The Festival Cities of Edinburgh and Adelaide examines how these cities’ world-famous arts events have shaped and been shaped by their long-term interaction with their urban environments. While the Edinburgh International Festival and Adelaide Festival are long-established, prestigious events that champion artistic excellence, they are also accompanied by the two largest open-access fringe festivals in the world. It is this simultaneous staging of multiple events within Edinburgh’s Summer Festivals and Adelaide’s Mad March that generates the visibility and festive atmosphere popularly associated with both places. Drawing on perspectives from theatre studies and cultural geography, this book interrogates how the Festival City, as a place myth, has developed in the very different local contexts of Edinburgh and Adelaide, and how it is challenged by groups competing for the right to use and define public space. Each chapter examines a recent performative event in which festival debates and controversies spilled out beyond the festival space to activate the public sphere by intersecting with broader concerns and audiences. This book forges an interdisciplinary, comparative framework for festival studies to interrogate how festivals are embedded in the social and political fabric of cities and to assess the cultural impact of the festivalisation phenomenon.