Once Upon a Place looks at the past, handed on to us in story, with special touring events radiating out from the capital city across Scotland in a ten day celebration of storytelling traditions. The Festival combines storytelling ceilidhs with talks, landscape tours and specially commissioned performances. Guest storytellers from Europe, North America and the Pacific regions, perform alongside the cream of Scotland’s renowned storytelling talent, with a finale weekend marking the ancient Celtic New Year – Samhainn/Hallowe’en.
About the Storytelling Festival
The Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF) is a 10 day celebration of live storytelling, oral traditions and cultural diversity, bringing together a large number of Scottish and international storytellers and musicians.
The Festival takes place in and around Edinburgh. The main venue is the Netherbow Theatre at the Storytelling Centre on the Royal Mile, the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town. Partner venues include the National Museum of Scotland, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, the National Library of Scotland and many other cultural organisations in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Scotland.
The programme is structured in a pattern of different events including evening storytelling events for adults, family and children events, partner venue events, workshops, talks & lectures, exhibitions, networking and professional development events and the national DIY event, Tell-a-Story Day. The programme also includes ‘Festival on Tour’, bringing stories and storytellers to Scottish regions and islands.
The Scottish International Storytelling Festival is inspired by the Scottish ceilidh tradition and its sense of togetherness, a community gathering full of tales, anecdotes, music, songs and ballads.
Storytelling is not a form of theatre. Audiences expect to be put in a relaxed frame of mind and to enjoy a blend of story and music. The imagination of the audience members is central to the performance and is what creates the true storytelling experience. Although each event has a structure, there will always be an informal and improvised element to the performance, which is the beauty of live storytelling events.
Read our Festival blog for insider information
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