New Edinburgh Festival Celebrates Robert Burns "And Beyond"

Submitted by edg on Thu, 6 Dec '18 9.01pm

Tickets go on sale tomorrow morning (Friday, 7th December) for a new six-day Edinburgh festival celebrating Scotland’s national bard Robert Burns.

Burns&Beyond, organised by Unique Events, will celebrate the life and work of Robert Burns with dancing, music, theatre, comedy, a family activity along Rose Street and a not-so-traditional Burns Supper. The fest will run from Tuesday 22 January through to Sunday 27 January

The flagship event is the Burns&Beyond Culture Trail on the evening of Saturday 26 January, which draws on the popular New Year’s Day event Scot:Lands.

After buying a £25 ticket, audiences make a cultural crawl of eight landmark Edinburgh buildings and secret spaces spread across the city centre enjoying various performances and participatory activities. Events for ticket holders range from speed whisky tasting to a live folk night recreating the atmosphere of an Edinburgh Old Town tavern at the time of Scotland’s Enlightenment.

Venues such as St Giles’ Cathedral, Freemason’s Hall, and Assembly Roxy will be transformed, with the idea being that audiences discover the performance only on arrival at each venue.

As the name suggests, the Burns&Beyond Festival programme expands on Burns night events with typical ceilidh dancing and folk sessions coming together under the same umbrella as comedy and electronica nights. There's also a family activity along Rose Street and a not-so-traditional Burns Supper across the New and Old Towns.

Alan Thomson, Director of Unique Events, said: “We love our rich cultural landscape, and are proud of our heritage and notoriously warm hospitality – what better way to bring it all together than around Burns Night? However, we were keen to take this a little bit further, and while activities in the New Town will be centred around all things ‘Burns’ in our Red, Red Rose Street district, in the Old Town we will be looking ‘& Beyond’ with Museum of the Moon and elements of the Culture Trail.”

The centrepiece of Burns&Beyond is the installation of a touring large-scale artwork of the moon by UK artist Luke Jerram at St Giles Cathedral.

Measuring seven metres in diameter, Museum of the Moon features detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. The installation will be free to visit during daylight hours from Tuesday 22 January to Saturday 26 January, but really comes into its own during the dark evening hours when the artwork will be accompanied by a specially commissioned musical score.

Each evening, in collaboration with St. Giles’ Cathedral, Burns&Beyond will host a unique special event around Museum of the Moon including a ‘Moon Lecture’ by Dr William Taylor from the Royal Observatory Edinburgh on Tuesday 22 January, and Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble on Friday 25 January.

A special moonlight performance by St Giles’ Cathedral Choir on Thursday 24 January promises to provide a haunting and unique performance, with a ‘Moon by Candlelight’ evening and a specially commissioned soundscape for piano and electronics composed by Napier University’s Dr John Hails entitled Claire de Lune, completing the weeklong programme.

Tickets for all Burns&Beyond events go on sale on Friday 7 December at 10.00am from

Burns&Beyond Events

Burns&Beyond runs from Tuesday 22 January to Sunday 27 January 2019

  • Culture Trail: The banner event of the new 6-day Burns&Beyond Festival in Edinburgh will feature performances in eight venues.
  • Burns Supper on Friday 25 January. Local restaurant Urban Angel will provide the sustenance, during the traditional Burns speeches and a performance from the 40 strong Nevis Ensemble. Ceilidh dancing with Kilter Ceilidh Band.
  • Red, Red Rose Street is a Rabbie Ramble running the length of Rose Street and a programme of musical performances in a number of the pubs and restaurants.
  • Gilded Balloon will provide a week of entertainment and performance at the Rose Theatre including the return of Captivate with their sell-out musical performance of Rabbie and, new for 2019, The Ghosting of Rabbie Burns featuring the great songs and poems of our National Bard. Gilded Balloon also present the Burns Night Comedy Club on Friday 25 January.
  • Nevis Ensemble music collective will be popping up in locations and venues throughout Edinburgh city centre including scheduled stops at schools and community centres on 25th and 26th January
  • Free Family Ceilidh On Saturday 26 January with Kilter Ceilidh Band
  • Major Minor Music Club offers parents and children the opportunity to enjoy great music together. This performance of the Major Minor Music Club will feature Pictish Trail in a special family-friendly performance.


On sale on Friday 7 December at 10.00am from

  • Burns Supper £45 (incl Booking Fee)
  • Family Ceilidh FREE
  • Major Minor Music Club Adult £10 (incl Booking Fee) Child £5 (incl Booking Fee)
  • Burns&Beyond Culture Trail £25 (incl Booking Fee)

Tickets for Museum of the Moon @ St Giles’ Cathedral

  • Tuesday 22 January – Sunday 27 January Daylight Hours – free entry
  • Tuesday 22 January 6.00pm – 7.00pm Moon Lecture £10.00 (incl booking fee)
  • Wednesday 23 January 6.00pm – 7.00pm – Rachel Sermanni £15.00 (incl booking fee)
  • Thursday 24 January 6.00pm – 7.00pm - St Giles’ Cathedral Choir £10.00 (incl booking fee)
  • Friday 25 January 6.00pm – 7.00pm – Roddy Woomble £20.00 (incl booking fee)
  • Tuesday 22 January – Sunday 27 January timed entry from 7.15pm – 9.30pm (event closes 10.00pm) £6.50 (incl booking fee)

Photo: Luke Jerram's moon (CC-BY-SA 2.0, Rob Brewer)