From August 12th to August 19th, I was on vacation in Edinburgh expecting to simply have a week off from the mundane life of Finland, just having a time where I could relax and take it easy.
It was that, and much more.
Edinburgh is known to have once a year every August (yes, as in the FULL month) the legendary Fringe Festival, where artists ranging from designers to stand up comedians hold events and shows for visitors and tourists alike.
I remember it being so full of people and so many shows were part of the Fringe that during Thursday, about three days before my departure, I got confused and overwhelmed on the shows and wasn’t even sure what to do next!
Starting off my vacation I went to see a stand up on castle invasion (unique eh?) which was perhaps the funniest start I ever had to a city I already found so charming. Unfortunately the comedian’s name escapes me, but it was an amazing show in a very tightly packed pub. With very funny quips to the absurdity of gift shops in castles to the poking of mountaineers climbing a mountain only because it was there, the show was nothing short of an uplifter, already giving me a positive angle on how the Fringe treats it’s guests well.
Walking around I found a lot of talented musicians too, along with the classic bagpipers serenading the streets with a charming flow of scottish tunes.
A lot of rather decent sized bands too were performing on simple street corners, ranging from a full on war drum band like The Harbingers to a small trio funk band jamming it out with their Fender, jazz drum kit and bass.
Of course it is not all only in english, a lot of the programme was also available for international languages too, like the very funny antics of Ollie Horn during his stay in japan (apparently the fried chicken there is good) to the full japanese stand-up routine of Saku Yanagawa, out of which I understood a tad but still made it hilarious.
Ollie Horn (left) and Saku Yanagawa (right)
And of course the Fringe is not only a chance to go and see a wide array of artists, it allows you to go and explore the full city of Edinburgh while meeting very interesting people, maybe even making some travel companions with whom you can go and explore what essentially is a city meant for the ones who want to have a need of wanderlust satiated, like by climbing to the very top of Arthur’s Seat, the perfect vantage point to see and have a taste of what the entirety of Scotland has to offer.
The Peak of Arthur’s Seat
It is very commendable to the City of Edinburgh’s council how they have made Fringe so accessible to everyone. Every street needed closed was closed so inconspicuously, as to not disturb the peace of residents or overall keep the pristine nature of some areas.
And what was even more impressive was the noise level! Usually you’d think a Festival would be extremely loud yelling, turned up to the max guitar amplifiers but no, it was all very calm and energetic, a perfect balance between the entertainment and the noise of visitors.
As a critique though I would of wished that the Festival Fringe application would have had a calendar option where by clicking on a certain day a list of possible events to attend would have been shown, or a more coherent list when you bookmark events that shows their dates clearly. But that’s a minor thing in my eyes, the Fringe staff knows what to do.
Will I return to the Fringe next year? I sure hope so, it is an event so unique that a yearly visit seems to be in order.