One of the highlights of the Jazz Festival is undoubtedly the Carnival which will take place in its usual brightly coloured fashion this weekend.

The parade will be led by Barefeet Theatre who are an acrobat group from Zambia. They will be followed by 800 performers in a procession from The Mound along Princes Street to Princes Street Gardens where there will be music and dance in a dazzling spectacle.

Performers from 12 different countries (including China, South Africa, Brazil, Jamaica, Zambia, Martinique, Holland, France, Spain and Portugal as well as a host of Scottish drummers, dancers, fire-eaters, jugglers, stilt walkers and circus acts will all show off what they can do.

BUT you are also invited to take part and wear a Carnival costume.

Anyone can take part in the parade alongside professional musicians, dancers and costumed performers. Individuals, families or groups can sign up to come along on the day and wear one of the fantastic Carnival costumes! This year the Carnival has also created an Edinburgh Carnival Bloco with over 45 capital residents joining the parade playing drums and wearing costumes. The Edinburgh Carnival Bloco will also join the Festival 18 Glasgow Carnival Procession on 4th August

KalentuRa from Carnival last year

The event takes place from 1.30pm until 4pm on Sunday 15h July – with free admission for all, thanks to the support of The City of Edinburgh Council. 

The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival runs the Carnival, and Producer, Roger Spence, said: 

“The Festival Carnival creates a fantastic spectacle in the city centre, with performers from all around the world sharing their Carnival cultures with the people of Edinburgh and each other. As always, we are inviting the people of Edinburgh to join the Carnival fun by either participating (why not wear a costume?), or simply by attending and having a great day out. We’d like to thank the The City of Edinburgh Council and Forth1 for supporting the Carnival”

Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener, City of Edinburgh Council said: 

“We are delighted to support the Edinburgh Festival Carnival again this year. Founded on the belief that the arts are to be enjoyed by everyone, the Carnival injects the city’s streets with music, dance and fun for all ages. This summer the parade celebrates just how international Edinburgh’s cultural offering has become and, of course, the 40th anniversary of the Jazz Fest! It will be the perfect way to enjoy summer in the city.”

Oona McGinnis, Sponsorship and Promotions Manager from Forth 1 said:

“Forth 1 is proud to be a sponsor of the Edinburgh Festival Carnival which is a key event in Edinburgh’s event calendar. Set against the iconic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle the event adds a splash of excitement to the streets of Edinburgh. We are delighted that Ewen Cameron will compere the main stage”.

The Parade running from 2.30pm will disperse into West Princes Street Gardens for an afternoon of live performances led by Forth 1’s Ewen Cameron, as compere. Among the acts participating are 

Artscape: dancers from Cape Town, South Africa

Barefeet Theatre: acrobats from Zambia

KalentuRa: drummers and dancers from Holland

Edinburgh Samba School: colourful Samba percussion and dance group

Chinese Dragon and Lion: Edinburgh Chinese Community

Bombrando: pipes and drums from Portugal

Manifesto Jamaica spoken word from Kingston

Young Edinburgh based samba group: Pulse of the Place

Fiery Italian band Rumba De Bodas

Direct from New Orleans Soul Brass Band

The programme will be available in advance from or 

Edinburgh Festival Carnival organisers are also looking for volunteers (ages 16 and over) to support the Carnival and all of the supporting events. For all volunteer opportunities, contact or call 0131 467 5200.

Carnival Dancer