As we here at Playbill gear up to attend the 75th Edinburgh Festival Fringe, much of our focus has (rightly) been on the incredible shows that will be staged. However, with more than 3,000 shows in more than 300 venues, it takes quite a city to support such an outpouring of artistry. Thankfully, Edinburgh is more than up to the task.
Known colloquially as the "Empress of the North", Edinburgh, Scotland is a metropolis where inspiration and innovation collide. Here are 7 reasons Edinburgh, Scotland is the perfect home for the world's largest arts festival!
1. Inspiring Environs
The environment of Edinburgh is perfectly suited to dichotomies; both ancient and modern, you can find yourself ruminating on medieval folklore while walking the cobblestoned streets of Old Town, dreaming up the next big thing on the boulevards of New Town, or taking in the natural wonder of Scotland on a quick trip outside of the city limits; you're bound to discover magic in one of the city's many inspiring enclaves.
2. Cultural Cache
Edinburgh has been the capital of Scotland since the 15th century, and has been a bustling city center since the Bronze Age; that leaves thousands of years of history and tradition for you to explore! If you're ever in need of inspiration, why not pick up a book of Scottish poems, or head down to a local pub to participate in a ceilidh (a social dance featuring folk music and storytelling)? Scottish music and literature traditions stretch back millennia.
3. Astonishing Architecture
Art is everywhere in Edinburgh, and its architecture is no exception; from towering Gothic structures like the Scott Monument to medieval fortresses like Edinburgh Castle, all you have to do is look up to find inspiration. And if that isn't enough, many of the awe inspiring structures are open to the public, allowing you to explore inside and climb above the city to look down on it from above; the perfect perspective shift!
4. Creative Cuisine
Scotland is a foodie's paradise. While not as publicly lauded as say, French cuisine, Edinburgh is one of the most awarded cities in culinary circles. Whether you are on the hunt for the perfect Scotch whisky or looking to have a memorable meal, Edinburgh has you covered. Why not take in a luxurious afternoon tea and reflect on the ways in which cuisine is an art form in and of itself?
5. The Main Mile
The Royal Mile, which is the main thoroughfare through Old Town Edinburgh, is paradise for those who like to people-watch. The busy street is the main connection between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, as well as the central nervous system of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. During the Festival, the Mile is transformed into a sea of buskers and street performers, each more eclectic than the last. You're bound to see something unique and unusual on the Mile!
6. Magnificent Museums
If the hustle and bustle ever get to be too much, you can always retreat into one of Edinburgh's many museums, which are filled to the brim with cultural and natural wonders. Perhaps a visit to the City Art Centre, the Museum of Edinburgh, The People's Museum, or the Museum of Childhood will hold the very thing you didn't know you were looking for!
7. The Melting Pot
Edinburgh holds an incredible mixture of people, places, and passions within its city limits. No matter where you turn, you are bound to discover something new in exploring the "Empress of the North". This blend of time and tradition makes Edinburgh the perfect place for an arts festival, and for artists themselves. It's a city where you can learn more about yourself with every step along the well worn streets.
These seven wonders are only a handful of the marvels that Playbill writers Margaret Hall and Leah Putnam will be writing about as part of Playbill Goes Fringe, Playbill’s extensive on-the-ground coverage of the festival. Excited to learn more? Check out Playbill Goes Fringe: Meet the Correspondents Who Will Cover the Good, the Bad, and the Weird at Edinburgh Fringe to find out more about how to follow along and “live” the experience with them.