The Centre for Speech Technology Research, The university of Edinburgh
[ download ]

The Festival Speech Synthesis System

Festival offers a general framework for building speech synthesis systems as well as including examples of various modules. As a whole it offers full text to speech through a number APIs: from shell level, though a Scheme command interpreter, as a C++ library, from Java, and an Emacs interface. Festival is multi-lingual (currently English (British and American), and Spanish) though English is the most advanced. Other groups release new languages for the system. And full tools and documentation for build new voices are available through Carnegie Mellon's FestVox project (

The system is written in C++ and uses the Edinburgh Speech Tools Library for low level architecture and has a Scheme (SIOD) based command interpreter for control. Documentation is given in the FSF texinfo format which can generate, a printed manual, info files and HTML.

Festival is free software. Festival and the speech tools are distributed under an X11-type licence allowing unrestricted commercial and non-commercial use alike.

Online demo

There are two online demonstrations of Festival, where you can synthesise your own sentences:

Current version

A 2.1 Release Candidate (labelled 2.0.95) is available for download. This is the most recent version available for free and unrestricted use. This version is functionally equivalent to 2.1, but we are holding back changing the number to 2.1 until wider testing has been completed.

New in this release:

Other features include:

Current Personnel

Past Personnel


The 1.4.x manual is available here.

Mailing lists

Festival related mailing lists can be found here.


A short Festival FAQ is available here.


Festival is constantly being improved and added to in continuing our research in speech synthesis at CSTR.

Contact or for more details.

[ download ]