| Edinburgh Festival is a collective term for several simultaneous arts and cultural festivals that take place during August each year in Edinburgh, Scotland. These festivals are arranged by a number of formally unrelated organizations, meaning there is no single event officially termed the Edinburgh Festival.|
The Edinburgh Festival, which holds the world record for the largest arts festival, traces its roots to 1947 when the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) was established in a post-war effort to "provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit". That same year, eight theatrical companies "gatecrashed" the festival by organizing their own event, outside the official auspices of the EIF; this started the movement which grew into the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The EFF is also referred to as the Edinburgh Fringe, the Fringe, or, incorrectly, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
The EIF and the Fringe remain independent bodies and run separate programmes each year. Since the Edinburgh International Festival was organized in 1947, several other festivals have also been established in Edinburgh. Most of these take place in late summer each year, as well. There is, therefore, not one Edinburgh Festival, but a collection of independent festivals which happen to take place in the same city at about the same time.
The Pleasance VenueThe Edinburgh summer festivals, in order of the year of their foundation, are as follows. An asterisk indicates that the festival is a member of Festivals Edinburgh, the umbrella body which represents the Edinburgh festivals to government.