Frequently Asked Questions

The 42nd Edinburgh International Harp Festival - 7-11 April 2023

We’ve put together answers to frequently asked questions.

If you have any others please contact us.

Attending EIHF 2023

Check out our VISITING EIHF page for all you need to know about attending the EIHF 2023 in-person.

Box Office

When can I book tickets?

The EIHF 2023 online box office is now open and accessible via the WHAT’S ON page of this website

Can I use my Clarsach Society login to book EIHF tickets?

Yes: the account is the same for both.

I’ve forgotten my password…

Go to the login page and click on I forgot my password. You will receive a password reset email with instructions.

If this doesn’t work for you, please get in touch.

I live in Europe and my payment card is not being accepted

If you are trying to check out and experiencing problems with your payment method, please contact us. It will be possible, in these exceptional circumstances, to use alternative payment methods (PayPal, international transfer)

How close to the Festival can I book tickets?

Tickets will be on sale up and, and during, the Festival for all in-person events.

Sales for zoom courses will close at midnight on Tuesday 4th April.

It will also be possible to purchase on demand content (both passes and individual tickets) after the Festival.

What is ‘My Wallet’?

In your booking confirmation email, you will see a button saying ‘Log in to My Wallet’.

This is a new feature which allows you to access all your e-tickets – as well as On Demand content – all in one place.

You need to be signed in to your account to access your Wallet.


What’s the difference between a Course and a Workshop?

Courses are in-depth study sessions taking place over 4 days with one of our highly experienced tutors, who are all renowned harpers and harpists in their own rights.  They are capped at 15 students, so that the tutor can give each student the attention they deserve, and to make interaction meaningful and possible. 

There are two kinds of course: the 4-day course, which comprises 4 x 90 minute sessions over 4 days in the same time slot each day – either in the morning (09:00-10:30), early afternoon (13:00-14:30) or late afternoon (16:30-18:00).  There are also two weekend courses – Saturday and Sunday – with two sessions each per day

Workshops are one-off sessions, with our tutor-performer giving us the benefit of their specialist knowledge on a particular area or aspect of harping. Some are interactive learning (marked ‘bring your harp!’) and others are more of a sit-back-and-relax lecture-recital style.

What level course should I choose?

For your own satisfaction and the sanity of our excellent teachers, it is essential that you choose the correct level. If in any doubt please check with your teacher or email us for advice about levels .

  • POST BEGINNER: You may have already taken a Beginners course, have had relatively few lessons or require help with basic technique.
  • ELEMENTARY: You can already perform simple tunes, require further help in developing technique and wish to work slowly and carefully.
  • ELEMENTARY/INTERMEDIATE: As Elementary, but you feel ready to stretch boundaries and work a little faster.
  • INTERMEDIATE: Your technique is established and you are happy to work at a moderate speed.
  • INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED: As Intermediate, but you are ready and willing to work faster, stretch yourself and be a bit adventurous.
  • MIXED ABILITIES: Catering for all levels except complete Beginners.
I’m a complete beginner: do you have a course for me?

We are running one Adult Beginner class this year, with Eleanor Hetherington. Harps will be provided free of charge for this course.

You might also be interested in the tutors page on The Clarsach Society website.  The Society also runs a competitively-priced harp hire scheme for its members. 

Why are there no Advanced courses?

In the past, numbers taking these courses were very low so instead we are offering a wide range of subjects at INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED level and for MIXED ABILITIES. 

Why are your course numbers capped at 15?

We have chosen to keep our course sizes the same as they are “in real life” at George Watson’s, allowing for quality learning time and the chance to interact and ask questions to your tutor.

How will I receive music / handouts for my course and workshop?

For in-person courses and workshops music / handouts will be given out by tutors at the course / workshop.

For online courses we will be emailing course packs (with music and zoom codes) on the 6th and 7th of April.

Zoom Courses

I’ve never used Zoom before and I’m nervous about this…

We’ve prepared a set of Zoom guidelines, available to download as a PDF below.

When will I receive my Zoom Course links and sheetmusic?

You will receive your Zoom Course codes and sheetmusic as part of your course pack. These will be emailed on the 6th and 7th of April.

Will you be recording Zoom courses for catch-up?

Zoom courses will not be recorded.

I’m in a different time zone: why do your zoom courses start so early?

Zoom courses are live in real time. Unfortunately, this means that the morning courses beginning at 09.00am BST/UK time will not suit, for example, those in the US. We’re very sorry about this: we’ve considered our scheduling very carefully and tried to make our courses as accessible as possible – but there was no other way to squeeze everything in!

We hope those in this situation will be able to take advantage of the Zoom courses starting at 13:00 and 16:30 instead.


I’d like to volunteer at the festival: how do I do this?

The EIHF couldn’t happen without volunteers. Volunteering is a great way to get involved, meet new people and learn new skills.  To learn more visit the volunteer page.

I’d like to support the work of the EIHF: how can I do this?

Thank you: you can donate to the Festival here.