The Edinburgh People’s Festival was founded in 2002 by a small group of community activists and artsenthusiasts. Initially it was to be simply a one-off tribute to Hamish Henderson, the Scots singer songwriter, folk musician, working class intellectual and founder of the original People’s Festival [1951-1954] who died that year.
The enormous success of that 2002 gala evening however encouraged us so much that we decided to press on and see how far Hamish’s idea of a festival ‘for the people and by the people’ could be taken in the modern context.
Over the past seven years we have built up a unique event, presenting many imaginative and acclaimed performances and we have kept to its inclusive spirit throughout. We are determined to see the Edinburgh People’s Festival get even bigger and better in the years to come. We are determined to ensure that the world’s greatest arts festival is open to all citizens of the city. Our festival promises that, unlike the others, our programme will remain within the financial reach of everyone, our shows will take place throughout the city [and not just in EH1] and throughout the year and we will act primarily, although not exclusively, as a showcase for local talent.
We are committed to presenting the widest possible variety of high quality artistic productions. We aim to stimulate and challenge as well as entertain.
The Edinburgh People’s Festival is determined to confront discrimination, ignorance and prejudice wherever it arises. We are proud of our commitment to inclusion and accessibility. Our festival seeks to bring greater understanding and appreciation of the arts as well as reflect and celebrate the social and increasingly multicultural backgrounds of the people who live here.
We gratefully acknowledge the continuing support of Edinburgh’s progressive and radical movements.
If you want to learn more about Edinburgh People’s Festival’s history, why not download our booklet. Please note that the pdf document is 128MB in size and may take some time to download. Click here to download the latest version of Adobe Reader. Alternatively, you can download a zipped version of the brochure if required.