10 Unmissable Events In Edinburgh 2023

Edinburgh is home to some iconic events throughout the year so, if you’re looking for things to do with your friends, the Scottish Capital will certainly impress.

From the world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival to the vibrant Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival to Scotland’s biggest cocktail celebration, Edinburgh Cocktail Week, there’s so many special events, festivals, concerts and so much more taking place in 2023.

No matter what your idea of fun looks like, they’ll be at least one unmissable event you’ll want to attend in Edinburgh.

Thankfully, our guide will focus on all the things to do to get your calendar booked up!

events edinburgh 2023

1. Edinburgh Festival Fringe

It would be wrong of us not to kickstart this guide on Edinburgh events without the iconic Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the world’s largest arts and media festival which takes place annually in August within the Scottish Capital.

The festival is a celebration of arts and culture that has taken place in the city since 1947, with hundreds of stages spread across Edinburgh playing host to artists and performers from all different tastes.

You can expect to see a variety of theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events.

Plenty of celebrities were made famous from playing the Edinburgh Fringe including Russell Brand, Alan Rickman, Rowan Atkinson, Noel Fielding, Graham Norton and Miranda Hart to name a few.

This year, the event is spread across three weeks from the 4th August up until the 28th August 2023.



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Dates: 4th-28th August 2023 

2. Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival

One of Europe’s most popular and well known jazz and blues festivals, The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival showcases the best of Scottish talent and musicians from across the world.

With over 170 performances taking place in theatres, parks and clubs across the city across 10 days, you won’t experience anything like it anywhere else in the UK.

This year the event is on from the 14th until the 23rd July 2023, where you can expect to hear some of the best artists from the jazz and blues genres.

There’s such a diverse range of gigs to experience with each concert taking place in a different venue in the city to match the vibe of the music being played.

We’d definitely recommend adding this festival to your list of things to do this summer, especially if you love live music!

You can find out more about tickets for the festival shows on the official website.


Dates: 14th-23rd July 2023 

3. Edinburgh International Festival

The Scottish Capital is truly the place to be this year when it comes to events, and one in particular which is a must-visit is the Edinburgh international Festival.

This annual arts festival takes place across the final three weeks in August and celebrates the best music, theatre, opera and dance.

Performers from across the globe take to the stage of the city’s top venues for this event.

For 70 years this cultural event has been a staple of summer in Scotland, presenting a programme which brings in audiences from throughout the UK and beyond year after year.

The details for this year are being revealed in late spring, but you can expect a variety of concerts, events, screenings and artists events.

What’re you waiting for? Add it to your 2023 calendar!


Dates: 4th–27th August 2023. 

4. Edinburgh International Book Festival

Edinburgh International Book Festival is the largest celebration of the written word in the world and takes place every August – it’s a busy month in this city!

Around 700 British, Scottish and international artists come together within Lauriston Place in the city centre to inspire each other and audiences, with a huge programme of events.

For 2023, there are discussions, performances, interactive events, creative writing workshops, book signings and author talks taking place from the 12th until the 28th August.

It’s free to attend the event at the Edinburgh College of Art so if you’re a book lover, we cannot urge you enough to attend!


Dates: 12th-28th August 2023

5. Edinburgh Art Festival

If summer in this city wasn’t already exciting enough, another event which is a must-visit is the Edinburgh Art Festival.

Since 2004, the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art has provided a special programme of over 40 different exhibitions, events and projects across the city.

This year will be the 18th edition of the festival so we’re expecting some big things, with events featuring UK and international artists occurring from the 11th August until the 27th August 2023.

A large part of the festival is free to attend so you don’t need to worry too much about your student budget, make sure to check it out to discover some new spaces and stories!

You can find out more about this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival programme on the official website.



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Dates: 11th – 27th August 2023

6. Edinburgh Cocktail Week

If you’re looking to get some plans in your calendar for October, you need to check out Edinburgh Cocktail Week.

Spanning across ten days, Scotland’s biggest cocktail festival is a city-wide celebration of cocktail culture with tons of experiences and plenty of tipples to be had.

With over 100 Edinburgh cocktail bars taking part as well as a lively Cocktail Village at Festival Square featuring DJs, live music, delicious street food and so much more, you won’t wanna miss out on this event.

The dates for this year are the 6th-15th October so you’ve got plenty of time to get planning.

Plus, 2023 is the fifth birthday of the event meaning it’s bound to be mega!


Dates: 6th-15th October 2023 

7. Connect Music Festival

Connect Music Festival is new to Edinburgh’s festival scene having only started up again in 2022.

Luckily, the eclectic event held at the Royal Highland Showgrounds is back by popular demand this year.

The three-day event will feature a full mainstage lineup of artists, DJs, acts across three stages, a wellness space, speakeasy, luxury camping, chefs, as well as VIP experiences.

If you’re wanting to experience it for yourself, the dates are the 25th until 27th of August 2023.

Some of the big names from last year were IDLES, Jon Hopkins, Josef and CMAT, and we’re sure this year’s set of artists will impress too.

The 2023 lineup and ticket information is set to be released soon.

So, make sure to head to the official website in the coming weeks if you’re interested!


Dates: 25th-27th August 2023 

8. The Who @ Edinburgh Castle

Legendary rock band The Who will be playing at Edinburgh Castle this summer.

For the first time in 40 years, The Who are set to perform in Edinburgh across two nights as part of their UK tour.

Sing along to classic hits like Baba O’Riley, Pinball Wizard and My Generation and have an unforgettable concert experience at the outdoor venue on the 8th and 9th of July.

There are tickets still available on TicketMaster for the concerts so, make sure to grab yours!



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Dates: 8th & 9th July 2023

9. Beyoncé @ Murrayfield Stadium

Queen Bey is coming to Edinburgh this spring as part of her Renaissance World Tour.

Beyoncé will be playing at the city’s BT Murrayfield Stadium for her ninth concert tour in May 2023.

You can sing your heart out to Break My Soul, Energy and Virgo’s Groove from Beyoncé’s new studio album.

Get your ticket for the show before they all sell out on the TicketMaster website, we’re sure it’ll be amazing.

Tickets aren’t cheap but it’s worth it for a Beyoncé concert, right?

We’re unbelievably jealous of anyone attending this gig!



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10. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

Concluding our guide to unmissable events in the Scottish Capital this year is Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

Known all over the world as one of the largest outdoor New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Home of Hogmanay will feature a huge selection of events.

From live music concerts to firework displays to family friendly parties to street party extravaganzas, the city will be lit up and the streets are set to come alive for the annual festivities.

Details are yet to be announced for this year’s programme but, it’s set to finish off 2023 with a bang!



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Dates: 31st December 2023-1st January 2024. 

As you’ve discovered, Edinburgh has unmissable events all year round with a wide range of options for everyone to enjoy.

Be sure to discover some of Scotland’s best festivals and events with your friends this year!

What other Edinburgh events in 2023 would you add to your list? Let us know @universalstudentliving.

After you’ve checked out some of these events, you’ll need a breakfast to soak up your hangover! Check out our guide on Yummiest Places To Go For Breakfast In Edinburgh.

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