Edinburgh, not a particularly large city, is filled with old stones, castles, pubs and parks and is a tourist destination not to be missed. It has its own kind of bustle, the constant sounds of bagpipes, which in Scotland is actually very appealing and its astounding scenic views. It is not too expensive to visit either.
Then, in the summer, there is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Edinburgh Art Festival and the whole city lights up. Suddenly there is no better place to be in Britain than the Scottish capital and no better time to put your Edinburgh home on to Airbnb. You will be able to pay your own rent from that summer month’s income for quite some time.
The Arts festival runs from the 25th of July to the 25th of August. With the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival adding to the festivities from the 1st of July. There are over 40 exhibitions to view, to get interactive with or even to listen too. The work largely features Scottish artists but there is a fair amount of international work too.
In a press release on the 25th of June, the festival announced the final additions to the programme: a collection of pop-up programmes, events and talks.
Janet Cardiff and George Bures Mills will be giving the keynote lecture, about their interactive exhibition Night Walk for Edinburgh. The exhibition is a video tour guide of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Participants will be guided through the streets, and watch their own world combine with historic Edinburgh.
The Dundas Street Galleries will be hosting The Breakfast Club every Thursday morning during the festival. This will include a musical performance and talk from mezzo-soprano, Joan Busby at the Open Eye Gallery.
Turner Prize winner, Grayson Perry’s piece, Grayson Perry: Julie Cope’s Grand Tour will be on display during the arts festival. It has also been expanded and a lecture from the Dovecot Studios curators will provide an interesting perspective and look at how the piece, a tapestry about a fictional ‘everywoman’ from Essex has been changed and built upon.
For those who cannot make it to the Edinburgh Night Walk, or who loved it so much they want to do some more, City Stories will provide a historic tour of the Old Town.
Of course, there are family friendly events for all ages. The Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop will be hosting Sculpture Saturdays specifically for children and families. Expect to see plenty of odd-looking horses and spaceships made from clay and plasticine and maybe even an odd face or two!
After long days of viewing and making art, there is no doubt that the crowds will start to feel hungry. Well fear not, not only is there a chance to make some art, you can make pizza too. The Johnstone Terrace Wildlife Garden is hosting Mud Oven Afternoons every Friday. Listen to some story-telling from local poets and writers, while your pizza cooks in one of their mud ovens. It sounds great fun.
To add to the delight, at the same location, is the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s smallest nature reserve, The Palm House. There is even a reading room in which to take refuge and to immerse yourself in print books and media. For a very bohemian experience, there is a cross-artform project that includes vocalist Hannah Tuuliki. The event is called Deer Dancer and will be on show at the Edinburgh Printmakers.
The Edinburgh Arts Festival has been running since it was first created in 2004. With the majority of events offering free admission, attendance is high. As the Fringe Festival happens at the same time, there is no more exciting a time to be in Edinburgh.