Edinburgh Festival Carnival

Submitted by edg on Wed, 3 Jul '24 10.38am
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A free, family music and dance event with a flamboyant, festive flavour, the Edinburgh Festival Carnival takes place on the opening Sunday of the Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival, a day after the free Mardi Gras.

Billed as "Scotland's largest multicultural celebration", the event is a combination of parades and performances from around the world. 

In the past, a parade has started at 1pm from the top of the Mound down to the West End of Princes Street and into West Princes Street Garden for an afternoon of music, drumming, dance, acrobatics, and interactive kids' activities centred around the Ross Band Stand

Tens of thousands of people line the streets down the Mound and Princes Street for the procession and to pour into the Garden for the afternoon performances with its zones for dance, music and circus.

This year, different parades will take place inside the Garden itself. Parades start on the path East Side of the Ross band stand and then continue through to the other side to an end point on the west of the Ross band stand.

Carnival Parade 2024 Times & Performing artists and Groups

Noon Parade: Latin American Community Association of Edinburgh

1PM Ross Bandstand: Sensational soca and Caribbean rhythms from Tropical Storm

2PM Parade: Edinburgh Chinese Art & Culture

3PM Ross Bandstand: Authentic reggae vibes from Ablewell Foundation

3.30PM Ross Bandstand: Exhilarating samba from Brazil’s Ilê Aiyê

4PM Parade: Local, national and international community groups perform as part of The World in One City

5PM Ross Bandstand: Infectious rhythms and salsa beats from Latina Turners

There will also be performances from local, national international artists across the Drum Zone and Dance Stage from 12.30pm to 5pm.

This event is free - one of many free events at the Edinburgh Festival.


The Edinburgh Festival Carnival was introduced to Edinburgh's festivals calendar in 2012 as a way of kicking off the summer festivals calendar with some razzamatazz, and to make up for the loss of two major free events in August, the Edinburgh Festivals' Cavalcade and Fringe Sunday.

The Jazz Festival previously had a lower-key, free event on the first weekend of the festival at the Ross bandstand with free bands, called Jazz on a Summer's Day.

The Carnival was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to pandemic restrictions.