Our Spiegeltent in Charlotte Square Gardens stages Unbound every night from 12–27 August. Drop in (it’s free), grab a drink from the bar and settle in for some lively literary cabaret. Music, songs, stories, word-play, comedy and more featuring well-known talent and newcomers in the world of entertainment. Pick up a copy of The Skinny magazine for our supplement featuring the Unbound listings and exclusive interviews. Over 18s only.




Andrew Rae and the Music Machines

Sunday 12 August 21:00 - 23:00

Horrendous hormones, awkward bodies, and homework: you might remember how bloody awful being a teenager is, and you didn’t even have a moon for a head. Award-winning graphic novelist Andrew Rae’s Moonhead and the Music Machine is a psychedelic,...


Damian Barr’s Literary Salon

Monday 13 August 21:00 - 23:00

Damian Barr’s Literary Salon is a global sensation which has sold out everywhere from London to New York to Moscow, and finally it arrives in Edinburgh. North Lanarkshire-born Barr – author of Maggie & Me, a memoir of growing up and coming out in...


Imaginary Advice Live

Tuesday 14 August 21:00 - 23:00

Formally daring and hugely inventive in its approach, Ross Sutherland’s award-winning podcast Imaginary Advice is a colourful sketchpad of new storytelling ideas. Joined tonight by Submarine and The Adulterants author Joe Dunthorne and with live music...


Africa Unbound

Wednesday 15 August 21:00 - 23:00

A celebration of contemporary voices from across the nations of Africa, journeying beyond stereotypes to interrogate history, politics, the imperial past, ancestors, and the future. Discover dazzling talents from the continent in a night of readings and...


MacMillan 175: Crafting Curious Minds

Thursday 16 August 21:00 - 23:00

In 1843, two sons of Scottish crofters set up MacMillan Publishers to share learning and capture imaginations. 175 years later their company still produces the bestsellers and groundbreakers that shape our literary lives, from The Gruffalo to Kate...


Babble On presents: Out-Spoken Press

Friday 17 August 21:00 - 23:00

After a hugely successful national tour in 2017, acclaimed independent publishing house Out-Spoken Press presents an exclusive spoken word showcase at the Book Festival. Champions of inclusive, radical and multidisciplinary poetry, Out-Spoken can be...


Babble On’s Ego Trip

Saturday 18 August 21:00 - 23:00

Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip are one of the most unpredictable and exciting acts on the circuit. Mik’s lyrical dexterity and the musical range of the band combine to make people laugh, cry, and flail around. BBC 6 Music’s Gideon Coe regularly plays...


Calypso King of the Windrush Generation

Sunday 19 August 21:00 - 23:00

In 1948 calypso music icon Lord Kitchener arrived in the UK on the Windrush. He was at the forefront of multicultural Britain in the 50s, popularising calypso music and representing a growing Caribbean community facing a hostile environment even then....


INTERROBANG‽ present The Edinburgh Bible

Monday 20 August 21:00 - 23:00

Officially Britain’s Best Spoken Word Show (according to the 2017 Saboteur Awards), Edinburgh’s own INTERROBANG‽ lights up Unbound with a sumptuous night of performance. Join host Ricky Monahan Brown and discover The Edinburgh Bible, a mysterious...


The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas

Tuesday 21 August 21:00 - 23:00

The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas allows some brilliant researchers to let their most challenging ideas loose on the public. Is obesity crushing the NHS? Can too much education be bad for us? Should we celebrate the death of privacy? Comedian Susan...