Photo Credit: FiveTelegrams, Ryan Buchanan

For those of you unaware it’s Festivals Season in Edinburgh again, it’s safe to say you don’t live here. 

The Athens of the North is a frenzy of colour and activity beyond the tourists of summer, and as the International Festival sums up perfectly, the city says simply but sincerely ‘Welcome All’. 

We’ll add some more Festival, Fringe and Book Festivals shows beside the best places to eat and drink over the next couple of weeks, but as ever it feels apt to start with the International Festival, which was really the catalyst to transforming the ‘burgh into a beacon of arts, culture and creativity post-war.

This year, once again under under the watchful eye of artistic director Fergus Linehan, the EIF demonstrates once again that a curated programme can be diverse and engaging for traditionalists and futurists alike, with exceptional global talent and innovation to the fore as ever. 

Should this reach you in sufficient time do all you can for a ticket to Druid’s exceptional production of Beckett’s classic Waiting for Godot which runs until the 12th;  I have been lucky enough and it really is a striking piece which will last long in the memory. 

Elsewhere the incredible David Greig’s love letter to his home city with Gordon McIntyre, Midsummer will undoubtedly be the production which further redeems the notion of the musical for a skeptic such as myself. 

Sunday for the family sees a trip to see Hocus Pocus, which continues a recent tradition of innovation and creativity in Festival productions, and looks to be truly unique. 

One of the most exciting developments in Edinburgh for many years sees The International Festival returns to Leith Theatre for the first time in 30 years with a season called Light on the Shore with Edinburgh Gin Seaside, celebrating Scottish popular music and Leith as a creative hub. 

The season brings together bands, orchestral ensembles and curators including Mogwai, Django Django, Karine Polwart, Lau, Neu! Reekie!, Hidden

Door and Celtic Connections, with Bothy Culture causing deserved excitement. 

On a personal note the appearance of the mighty Mogwai in such an iconic venue (and area much of my family is from) promises to be truly special. 

Elsewhere, I am looking forward enormously to the wondrous St Vincent, and Geoff Sobelle’s beautiful Home at The Kings.

Add more classical music, dance and theatre from 50 countries than this brief outline could ever do justice, and its clear to see that the Edinburgh International Festival is the, vibrant beating heart of the city in August; Welcome All. 

Click here for a full programme and tickets.

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