Embrace traditional music at Edinburgh Tradfest


The traditional festival of Edinburgh is back yet again to bring you rich culture and brilliant folk music!

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Edinburgh Tradfest brings with it an amazing Mayday Parade, an insane range of traditional artists across multiple genes to get your groove on to, amazing workshops and more says Hannah Bridgett.

Mayday Parade

The best way to experience the entirety of what Tradfest is all about is to witness the Mayday Parade! Set for procession on Mayday from Edinburgh Castle, following down the Highstreet to the Pleasance, filled with musicians, culture workers, the lot. There will be a rally and stalls at the end, where you’ll find food, traditional trinkets, a little booze, and more. If you fancy getting involved or making a mask for the procession, join the Mini Parade Prep beforehand.

Traditional Tunes

There is a huge list of artists set to perform over the ten-day Tradfest that they couldn’t possible all fit here. 2007’s Folk Album of the Year winner Martin Simpson is set to perform over the first weekend, the perfect opener to kick off your Tradfest after the parade. If you’d like to see a mixture of beautifully performed instrumentals and amazing vocals, be sure to check out Birdvox+Kate Young. Ever heard a live fiddle performance? Check out Clare Sands.

Workshops Galore

Learning something new is always a blast and learning something new at a festival with like-minded folk, and inspirational tutors is ever better! Want to improve your storytelling through music? There’s a workshop for that, run by experienced storyteller Svend-Erik Engh. If you want to enhance your fiddle playing, Anna-Wendy Stevenson is on hand to provide tips and techniques at her workshop. There is a full list on the Tradfest website, including traditional workshops about Scotland, so make sure you check them out.  

Independent Films

There is a whole host of documentaries, short films, and poetic cinema listed for screening at Tradfest for you to enjoy. If you want to learn more about Scotland, ‘As an Eilean’ and ‘To See Ourselves’ are for you. If your interest lies more in learning about other countries and their cultures, you should head over to watch ‘Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors’ and ‘Manpantsula’. There are plenty of other themes and styles on show too, so make sure to get your popcorn ready!

How to get there


All the venues are located on or around Edinburgh Highstreet, which is right by Edinburgh Waverley. You can get there via train.

Where to eat


Some venues may provide food, otherwise all the venues are located along or near Edinburgh Highstreet which has many food options.



Each venue has different accessibility support, make sure to check them out.

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