Festivals generate £280m in Edinburgh

The largest programme of research ever undertaken into Edinburgh’s twelve major Festivals confirms their far-reaching impact on local life, the international reputation of the city and the economy.

Street performance outside the City Chambers - Image credit Alastair Barnsley
Street performance outside the City Chambers - Image credit Alastair Barnsley

The city’s Festivals and Events Champion Councillor Richard Lewis has welcomed the findings of the Edinburgh Festivals Impact Study, commissioned by Festivals Edinburgh and undertaken with 29,000 people by BOP consulting.

The study reveals Edinburgh’s festivals attracted combined audiences of more than 4.5 million in 2015, putting them on par with attendances at the FIFA World Cup and second only to the Olympic Games.

He said: “The research reaffirms Edinburgh’s position as the World’s Festival City. Not only do 89% of festival-goers agree that the Festivals increase their pride in Edinburgh, but 68% state their attendance makes them more likely to attend other cultural events. Edinburgh residents have a tremendous pride in the Festivals and they remain at the core of the city’s culture, acting as a gateway to the arts and culture for the rest of the country.

“The Festivals have long been an important factor for the region and country's economy and today’s findings reveal a staggering economic boost. They support the equivalent of 5,660 full time jobs in the city and generate a massive economic impact of £280m locally and £313m in Scotland.”

The research reveals Edinburgh’s Festivals provide huge tourism benefits and position the city as a leading international destination with 94% of respondents stating that the Festivals make Edinburgh a special city.

Cllr Lewis added: “The first of Edinburgh’s Festivals was set up in 1947 with the specific purpose of bringing people and cultures together. Over the decades, Edinburgh has built up an international reputation as an ambassador for the arts. Now more than ever, as political uncertainty in Europe continues, that principle must be maintained.”

The City of Edinburgh Council is the longest-standing funding partner for the city’s major festivals.

Do you have any comments about this page?

Help us improve edinburgh.gov.uk

  • The City of Edinburgh Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.