August means Edinburgh festivals and in particular its international book festival. I grew up in this northern capital, dominated by its castle, Arthur seat and historic Royal mile. The Edinburgh festival has been taking place each August since 1947. After the devastation of war Austrian Rudolf Bing, decided Europe could be brought together to heal by a large scale cultural festival. He decided on Edina, as it reminded him of Salzburg, and it became the worlds biggest cultural arts event. This is the first year for 72 years since 1947 the Edinburgh festival has not been held.
There is the main international festival, the fringe, the comedy, dance, opera, musicals, drama, concerts, mime, art, debates and of course the performers in the high street..
Edinburgh is a great cultural city, with a rich past and present, and hosts the world’s biggest multi national major festival, that celebrates not only comedy, theatre, music, dance and the arts – but the intersections and connections between and the significance of the arts for all of us. Glasgow has a wealth of iconic music venues – King Tuts, Barrowlands, Oran Mor and celebrates all the genres as well as its links via shipping to America and beyond. It was the once world’s shipbuilder.
The Edinburgh International book festival EIBF, the first of its kind is where Charlotte square Edinburgh comes alive with the written and spoken word.
welcomes many well kent faces – celebrities, scientists, academics, historians, illustrators, children’s authors, politicians, economists and more. Its such an adrenalin buzz of coming together, informed debates and renewal, a chance to recharge and be inspired by other creatives..
Instead this year the EIBF will host 140 events online program - https://www.facebook.com/edbookfest/
Of course many Edina locals have been finding the surge of crowds overwhelming the city as the festival got bigger and bigger every year. While many others enjoy and attend events. Another issue has been that the global companies involved which has meant money going off to London and elsewhere. More money needs to be kept back to be spent on Edinburgh infrastructure and roads.
MY LIGHT SHINES ON .....
I took a trip over the Edinburgh - it was strange to see the quiet streets and I hope these times of reflection will bring us all deeper appreciation of what the ARTS mean for our lives.
Art is crucial
Art is how we move forward, broaden horizons, question and exchange ideas, culture and heritage ultimately matters more – more than any political rhetoric.
We had lockdown from March for three long months until easing began. Its been a worrying, disconcerting experience. There have been plus sides too - less pollution noise, clear air, no crime!
Prices will be low this year, perhaps I might go over and just walk about – down the Dean village, the water of Leith, the forth estuary harbour front of Newhaven (where I went to secondary school) or Cramond walks or the famous Royal mile. Will anything be open though?
“Creative families want to be back together felt quite emotional – its a vocation, we love it – to feel it coming back. So much talent in Scotland. “
I have been taking photos at the Edinburgh Festival since 2007. Perhaps this is a year to step back, and renew our attitudes and ideas or make a change of direction. Perhaps this is much needed reflections and contemplations.
So this year is very strange for me, August is Edinburgh! EIF is a great melting pot.
There will be online performances from the SCO, RSNO
Aiden O’Rourke, Rachel Sermanni, Allan Cumming, and many more.
For details BBC Scotland
Festival facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/edfringe/
WHY EDINBURGH? “Certain preconditions were obviously required of such a centre. It should be a town of reasonable size, capable of absorbing and entertaining anything between 50,000 and 150,000 visitors over a period of three weeks to a month. It should, like Salzburg, have considerable scenic and picturesque appeal and it should be set in a country likely to be attractive to tourists and foreign visitors. It should have sufficient number of theatres, concert halls and open spaces for the adequate staging of a programme of an ambitious and varied character. Above all it should be a city likely to embrace the opportunity and willing to make the festival a major preoccupation not only in the City Chambers but in the heart and home of every citizen, however modest. Greatly daring but not without confidence I recommended Edinburgh as the centre and promised to make preliminary investigations.”
Art is how I imagine and visualise my references.
Music is my main point of wonder, escape and emotional release.
Poetry is how I make sense of the turmoil, confusion and troubles.
And the stories we tell ourselves.