Tags: 2012, arts, book festival, comedy, concert, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Festivals, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Festivals, fringe, music, Scotland, theatre
It is that time again when the world’s oldest and largest arts extravaganza bundles into Edinburgh doubling the city’s population and taking everyone’s breath away. The party is getting started, we can all sleep sometime in September, but it can be hard to know how to get the best out of all the shenanigans of the multiple festivals, so here are my Top 10 tips on making the most of this year’s festival season.
- Plan and Plan Again – With accommodation and tickets for all the big shows snapped up quickly the more planning you can do the better.
- Chuck the Plan out the Window – Not a contradiction, honest. Part of the beauty of the Festival lies in its chaos, so don’t be afraid sometimes just to veer off your plans and you might just uncover a wee treasure that few other people know about.
- Read Up – Local magazine The List is an essential buy with superb listings, while most newspapers have some sort of Festival coverage including handy dedicated supplements.
- Don’t Diss the Flyers – Yes getting wads of paper stuffed in your face by desperate performers plugging their shows can get annoying, but these flyers are a great source of information and also some feature discounts too.
- Preview Shows and 2-4-1 Offers – This coming week sees a lot of shows offer discounts and two-for-one ticket promotions. This is a great value way to see shows on the cheap and also enjoy performers before they get jaded towards the end of the Festival.
- Unearth a Gem – You could just spend a fortune seeing all the comedy big hitters at the posh venues, but try some smaller venues too and you might be rewarded. A few years ago in a tiny cabin at The Pleasance I saw a budding stand up comedian who seemed to be nervously stomping up and down the tiny stage. Little we did we realise that this was going to become the calling card of household name Michael McIntyre.
- Pack for Edinburgh – This is not the Caribbean so we recommend packing a waterproof jacket, an umbrella too and sturdy shoes that you can walk in for miles. And you will be walking for miles. A smartphone is handy these days for checking timings, locations etc.
- Do The Festival on the Cheap – Some shows cost a fortune on their own, but you can also have plenty of fun whilst watching the pennies. Bring a big water bottle and fill it up at the start of each day with Princes Street Gardens a world-class venue for budget cutting picnics too. Then look out for free shows as there are plenty, ask around and also make sure to pick up all the flyers with discounts. Look out too for events at the Edinburgh Free Fringe Festival, where the shows are indeed totally free!
- Escape the Madness – Do more than a few days of the Edinburgh Festival and it will sometimes all get a little too much. Help is on hand with seaside escapes close by in city suburb Portobello, sleepy village enclave Cramond and gorgeous historic South Queensferry with its famous Forth bridges and pubs.
Book for next year – If you have never been before I am 100% sure that one Festival will not be enough and if you have been before I don’t need to tell you that you will be desperate to come back! So get in early for cheaper accommodation deals and to have a date in the diary for next year so you won’t have to endure the post-Festival blues this year.
Thanks to The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society for supplying the photos.