Capital - Edinburgh Festivals

This article is from 2009.

Capital - Edinburgh Festivals

Summer Festivals Special

Edinburgh does festivals bigger and better than most cities. Anna Millar casts an early glance over the big players coming to visit this summer

Not for nothing has Edinburgh garnered a reputation for producing some of the finest festivals in the world. Although Manchester and Melbourne are coming hot on its heels, the Fringe continues to dominate the festival calendar as the self-styled Greatest Show on Earth. Thousands flock to the capital to flaunt their wares as churches, halls, theatres, streets, offices, toilets and parks are transformed into performance spaces for comedians, dancers, actors, puppeteers and mime artists.

For some happily eclectic sounds, look no further than the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, which can boast to being the longest running jazz festival in the UK. Adding to the mix is the Edinburgh Art Festival, which just seems to grow in presentation, kudos and design year on year as a roster of artists, both established and new, bring their work to town in galleries and spaces across the city. The Edinburgh International Festival regularly attracts some of the biggest names on the international circuit and this year’s melee of opera, dance and theatre looks set to be no different. Across at Charlotte Square, the Edinburgh International Book Festival continues to celebrate literary talent from around the world, this year featuring an appearance from new poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.

Elsewhere, the Edinburgh Mela continues to grow, boasting an array of food, drink and arts goodies from around the world. The Festival of Politics also manages to keep the big names coming, while over at the EICC, the Edinburgh International Television Festival has lined up a bold programme of lectures with everyone ranging from The Wire’s David Simon to TV pop tarts Ant and Dec. Last but not least, one of Edinburgh’s more old school traditions, the Military Tattoo, ensures there really is something for everyone.

See timeline in main article for details.

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival

Scotland's biggest jazz festival presents concerts over ten days all over the capital, in parks, churches, clubs and concert halls. With a programme featuring all jazz styles from early jazz to the avant garde, the EJ&BF usually manages to secure some world premières, new bands, and new collaborations.

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