Edinburgh boasts far more than its fair share of festivals, events and celebrations through the year. Festival has spawned festival and now there are a huge range of special occasions to make a trip to Edinburgh more exciting.
Major Summer Festivals
Edinburgh International Festival
Edinburgh International Festival is an extremely prestigious arts event which takes over three weeks in August. The Festival includes international performances of dance, theatre, opera, music as well as exhibitions. Shows take place in venues like the Edinburgh Playhouse and the Edinburgh Festival Theatre. Prices for tickets range upwards from around £6. Really big shows may sell out in advance (check their website in late spring), but for the others you may be able to buy tickets on the day of the performance. The main Box Office is at the Hub, an attractive converted church and meeting place at the top of the Royal Mile by the Castle.
Apparently the largest arts festival in the world (as anyone who has visited will find easy to believe). Thousands of shows in nearly 200 venues, ranging from gritty groundbreaking drama to new shows from well-established comedians. The Box Office is on the Royal Mile; arm yourself with a programme and be prepared to plan your whole day around shows.
The 2005 Edinburgh Fringe takes place on 7th -29th August.
Edinburgh International Book Festival
Edinburgh Book Festival is a rather sweet cluster of bookshops, stands and tents for events such as author readings and discussions. Many of today’s top writers put in an appearance, and there are some very interesting workshops and talks.
A huge hit with tourists, and likely to book up well in advance, the tattoo is a huge mass piping event in an impressive setting beside the Castle.
Other Festivals and Events
The Hogmanay New Year celebrations take over the whole of the centre of Edinburgh. Nowadays Edinburgh is the UK’s party capital on this night, with crowds seeing in the New Year with mass choruses of ‘Auld Lang Syne.’ The town lays on a gigantic party in the streets along the Royal Mile, Princes Street and George Street. There are fireworks, music and theatre, pipe bands and millions of well-wishers.