Prepare to party at the Edinburgh Carnival

The fifth Edinburgh Festival Carnival is set to be the biggest and brightest yet - with free admission for all, thanks to the support of The City of Edinburgh Council.

A Parade will begin the festivities at 2.30pm on Sunday 17 July, leading 700 Carnival performers from the top of the Mound to the West End of Princes Street in an extravaganza of high-energy music and dazzling costumes.

After an hour of excitement on Princes Street, the focus will move to Princes Street Gardens and The Ross Theatre, where a host of performances will take place. There will also be a performance stage and a market in the Grassmarket; and a special area for young people and families at the West End of the Gardens.

Performers are coming from Senegal, South Africa, China, USA, Italy, Portugal, Netherlands, Martinique, and Trinidad to join a host of Scottish drummers, dancers, fire-eaters, jugglers, stilt walkers and circus acts.

Last year over 20,000 people enjoyed the event, and the organisers the Edinburgh International Jazz & Blues Festival are hopeful for the good weather that will ensure an even bigger turnout in 2016.

The people of Edinburgh are invited to take part in the parade alongside professional musicians, dancers and costumed performers. Individuals, families or groups can sign up to come along on the day and wear one of the fantastic Carnival costumes.

The Festival Carnival has become a key event in the launch of the summer Festival season, and will once again set Princes Street, Princes Street Gardens and the The Grassmarket humming with the rhythms of Brazilian drumming, New Orleans brass band, Balkan beats and maybe a Scottish tune or two. As well as a treat for the ear, the Carnival offers a feast for the eyes with sequinned dancers, feathered costumes, Chinese dragons, circus performers and street theatre in one big dazzling spectacle under Edinburgh Castle!

Carnival 2016

Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh's Festivals and Events Champion, said: "Founded on the belief that the arts really are for everyone, this all-inclusive, family event brings communities together for a truly spectacular experience. I am delighted that the Carnival continues to be a free event for everyone. This year we're sure the Jazz and Blues Festival organisers will inject the streets of Edinburgh with the biggest, brightest, feel-good Carnival yet!"

The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival runs the Carnival, and Producer, Roger Spence, said:  “We are delighted to be able to bring the Carnival atmosphere and another fantastic celebration of music and dance from around the globe to Edinburgh. It’s the event that makes everyone feel good. Old and young, families… and cool kids too ”.

Oona McGinnis, Sponsorship and Promotions Manager from Forth 1 said: “Forth 1 is proud to be a sponsor of the Edinburgh Festival Carnival which is a key event in Edinburgh’s event calendar. Set against the iconic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle the event adds a splash of excitement to the streets of Edinburgh. We are delighted that Ewen Cameron will compere the main stage”.

The programme will be available in advance from the Edinburgh International Jazz & Blues Festival. Edinburgh Festival Carnival organisers are also looking for volunteers (aged 16 and over) to support the Carnival and all of the supporting events. For all volunteer opportunities, contact anna[at] or call 0131 467 5200.


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