Procession up the Royal Mile with inflatable dragon.

About the Festival

“Edinburgh was once an art desert at festival time. Yes, there were alternative comedians hiding under every manhole cover, but if you were a lover of the visual arts there was little reason to go. Until 2004, when the Edinburgh Art Festival was founded, and everything got better.” 

Waldemar Januszczak, The Sunday Times

Founded in 2004, Edinburgh Art Festival is the platform for the visual arts at the heart of Edinburgh’s August festivals, bringing together the capital’s leading galleries, museums, production facilities and artist-run spaces in a city-wide celebration of the very best in visual art. Each year, the festival features leading international and UK artists alongside the best emerging talent, major survey exhibitions of historic figures, and a special programme of newly commissioned artworks that respond to public and historic sites in the city. The vast majority of exhibitions and events are free to attend. Find out more about visiting the festival here.

Alongside our main festival programme we run an annual series of learning and engagement activities around our Commissions Programme and partner exhibitions as well as bespoke tours, workshops and projects for community groups and organisations inspired by the work of our participating artists.

You can read more about our Learning and Engagement Programme here.

We are committed to minimising our environmental impact, working directly, and in partnership with our participating venues and festival colleagues. Find out more about our Environmental Policy.

We are also committed to Equalities, Diversity, Inclusion and Access. We are working to become a more inclusive and diverse organisation, and through our international profile and extensive partnerships, we are committed to playing an active part in building a more equitable society.

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