The cultural highlight of Edinburgh's year comes every August during the Edinburgh Festival, which centers on the Festival Fringe and the International Festival. Since 1947, the International Festival has attracted internationally accomplished performers in classical music, opera, ballet, and drama. The Fringe, which essentially runs simultaneously, has overtaken the International Festival in scope and popularity. It presents some 2,000 shows at nearly 250 venues. It provides an opportunity for almost anybody -- professional or nonprofessional, an individual, a group of friends, or a whole company -- to put on a show wherever they can find an empty stage or street corner. For most visitors, the Fringe's attractions are first-rate comic acts, late-night revues, and contemporary drama and performance art at the well-established Fringe venues, such as the Pleasance. Over the years, it has become increasingly established (and sponsored) if no less experimental and unexpected.
As if all that wasn't enough, Edinburgh also hosts at about the same time a variety of other festivals. In Charlotte Square, the international Book Festival has become a large annual event, drawing authors such as J. K. Rowling and Toni Morrison. There are also the international Jazz Festival and a Television Festival.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Very Highly Recommended 2010