Edinburgh Festival Guide: West End
Classical music at the Usher Hall, new writing at the Traverse and comedy at the EICC
This article is from 2016.
The West End of Edinburgh is home to several of the cities permanent performance venues. Just off Lothian Road is the Traverse Theatre, whose Fringe programme continues their year-round dedication to new writing; the Royal Lyceum Theatre, which showcases a variety of plays as part of the International Festival, including several Shakespeare productions; and the Usher Hall, where you can see world famous composers, conductors and orchestras.
The Usher Hall was home to last year's International Festival opener The Harmonium Project, a free outdoor visual spectacle in collaboration with 59 Productions that saw some 20,000 people line the streets. This year the they're presenting Deep Time on Edinburgh Castle and Castle Rock, with a specially compiled soundtrack of music by Scottish rock band Mogwai.
Closer to Haymarket station is the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, this giant of a building hosts some of the biggest comedy names on the Fringe, including those who 'made it' years ago and prefer to just pop-up for a couple of shows, rather than the customary three week stint.
Further west yet is the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Set in extensive parkland the gallery hosts a collection of modern and contemporary art across two buildings as well as a sculpture garden. In addition to their permanent collection it's a partner venue for Edinburgh Art Festival and the starting point for one of their Art Late events, where you can enjoy artist talks, tours and live music at art spaces across the city.