Where it's at
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland in Britain and the most
'English' of all the Scottish cities. The Edinburgh International
Festival and Edinburgh Fringe Festival are an amazing
cultural extravaganza of dance, theatre, art and music.
Occurring in August to September each year, the Edinburgh
festival begun in 1947 with just 8 theatre groups as a post-war
ignition to unite Europe again through the arts, and is now
the world's largest arts festival. Some of the 1947 performers
included legends like the Viennese Philharmonic Orchestra,
Alec Guinness and Margot Fonteyn.
During the festival the population of Edinburgh soars as
over a million people descend on the city to attend the festival.
The festival has every sort of arts imaginable from the traditional
music concerts and performances at the International Festival
to the alternative art that they call the 'fringe'. It's become
the place, even above London's West End, to break new talent
in the world of theatre and entertainment.
Beneath The Fringe
The Fringe has always been a radical affair, with many
acts causing controversy, from nudity in the 1960's and a
play about bestiality in 1967, which regularly caused attempted
bans by the Lord Chamberlain, the upholding vanguard of British
censorship during this time. It's also renowned for comedy
- great names to have found fame at the fringe include
French & Saunders, Ben Elton, Julian Clary and
The Fringe Sunday is a famous event that takes places
on the High Street. Hundreds of street performers gather -
actors, comics, acrobatics, sculptors, performance artists
to 'show off their wares' to passing crowds and bookers. This
'street busking' only became legal in 1980. The quality of
Fringe theatre is mixed, if you can fund it, you can do it
in Edinburgh so if you're talented and after a break - the
Fringe is THE place to be seen and heard.
Other things to see and do
In August you can also see the Edinburgh Military Tattoo
which takes place in Edinburgh Castle. Bagpipe groups and
military units come from all over the Commonwealth to put
on an incredible display. After a dazzling display of military
musical prowess, the evening ends with the lone piper and