JULY 2016 in Edinburgh

July really brings the festival city alive, from tasty food and mind expanding art to world class music and fashion there is so much to do in Edinburgh this month. Here’s our eyes, ears and mouth guide of 12 good reasons to visit Edinburgh this July. 

1 Pop Up Cities Expo

Don't miss the Festival of Architecture's headline event Pop-Up Cities Expo on the Mound from 20th June to 17th July. The event will be showcased as part of the celebration of Scotland's Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and aims to bring together pop-up architecture designs from cities all around the world.  The Pop-Up Cities village on The Mound is home to 5 fantastic pavillions from Bergen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Rotterdam and Vilnius. Visitors to the site can move around and inside the structures to get up close and admire these unusual designs. 

’til 17 July | The Mound | Website

2 Magicfest

MagicFest pulls another rabbit out of the hat with a programme of close-up conundrums, mindboggling illusions, comic cabaret and other feats of the impossible. The festival features workshops as well as shows and ends with the illustrious Closing Gala, a fast paced performance of illusion, sleight of hand, circus and mind reading.

4 - 9 July | Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art | Website

3 Surreal Encounters | Collecting the Marvellous

Surreal Encounters: Collecting the Marvellous brings together some of the finest Surrealist works of art from four legendary collections, those of Roland Penrose, Edward James, Gabrielle Keiller and Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch.  The ways that Surrealist art has been collected display many of the idiosyncratic passions of Surrealism itself. This exhibition will examine the different impulses behind these four extraordinary collections presenting a fuller and richer picture of the Surrealist movement as a whole.

throughout July | Gallery of Modern Art | Website

4 Simply Red at Edinburgh Castle 

Simply Red return to perform at Edinburgh Castle this summer, six years after their last sell-out concert at the historic venue. See this iconic band play some of their biggest hits including Something Got Me Started, Stars and Fairground in front of the breathtaking backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. 

14 July | Castle Esplanade | Website 

5 Jazz and Blues Festival 

The biggest of its kind in Britain, the Jazz & Blues Festival gets the festival season off to a swinging start in July, making sure everyone's in the mood before its larger festival cousins hit town. And expect that Glenn Miller classic along the way somewhere, as everything from big band favourites to skiffle, ragtime and freeform jazz is on the menu at over 100 shows in a festival that just keeps growing.  Regular highlights of the festival programme include Mardi Gras in the Grassmarket, where many of Edinburgh oldest and best pubs can be found, as a host of acts show off their stuff for free in the sun.

15 - 24 July  | Citywidel | Website

6 Edinburgh International Fashion Festival

Heading into its fifth year, The Edinburgh International Fashion Festival showcases a range of runway shows, exhibitions, gala parties, interactive workshops and talks in some of Edinburgh's unqiue venues such as the National Museum of Scotland, Dovecot Studios and the Hill Street Design House. Some of the industry's greatest creative minds will congregate in the city for a packed week-long schedule of events, including exhibitions and presentations from some of the biggest and brightest names in fashion.

21 - 24 July  | Citywide | Website

7 Edinburgh Food Festival

The Edinburgh Food Festival back for its second year in George Square Gardens serving up a tasty variety of Scottish food producers and street food vendors.  The five day event will also host a great line up of chef talks and enterainment in the Spiegeltent Palais Du Variete, providing the perfect event to whet your appetitie for Edinburgh's Summer Festival Season. Fill your belly and tickle your taste buds at the stalls and food trucks around the festival site.

27 - 31 July | George Square | Website

8 Stereophonics at Edinburgh Castle

Stereophonics come to the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade this summer to perform two concerts at this iconic venue. The band is expected to thrill the crowds with some of their greatest hits, including Dakota, Have a Nice Day and Handbags and Gladrags, as well as the anthems from their latest album, Keep the Village Alive - 

15 & 16 July | Castle Esplanade | Website

9 Celts

The idea of a shared Celtic heritage across ancient Europe retains a powerful hold over the popular imagination. But many common ideas about the people known as ‘Celts’ are in fact more recent re-imaginings, revived and reinvented over the centuries.This major exhibition, unravels the complex story of the different groups who have used or been given the name ‘Celts’ through the extraordinary art objects they made and used.  

throughout July | National Museum, Chamber Street | Website

10  Artist Rooms Joseph Beuys

The exhibition brings together, for the first time, the extraordinary group of over 110 drawings by German artist, Joseph Beuys (1921-1986).  Perhaps best known for his ‘actions’, installations and sculpture, but first and foremost he was an artist who was interested in ideas: ideas about how the world, both natural and social, functioned and how the latter could be improved. 

from 30 July | Gallery of Modern Art | Website

11 Retina 

Headlining this year's festival is portrait photographer Jason Bell who has shot for some of the world’s foremost publications including Vanity Fair and Vogue US / UK. Home-grown talent will also be featured with Edinburgh’s Janeanne Gilchrist and creative portrait photographer Alma Haser headline the spaces at Customs House, alongside Emerging Talent, UK Picture Editor’s Guild 2015 Award Winners Exhibition and a special celebration of Scottish Press Photographers’ work documenting our world and colouring the headlines. 

thoughout July | Citywide | Website

12  BHF Glasgow to Edinburgh Trek

Why not take on this epic Scottish walking challenge. 30 hours and 100k from Glasgow to Edinburgh non-stop.  Walk day and night and experience stunning views, dark pathways, moonlit canals and shadowy tunnels in this unforgettable adventure.  You'll pass numerous landmarks and sites along the route, including Kelvingrove Museum and Park, locks on the Forth and Clyde canal, the Falkirk Wheel, Linlithgow Palace before arriving in Scotland's capital.

30 & 31 July | Starts Glasgow | Website