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Edinburgh Festival

The festival takes place throughout August, in Edinburgh (the capital city of Scotland)

  • The Edinburgh Festival is the biggest arts festival in the world
  • Actually, the real Edinburgh Festival is only one small part of what people call the ‘Edinburgh Festival’. In truth, Edinburgh holds many festivals at the same time (often over 20). Nonetheless, people call the whole show the ‘Edinburgh Festival’
  • Other festivals held at the same time include the Fringe Festival (alternative arts and comedy, and now the biggest single festival in the world); the Book Festival; the Science Festival; the Film Festival; the Storytelling Festival; and the world famous Military Tattoo
  • The festival began in 1947
  • There are nearly 300 venues running during the festival, ranging from the large to the very very small (some events have even been held in apartments). Over 2500 shows run through the month
  • More numbers: nearly 2 million tickets are sold during the month; the 2500 shows have over 40 000 performances; shows from over 60 countries run during the month
  • Many venues also open all day for people to drink and meet. Stars of the shows are often found hanging out with the public
  • Every day there are hundreds of events to see. However, the biggest events are the comedy, plays, and military tattoo (the military tattoo involves military races, games, and parades of Scotland’s military in traditional Scottish clothes)
  • The comedy events are a huge part of the festival (over 1/3 of events are comedy events). Although there are famous comedians, the biggest turnout is for the alternative comedy (part of the Fringe Festival).
  • A prize – the Edinburgh Comedy Award (nicknamed ‘The Eddie’) – goes to the best Fringe comedy act. Winning the award can supply a major boost to a comedian’s career (many Eddie winners get TV shows within a year of winning the award)
  • Tourists from all over the world come to the festival. It is common for Edinburgh residents to rent out their apartments during the month (prices can be twice the usual rent)
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