Getting in the right spirit for Festival

As people across Scotland’s capital and beyond gear up for the world famous Edinburgh ‘Festival season’ this summer, one of the major participating Festivals is launching another ambitious programme of conversations, events and activities.

It features everything from headline grabbing musical performers like Soweto Entsha (who came to world attention at the World Cup in South Africa) right through to contributions from globally known alternative management guru and best-selling author Charles Handy and the Scots Makar (national poet), Liz Lochhead.

The Festival of Spirituality and Peace, now in its twelfth year, is one of the 'hidden gems' of the Edinburgh Festival period. It has enthusiastic backing from civic and faith groups as well as the Scottish Government and tens of thousands of people across the capital.

The Festival of Spirituality and Peace programme, which features activities running right across August, is formally launched this week (18-22 June 2012) as part of the build-up to the visit to Edinburgh of the Dalai Lama. There was a special ‘taster’ event on the evening of Thursday 21st June.

There is a strong emphasis on conversation and exchange in the 400+ events in 23 venues that make up the Festival. But attendees will also find bags of artistic creativity, workshops on meditation and lifestyle, fabulous food from around the world, a gorgeous Persian Tent, and much more, say the organisers.

“The Festival of Spirituality and Peace is an exciting mix of celebration and reflection,” says new director Andrew Newman, who hails from South Africa, has lived in Edinburgh for seven years, and combines a deep commitment to health and well being alongside global and local concerns.

“At this year’s Festival there’s something for everyone,” he continues. “Our theme is ‘Cooperation for Change’, and that will be expressed through art and performance, conversation on tough issues like religion and violence, amazing multicultural experiences, and demonstrations of spiritual practices open to people of all faiths and none.”

- ENDS -


[1] The Festival of Spirituality and Peace (, now in its twelfth year, constitutes one of Edinburgh’s most established collection of events in Festival season. It runs throughout August and features 400 performances and conversations across 23 venues, attracting around 20,000 people. It is sponsored and supported by the Church of Scotland, Christian Aid, Edinburgh City Centre Churches, Edinburgh City Council, Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association, Ekklesia think-tank, the Iona Community, the Scottish Government, St John’s Episcopal Church Edinburgh, and the University of Edinburgh.
[2] Copies of the Festival brochure are available from the office (E-mail:, at St John’s Church in person, and online at
[4] Founded in 2001/2, Ekklesia, one of the sponsors of this year's Festival of Spirituality and Peace, examines politics, values and beliefs in a changing world, from a Christian perspective in dialogue with others. More information here:
[4] For further comment, contact: Simon Barrow (Media Coordinator), T: 07850 120413, Email: Andrew Newman (Festival Director), T: 07757 385326, Email: