Guys and Dolls Musical, 12th-16th April, Playhouse Theatre
Experience the 6 times Olivier Award nominated musical at Edinburgh’s playhouse theatre on it’s UK tour this April. The New York tale of gamblers, gangsters and nightclub singers’ entrances audiences and is guaranteed to be a fun evening! With a whole host of famous Broadway tunes and choreography by the renowned Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta and musical veteran Andrew Wright, this feel good show is the perfect spectacle for those looking for a bit more jazz (literally) in their Edinburgh evenings. Be aware the Olivier Awards are on April 3rd and if they win, tickets will become a hot commodity so get in quick while you can!
Beltane Fire Festival, 30th April, Calton Hill
Join a merry bunch of revellers to celebrate the beginning of the summer at this traditional Celtic festival on Calton Hill, right at the heart of the city. Gates open at 8pm although the festivities don’t officially start until sundown! This modern interpretation of an ancient iron-age ritual is the largest of it’s kind in the world and not to be missed. Join the procession as they journey around the hill, meeting groups of characters along the way, before the event culminates in a dramatic stage performance and the lighting of the Beltane bonfire. Beltane roughly translates as ‘bright fire’ so be warned, there are plenty of flames involved!
Dead By Dawn – Scotland’s International Horror Film Festival, 21st-24th April, The Filmhouse Returning for it’s 23rd edition, Dead By Dawn is a must visit for any horror addicts and film buffs alike. You can forget any ghost tours around the old town, The Filmhouse on Lothian Road will be the scariest place to be this April. The programme boasts an impressive roster of niche titles (including some UK premieres!) along with evenings dedicated to horror heavy-weights such as the Wes Craven tribute night, not to mention special Q&A’s with film producers, directors and horror specialists. All events will take place in the beautifully traditional screen 1 at the Film house so you are guaranteed a good view and a comfy seat! Please note this event is only open to those aged 18 or over!
TradFest Edinburgh, 27th April-8th May, Various Venues
Spread across various venues around the city, TradFest is a 2 week long multi-arts programme showcasing traditional Scottish music, dance and storytelling. Help celebrate the Celtic folk culture by attending events including ceilidhs, literature talks, craft demonstrations and workshops, music recitals, and folk film screenings. With over 90 events to choose from, it’s never been easier for visitors to dip into traditional Scottish culture. If you need some help choosing we love the Edinburgh Ceilidh Club at Summerhall for a good dance, the dawn tour up Arthur’s seat with storyteller Donald Smith is well worth the early rise, or for a slightly more international touch the Nordic Fiddlers blend Norwegian, Swedish and Shetland fiddle traditions together to create a unique sound.
Edinburgh International Harp Festival, 1st-6th April, Merchiston Castle School
First started in 1982, the Edinburgh International Harp Festival was a one-day festival which coincided with the events taking place at the Edinburgh folk festival. Now the Harp festival has it’s own significant following and takes place across 6 days at the beginning of April. Musicians from all the Celtic nations take part as well as some special and renowned international artists. Events include interactive workshops, concerts, children’s lessons, and the Harp maker’s exhibition. If you are not a harp enthusiast but still want to experience some great music, we recommend heading to the festival café for the lunchtime open platforms in which up and coming young harpists take to the stage. Events are all taking place at the beautiful Merchiston Castle School which is set in stunning parklands that visitors are free to explore.
Great Edinburgh Run, 17th April, Holyrood Park
Described as the ‘most scenic city centre run in Europe’, the Great Edinburgh Run is a must-do for any fitness fanatic. Whether you are a beginner looking to stretch your range from that 10k to something a bit more challenging, or if you are a more seasoned runner training for that half marathon, this picturesque 10-mile route is perfect for all levels. The run begins at 9.30am in Holyrood Park beneath Arthur’s Seat before winding its way through the city passing renowned landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, the Scott Monument and Greyfriar’s Bobby along the way. A great way of combining your workout with Edinburgh sight-seeing! For those with the family in tow, there is even a ‘Family Mile’ so everyone can get involved.