Posted by Sarah
Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that I have quite a fondness for short breaks in Edinburgh. I usually try to make it up there a few times a year and always schedule a date in August, when the world-famous Edinburgh festivals take place. Living outside the city, though, I do often find it’s hard to get tickets for really high-profile shows, even if I’m on the ball and try to buy them on the first day.
But I’ve just been reading about an initiative that Festivals Edinburgh (the new body responsible for promoting all of Edinburgh’s festivals) is planning to launch. Through the project, tickets for hotly tipped shows will be given to travel agents as part of tour packages – so if you do live outside Edinburgh, it should make it much easier for you to organise tickets, accommodation and travel to the city in one fell swoop.
Apparently, the organisers are going to spend the summer targeting potential festival-goers in northern English cities in close proximity to Edinburgh, like Manchester and Newcastle. I think it’s a really great idea, and should definitely help the Fringe festival recoup its losses after the disastrous box office events of last year.
What’s more, I can’t believe how many people in Britain have never been to any of the Edinburgh Festivals. It’s a world of culture – the Fringe is actually the biggest arts festival in the world – and it’s right on our doorstep. And if you’re struggling for cash this year and looking for local summer holiday destinations, I think you’ll find it hard to do better than Edinburgh in August.
The spectacular, innovative theatre is my favourite part (some of the best plays I’ve ever seen here have been in the back room of a pub or basement) but there’s loads of comedy, music, exhibitions, children’s shows and author event on too – basically, everything you can think of! Even if you’re not seeing a show in one of the city’s many festival venues, you’ll encounter all sorts of performers roaming free on the famous Royal Mile, which is really the best place to find out about what’s good and what’s not.
So I’d definitely try to bag one of those packages soon, if you’re interested. Even if you’re not a cultural person, the Edinburgh Festival is definitely worth doing at least once. Just think of it a bit like an all-in-one London theatre break – but most likely cheaper and about much more than just theatre.