With the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival already in full swing and five other festivals preparing for August, Edinburgh’s busy season has well and truly begun.
George Square Gardens have been filled with the beautiful tents of the Jazz and Blues Festival, and tables are surrounding the area with delicious food, drink and places to rest.
Even out of sight of the Gardens it is already impossible to miss the festival feeling; posters line the streets alerting locals and guests to the must-see Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows, with more going up every day, and theatres and galleries proudly announce their involvement in the world class theatre, dance and opera of Edinburgh International Festival and the ambitious and inspiring exhibitions of the Edinburgh Art Festival, with beautiful banners advertising highlights.
The stand from which visitors will watch The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has been towering over Edinburgh for well over a month now, having hosted a concert to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic torch in Scotland’s capital during the middle of June. The One O’Clock Gun firing from the Castle is a daily reminder of the military extravagance to come. This year’s performance will see Dennis the Menace and Minnie the Minx will join percussion and pipe bands from all over the world in a celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Buildings all across Edinburgh are being transformed into the hundreds of venues needed for thousands of performances, and cafes and ticket offices are popping up everywhere, hanging banners from ceilings and along walls.
With many shows already selling out, it’s never too early to start buying tickets and planning the highlights of the August season, but regulars know to leave a few nights free to wander and explore the smaller venues and lesser-known shows, before word-of-mouth makes clear where to find the formerly unknown best and brightest.
To top it all off, summer seems to have finally arrived in Edinburgh, spilling café tables out onto the streets as the locals have the chance to soak up some warmth and sunshine.
No doubt they are gossiping about the festivals, already swapping tip-offs and reviews, embracing Edinburgh’s artistic and literary past. Which author at the Edinburgh International Book Festival would they most like to meet? Which pubs last year became the haunts of stars? Where will they go on sunny afternoons to relax in the coolest spots, or dive right into the festival action?
Soon, they’ll be sharing these answers with the great influx of festival-goers. Edinburgh’s population more than doubles during August; hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts and people’s flats overflow with visitors from all walks of life, intent on getting the most out of one of the most exciting months in Scotland’s – or the world’s – calendar.
Book your tickets to experience the Edinburgh Festivals here.