Friday, 6 May 2016

Summer of Festivals

Temperatures are starting to get a bit warmer and the sun is popping out more often… and we all know what this means: summer is coming. Alongside crowds flocking to beer gardens and lunching in parks, the mildest time of the year is also synonymous with the ever popular festival season. Whether you’re more into classical music, jazz and blues, theatre or cinema, there will be an event for you to get excited about – and especially in Edinburgh. Get your festival gear on and inspire your creativity with our list of unmissable festivals in Scotland’s capital:

1.       The Fringe

As the largest arts festival in the world, the Fringe is an extraordinary event that shouldn’t be missed. Taking place every August for three weeks, it fills the streets of our beautiful city, offering every pedestrian the chance to attend outstanding, outdoor performances. The one rule to join the festival is that there is no rule. Actors and comedians are free to participate whenever and however they want, as there is no selection committee, nor any themes to follow.
Walk around the cobbled, steep roads of Edinburgh to discover hundreds of performances. Sometimes dramas, sometimes comedy, sometimes solo representations, sometimes group shows; each year, the Fringe gathers an array of exceptional talent, giving life to the medieval quarters of the city. Little ones and adults can both look forward to exploring Edinburgh in a truly unique way and enjoying this colourful, festive event that has hit the streets for 26 years now.

If you’re more into classical music, the Edinburgh International Festival is for you. Boasting an outstanding line-up of opera and dance shows each year, the Scottish event organised its first edition in the wake of the Second World War. Since then, it has welcomed hundreds of highly gifted orchestras, musicians and dance companies inside the walls of leading venues such as the Kings Theatre, the Queen’s Hall and the Hub; a converted church on Castlehill, below Edinburgh Castle.
Visitors can look forward to attending three weeks of on-stage performances that interpret original creations and classical compositions. Feel transported by the powerful melodies and inspiring acting presented on the diverse stages of the festival, and discover a new side to Scottish cultural heritage.

3.       Jazz & Blues Festival

If you’ve had enough of electro and pop-rock gigs acclaimed by hundreds of flower-crowned, hipsters, we feel you. We’ve also got exactly what you need to reconcile your feelings towards music festivals. Enter the inspiring atmosphere of jazz and blues at this annual festival located in the heart of Edinburgh. Set up in 1978, the music event aims to unveil a new jazz scene as well as having famous musicians on stage –  including the likes of Buddy Tate and Warren Vaché, who used to visit and play in the 80’s.
Over nine days, 14 exceptional concerts will be held in diverse venues across Edinburgh. Warren Haynes’ classic rock guitar and deep-toned voice, Alvin Youngblood Hart’s heartfelt, enchanting melodies and Curtis Stigers’ suave saxophone will seduce the audience in a second. Get ready to enjoy an unforgettable experience with the pure rhythms of jazz and blues…

If you’re interested in cinema, EIFF will be your perfect festival choice. Undoubtedly the UK’s biggest cinema event, it welcomes the crème de la crème of international movies each year; promoting them through an outstanding ten-day festival. Since its first edition, films such as Little Miss Sunshine, Billy Elliot and more recently Frances Ha have been showcased in the Scottish city – and met with admiration from spectators and jurists alike.

From “American Dreams” to “Black Box”, 14 categories will include innovative, international films including animation, short and feature-length movies. Edinburgh International Film Festival aims to nurture new talent and find the big names of tomorrow. The “world’s longest continually running film festival”, as it’s commonly called, is the first to open festival season in Edinburgh and invites an enchanting and artistic atmosphere to the city. If watching foreign, independent movies is what you crave, register on the website to get free tickets – and enter the world of this awe-inspiring art.

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