They could be stories of mystery and magic, folklore and fairies, travel or adventure or just a rip-roaring romp with a few laughs along the way.

October in Edinburgh sees the annual Storytelling Festival held over ten days, which celebrates the traditions of oral storytelling and cultural diversity, and brings together Scottish an international storytellers and musicians.

The main venue is the Netherbow Theatre on the Royal Mile, the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, and the programme always offers something for adults and children and is always inspired by Scotland’s ceilidh traditions, its sense of camaraderie, and a wider community held together by shared tales, music, songs and ballads.

In 2019 the SISF celebrated its 31st anniversary. Exploring old traditions and new connections, the festival showcased how music, dance and story communicate shared experiences that are ‘Beyond Words’.

Celebrating the closely interwoven identities and histories of Canada and Scotland have, SISF presented its headline event ‘Canada-Scotland: Coast to Coast’ which brought together Canadian First Nation and Scottish tradition bearers to share their stories, dances and ancestral songs; while also exploring contemporary narratives of exile, migration and displacement, and the search for healing across a fractured world.

The festival also features Global Lab as part of its programme, which provides a space to examine the power of storytelling and role of storytellers in the 21st century. Each day features keynote stories, talks, discussions and workshops in open sessions, allowing for shared reflection ahead of the evening’s storytelling performances.