When is the Edinburgh Festival and What Should I Wear?

Festival-goers and creatives rejoice; the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and EIF is once again back on the horizon and it’s shaping up to be a smasher. There are just over three weeks worth of treats in store, guaranteed to delight both seasoned festival-goers and first-time Fringers alike.

Here’s everything you need to know about Edinburgh Festival 2018, including when it starts, what’s on and, just as importantly, what you should wear.

When is the Edinburgh Festival this Year?

This year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe begins on Friday the 3rd of August and spans almost the entire month, finally coming to a close on Monday 27th August; the summer bank holiday.

That’s three weeks and three marvellous days of creative, funny and inspiring experiences to be had by all. The Edinburgh Festival is one of the longest-running and most varied city festivals in the UK and across the world, with people travelling from far and wide to attend.

Where is the Edinburgh Festival Held?

There’s no mystery over which city the festival takes place in, but the individual events span a vast variety of locations around Edinburgh.

As you can see from the festival’s interactive venue map, this year’s programme is held in venues and locations all over the city and its surrounding areas.

There are two main street performance spaces in the city centre. The High Street (located on the Royal Mile) and The Mound precinct. You will also be able to attend shows, exhibitions and events at various other venue types including museums, libraries, parks, cathedrals, bars and pubs across the city. Check the map for a full, searchable overview of event locations this year.

What’s on at the Edinburgh Festival this Year?

This article would be 50,000 words long if we talk about everything that’s going to be on this year, but here are some of the most promising highlights:

A string of major concerts will return to the Princes Street Gardens this year, with star appearances from the likes of Tom Jones, Paloma Faith and The Beach Boys’ frontman, Brian Wilson, so there’s plenty to keep the music fans happy.

For the foodies, The Great British Bake Off’s Prue Leith will be creating a 1940s-inspired menu for guests attending the Dad’s Army dining experience show, which will feature two actors playing characters from the classic sitcom.

For the comedy-lovers the city’s Summerhall venue will see the return of the well-reviewed Paines Plough writing company, with a show line-up lead by Vinay Patel’s ‘Sticks and Stones’ performance; a rib-tickling comedy about a slip of the tongue that sparks all sorts of terrible consequences.

You will also find a huge variety of engrossing and hard-hitting theatre productions and speaker events around all kinds of important topics including the NHS, politics and current issues in the UK and around the world. Find key information about all of this year’s shows and performances in the Fringe Programme, which you can view and download here.  

What Should I Wear to the Edinburgh Festival?

For those of you who have never been to the Festival Fringe before, the first thing you need to know is that this is not a fields and mud festival. In other words, tiny shorts, wellies and flower headbands are most definitely not part of the dress code here.

Here’s a run-down of our top Fringe-worthy fashion recommendations:

Let’s Start With Footwear

The Edinburgh Festival is, first and foremost, a city festival, so you’ll need to invest in some city-worthy footwear. Canvas shoes, flip flops and heels have all fallen victim to the infamous cobbles, crowds and unpredictable Scottish weather, not to mention the miles of walking distance you’ll be racking up between shows and venues.

A pair of sturdy, flat ankle boots is the answer to your Fringe needs, and this applies to both the guys and the girls. Leather ankle boots are the ultimate meeting of style and practicality, and they go with just about anything. Team them up with comfy socks for the best possible city-ready foot protection.

Joules Westbourne Chelsea Boots

And What About the Main Outfit?

The most popular, long-lived fashion styles for the Edinburgh Fringe is a mix of boho-chic and prep-country, both of which are very easy to pull off if you pick the right basics.


A festival in a rain-prone city needs jeans; there’s no two ways about it. Sure you can go for shorts, skirts and dresses, but on your own head be it if Edinburgh decides to throw some rain down.

For the laid back boho look, try aiming for ripped or faded jeans in a skinny or straight leg style. A pair of dark or indigo jeans can also be used as the basis for a fabulous preppy look, especially when paired with a blazer and your leather ankle boots. Whatever you do, don’t try and rock the white or cream denim look, as the delicious drips that fall from Edinburgh Fringe street food is not very forgiving on light fabrics.

Joules Monroe Skinny Jeans, Maison Scotch Butter Blauw Jeans


Crochet lace and stripes are all highly favoured summer city festival trends in 2018, and they just so happen to fit neatly into the boho and preppy country trends respectively. Lace T-shirts and bardot tops will help you rock the bohemian look like a seasoned Fringe-goer, and a stylish long-sleeve striped tee layered under a blazer or wax jacket will work perfectly with your dark jeans and ankle boots. Crucially, both of these styles are easy to layer up or down, so you’re ready whatever the weather.

French Connection Arta Lace Tee, Samsoe & Samsoe Maj Ls Aop Silk Shirt


You’ll want something lightweight but substantial to keep you warm, dry and comfortable. It is summer after all, but rain is always a possibility if not a probability, so bear this in mind. A lightweight wax jacket will do the job perfectly while blending well with our style themes, and a blazer is the perfect stylish layering option for the promisingly dry days. Their lightweight nature makes them easy to take off and carry if needs be, and can easily be packed away into bags if the sun really puts his hat on.

Barbour Lightweight Filey Jacket, Joules Horatia Blazer

Layer it all up and grab your tickets; you’re now Fringe-ready and fabulous. Bring on the festival!

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