If, like me, youâ€™ve been counting down the days till Edinburghâ€™s 2014 summer festivals, then youâ€™ll probably be as excited as I am that Friday 18 July marked the launch of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, and the first day of the finest six weeks in Edinburghâ€™s cultural calendar.
Performers from all over the world have been busy polishing their acts, Edinburghâ€™s venues are poised to welcome audiences through their doors and the special festival Ferris wheel next to the Scott Monument is ready to roll (so to speak).
Visiting the festivals
The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival kicked off proceedings with the Mandela Day Concert on Friday 18 July, followed closely by the vibrantÂ Mardi Gras street party on Saturday 19 July at the Grassmarket and the colourfulÂ Festival Carnival on Sunday 20 July on Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens.
Still to come, over the next few weeks the Fringe, Tattoo, Art, Book and International festivals will launch their varied programmes before the Mela fills Leith Links with a weekend of family fun and fantastic food at the end of August.
If you havenâ€™t visited before then youâ€™re in for a treat. For six weeks during July and August, Scotlandâ€™s capital becomesÂ the world’s festival capital. Visitors, performers and celebrities flock to the city, doubling Edinburghâ€™s population and filling every nook and cranny with colour, music and that electric festival atmosphere.
To give you a sense of just how big it all gets, hereâ€™s a quick rundown of Edinburghâ€™s summer festivals in numbers:
- 7 â€“ the number of festivals taking place in Edinburgh in July and August.
- 10 â€“ the number of days the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival lasts for.
- 250,000 â€“ the number of visitors the Edinburgh Art Festival attracts.
- 1,000 â€“ the number of cast members performing at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
- 40,000 â€“ the number of performances that will take place during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
- 2,400 â€“ the number of artists performing at the Edinburgh International Festival.
- 750Â â€“Â the number of authors who will attend the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
- 4 â€“ the number of pounds it costs to buy a full day ticket to the Edinburgh Mela.
And while you’re here,Â be sure to leave some time to explore and to enjoyÂ some of Edinburghâ€™s year-round attractions. For a moment of peace and quietÂ visit the stunning Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh or climb Calton Hill and take in the sweeping views of Scotlandâ€™s capital. Visitor attractions such as the National Museum of Scotland and Royal Yacht Britannia will keep everyone entertained and there are loads of great restaurants and eateries to keep rumbling tummiesÂ at bay.
The Edinburgh Festivals Survival Guide
If youâ€™re wondering how youâ€™re going to narrow down all that there is to Â see and do, donâ€™t panic â€“ our new FREE Edinburgh Festivals Survival Â Guide is just out and is packed with helpful hints, tips and advice to help you get the best out of your visit.
Do the festivals on a budget, uncover your ideal shows, bag those must-have tickets, find exciting things to see and do in Edinburgh, discover the city’s hidden gems andÂ plan your trip to a tee.
Want to find out more?
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