LIVE: Lionel Richie, Tom Jones and more to play Edinburgh Summer Sessions this August

Set your alarms for 9am this Friday 31 January, the Edinburgh Summer Sessions lineup has been announced and the seven dates are not to be missed.

This August, Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh will transform into an outdoor arena with some bona-fide legends taking to the stage. The lineup boasts a range of big names including Tom Jones, Lionel Richie and Simple Minds.

Taking place from 8–20 August 2020 there’s something for everyone with other headliners Michael Kiwanuka, The 1975, McFly and Travis. With Grammy, BRIT, NME, Mercury Music Prize and even Golden Globe and Oscar award winners and nominees on this year’s bill, the festival is a key event in the UK’s 2020 music calendar.

Set against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle and taking place during the world-renowned Edinburgh International Festival, the series of outdoor gigs will add to the city’s already buzzing atmosphere in August.


Six of the seven artists headlining the festival are making their Edinburgh Summer Sessions debut this year. Set to return after opening the festival’s inaugural year, Tom Jones headlines on Saturday 8 August. The singers’ appearance at the 2018 festival is one of the most memorable Summer Sessions performances to date and saw him fully clad in a tartan jacket.

You can expect timeless classics like It’s Not Unusual and Sex Bomb on a truly unforgettable Saturday night in the capital.

There’s no rest for the wicked, or music fans, as Lionel Richie makes his Summer Sessions debut the following evening, Sunday 9 August. The date will mark the music icon’s return to the city after being away for over five years. With a discography and show like no other this date will have you dancing on the Princes Street Gardens grass all night long.

After the lineup was announced Lionel Richie said: “I’m really looking forward to heading back to Scotland next summer, the crowds are some of the best in the world and I can’t wait to get back over there to see you all!”


This year’s award-winning lineup also includes Michael Kiwanuka whose album was hailed as one of the greatest of the decade by The Guardian. The London singer-songwriting released his third album last year and will provide the perfect soundtrack to a summer evening in the capital. You can see Michael Kiwanuka at Edinburgh Summer Sessions on 11 August.

Credit: Edinburgh Summer Sessions

Playing one of their most intimate Scottish shows since the band made the move to arena setting, Manchester four-piece The 1975 will be bringing new and old music to their Edinburgh Summer Sessions debut on 12 August.

Worthy of a #ThrowbackThursday post, pop rock boyband McFly will take to the stage on 13 August to continue their massive comeback after a hiatus. The band released some of the most successful pop songs of the 2000s and will be playing all of their hit in a singalong pop extravaganza this summer.

Scottish legends

Scotland’s most successful rock band ever, Simple Minds, join the 2020 lineup on 18 August. Celebrating 40 years of hits this year, the legendary Glasgow band will be playing huge anthems sure to go down a storm with the Edinburgh crowd. Get ready to sing along to classics like Don’t You (Forget About Me), Alive and Kicking, and Belfast Child.

Rounding up 12 days of incredible music in Scotland’s capital, Travis will close the incredible run of shows in Princes Street Gardens on 20 August. In 2019, the band celebrated the 20 year anniversary of their breakthrough album The Man Who. As a classic Scottish band it’s only fitting that Travis round off another world-class summer of music in Edinburgh.

Other bands on the lineup are yet to be announced but with this year’s headliners tickets will go fast. You can get your tickets from 9am this Friday, 31 January, on the Summer Sessions website.

Who are you most excited for at this year’s Edinburgh Summer Sessions? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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