In which I pen an ode to Edinburgh in August…Posted: August 4, 2010
“Hey Edinburgh, you’re so fine,
You’re so fine you blow my mind.
Thus endth the ode. It is a particularly crappy ode, thoroughly unoriginal, stultifying mundane and does not truly depict the utter fabulousness that is Edinburgh in August.
I’d imagine that a lot of people (in the UK and Ireland especially) will have heard of Edinburgh Festival season—there’s the Fringe, where the worlds most talented (and possibly some of the least-talented-but-rich) comedians and performers congregate; the International festival, full of opera, dance, music and drama; the Edinburgh International Book Festival, when Charlotte’s Square (the most symmetrical square in Europe, btw) becomes filled to the rafters with writers and publishing types; and last, but not least (to coin a cliché) the Jazz and Blues festival…it’s just a week long (at the moment) but rumour has it it’s a blast! The film festival also used to go on throughout August but they, thankfully, moved it to June. It is almost certain that had all five festivals continued to run concurrently the universe (and ALL of Edinburgh’s accommodation providers) would have exploded.
It is intense. August in Edinburgh is insane. The population quadruples and you can’t throw a stone but for tourists (this is fine, I love tourists and as an Irish person in Edinburgh I am officially not allowed to comment. However, if you are a tourist and you are going to walk at snails pace/stop suddenly to admire Edinburgh’s stunning architecture/gather in large groups right in front the shop I want to enter…then please…well, don’t. Or do, because that is your right, but be aware that I will be cursing you silently). Anyway, waiting for the bus is a trial, queuing to get into the gigs is long and, lets face it, this is Edinburgh in summertime, it rains All. The. Time. Couple this with the venues…oh the Pleasance, it’s amazing BUT ROASTING HOT. Like the fires of hell are chasing after the comedians and their audience…
Anyway, I positively adore Edinburgh at all times but particularly in August (just in case I was being unclear). It’s almost like the city is taking a deep breath and expanding…stretching to take on the joy and rain, and unrestrained arty-fartiness. There are few better feelings than leaving a show, giggling to yourself all the way home (via the pub…) and then waking up in a good mood the next day. For a whole month.
Part if it may also stem from living in the fricking wilderness for a large part of my formative years…to go from having minimal (buy tickets, book hotel in Dublin, get very expensive train to dublin, go to concert, get train back to wilderness) opportunity to go to concerts and other gigs to having a vast, dazzling array of world class performers within walking distance of my flat is an immense pleasure.
This is why I am incapable of showing any form of restraint come June when the various festival booking lines open. This is the reason I have not purchased the iPhone 4, and why I have eaten cereal for lunch for the past six weeks. But it’s worth it—I have booked 13 different things so far, with the intention of booking more come August payday (PayDay)…I will be exhausted, poor and possibly in danger of liver failure…but I’ll be happy.