Robotics and digital technology have been at the heart of many of the developments that have transformed everyday life. If the films Terminator, Ex Machina and Transformers are to be believed then these leaps forward in technology are absolutely fine and definitely won’t end in the destruction of humanity or near apocalypse.

For now though, our trusty robotic friends are keeping us fascinated – taking the form of uncanny cyborgs and AI avatars. This exhibition not only allows you to see and interact with the cutting-edge technology of today, but also shows the early beginnings of robotics as well as a glimpse into the definitely not nightmarish future.

National Museum of Scotland, until May 5. £9


Copyright Raini Scott Copyright Raini Scott
Whilst the simultaneous sparking of a few thousand Swan Vestas matches wouldn’t generally be encouraged in our major cities, the Beltane Fire Festival shows how such a spectacular flame show can be enjoyed responsibly. The re-imagining of the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane will mark the changing seasons with “a wild mix of drums, fire and physical theatre on a scale not seen anywhere else in the world”.
That’s the official line by the way! Expect to look on in awe as the May Queen and Green Man lead a cavalcade of characters in a procession which culminates in the lighting of a bonfire to signify the inception of summer. Oooh, warm glows.

Calton Hill, April 30. Tickets from £5.50.



Honestly, where would us school leavers be without those magical roasted beans and their associated properties? Late-night essay-writing sessions? No chance. Exam revision until 1am? Forget it.
Coffee – and more accurately the concentration-boosting caffeine contained within – has been good to us and we should pay our respects by checking out the festival dedicated to its powers.

Around 55 exhibitors will be there with demonstrations, interactive workshops and a range of other features among the aromatic attractions. Be warned, though – it hasn’t been made clear whether or not you’re expected to supply your own milk and sugar.

The Briggait, May 4 & 5. From £13.50.



The creator of legendary independent film Clerks, Kevin Smith has gone on to write and direct a host of films featuring A-list stars such as Elizabeth Banks, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and John Goodman. Throughout his career his comments on the showbiz life and the filmmaking process have often been controversial.

Alongside him is comedian and voice actor Ralph Garman who has appeared in Family Guy, Ted and The Lego Batman Movie. Podcasts have become one of the main outlets for comedians and writers. While many of them are recorded in the privacy of the performers’ own homes or studios, this is the opportunity to be in attendance for the recording of a podcast that will cover topics like showbiz, comics and film-making.

Usher Hall, May 14. £30.80 – £38.50.



Colouring books, crosswords and boardgames have all recently come back into fashion. But not to anywhere near the extent of Lego. The colourful bricks have always been popular amongst kids and big kids alike, but ten years ago it would have been difficult to imagine that Lego would have spawned an A-list film franchise, several cartoons and TV shows as well as a number of competitions and exhibitions around the world.

If you have held on to your childish sense of imagination and love the satisfying feeling of inventing countless, colourful creations then this is the place to be. An event for Lego builders of all ages looks to bring people together who share an admiration for the brilliant little bricks.

Potterow, May 18. £3.

preview by Luke Hawkins