The weather may not be the sunshine we were hoping for this year, but the colour and warmth was certainly added to the city through the Jazz Festival’s arrival. When the Mardi Gras takes over the town it really kicks the atmosphere of the city up a fair few notches. This year was no different with the parade going through the city in a crescendo of music and a flowing of vibrancy that always draws huge crowds. The parade makes its way up to the Grass market and ensures the party stays in full flow. The whole festival was a huge success again this year, and has set the city up well for the festival season.
This event is the real start of the festival season, when visitors really start to come to the city. The Tattoo is set for another sell out season, the Fringe is gaining more performers to squeeze into ever more obscure places to perform what many hope will be their big break.
The Fringe every year will take the majority of peoples attention, having stared out as the outsider of the festivals (working on the fringes) it has now become the behemoth with which the city has become most synonymous with. The comedy on offer is what has become synonymous with the city, with more performers, shows and tickets sold than any other festival in the world, people come to the city to laugh and to be involved with what has become the centre of the comedic landscape. For new visitors doing your research before you arrive is absolutely necessary, the free guides that are everywhere in the city are packed with things to see and do, you will never be able to fit in everything you wish to see so make sure you make your choices wisely.
The Military Tattoo which is the most highly renowned single show during August takes place on the most spectacular theatre on the esplanade of the castle. It used to take 4 months to erect and take down, however this has now been shortened to half the time, and has also allowed for more seats in the theatre, over 210,000 people see the show every year. This spectacular show is an incredible performance from military performers from around the world and this years theme is East meets West. Running from the 7th – 29th of August, most tickets are already sold, however there are always some made available on the day for those wiling to queue.
It is almost as if the Edinburgh Festival itself has been overrun by the other festivals, however it may no longer be the biggest in the playground but it is still has so much to offer. With music, theatre, dance and art installations this is the festival that draws the giants from the arts world to showcase their performances. This year will witness so many great shows, including The Encounter at the EICC, which is a two minute walk from many of our apartments, and the free Harmonium Project, which is celebrating 50 years of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus.
Or you could choose to see many of the free shows that happen around the city, every so often you will bump into a gem in one of the many bars around the city, there is a huge amount of choice, from music, theatre, comedy and dance which you can explore and get yourself into the festival atmosphere without having to rack up the cost of paying for everything you see. Everywhere you look there will be performers, just head to the Royal Mile which must be one of the most heavily populated places on the planet during August, here you can see jugglers, fire eaters and magicians performing to huge crowds. Another great way to save some money is by using the discounts that are available to visitors staying in our apartments, we have some of the best restaurants and bars in town signed up, from the world famous Hard Rock Cafe to some new hip cocktail bars such as The Jolly Botanist.