Since the first International Jazz Festival took place in Eilat, in 1987, the potential of the southern resort town becoming a centre of international art and culture was discovered. Almost 30 years later, with room to grow, Eilat is certainly become worthy of the title. Today there are over 10 international festivals held annually in the city, in addition to countless musical performances, exhibitions, theater, stand-up comedy, food and art events and international sport competitions.
The Red Sea Jazz Festival, which takes place on the last week of August, and attracts huge names from the world jazz scene, is the oldest international festival held in the city. Alongside the performances held in the port area, there is a variety of related activities, workshops and the traditional and popular 'Jam Session'.
Since 2001, Eilat also hosts one of the largest and most important gay pride events in the country - "Eilat Pride". During the 3 days of the festival, Eilat's famous party scene holds simultaneous parties at different locations throughout the city, with famous international DJs and spectacular drag performances. In 2014, the legendary Boy George, hosted one of the parties, which became one of the most talked about events ever held in the city.
Another major Eilat event is "Eilat Red Sea" - an International underwater photography Competition, which is also called the Underwater Photography Olympics. During the competition the city hosts dozens of professional and amateur photographers from around the world, who compete in a variety of categories. On the last day of the festival, an open exhibition is held, showing the best photographs of the year.
While in the past Eilat festivals were held mostly during the summer, today there are countless cultural and sporting events held all throughout the year, some specifically in the winter.