Strauss, James MacMillan, Elbow and other traditional Scottish songs

Find a Songlines performance

Dalmeny Kirk

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Old Saint Paul’s

Seton Collegiate Church

St Mary’s, Haddington

Rosslyn Chapel (2pm only)

Crichton Collegiate Church (4pm only)

St John's

Find full Songlines venue information

Featuring choirs including...

Songworks, Rudsambee, Edinburgh Police Choir, Edinburgh City Singers, Edinburgh Gay Men's Chorus, Love Music Community Choir, Vocal Edge Choir, North Berwick Sings, Dunbar Sings, Loud & Proud, Consort of Voices and other soloists including Karen Cargill

Get involved online