festival successes and a melatastic weekend ahead

The Edinburgh Fringe came to an end for another year on Monday and it has been a huge success with a 5% rise on last year. 1,943,493 tickets were sold not including the Free Fringe (which is un-ticketed) making the total nearer 2m. This is also higher than the previous record high in 2011 of 1.87m.  There were 45,464 performances of 2871 shows at 273 venues across the city.  Bridget Christie won the 2013 Fosters Edinburgh Comedy, John Kearns won the 2013 Best Newcomer Award and 2013 Panel Prize was Awarded to Adrienne Truscott.

Highlights for us included PA systems for the Acoustic Music Centre at The Queens Hall and St Brides, and in The Famous Spiegeltent. Festival backlines included Drum Struck and Rick Wakeman at Assembly TheatreGet Got  at C Venues and Thermal and a Quarter at Spotlites @ Merchants Hall .

The Edinburgh International Book Festival also came to an end on Monday and was another big success, altogether there were 800 authors from 40 countries taking part in 700 events.  Sales in the two festival bookshops were up a healthy 6%.

After a 3 week run of the very best in international opera, music, theatre and dance the Edinburgh International Festival finishes on Sunday. The highlights for us were undoubtedly Grid Iron and ‘Leaving Planet Earth’ and the spectacular Tragedy of Coriolanus.

This weekend we’re looking forward to the fantastically diverse and vibrant Edinburgh Mela .  Held in Leith Links it is Scotland’s biggest celebration of world music and dance, its aim is to ‘challenge your senses with international rhythms, delicious food, family fun, global fashion and some utterly amazing music, dance and theatre’.  90s dance pioneers The Orb collaborating with Kakatsitsi Master Drummers from Ghana are this year’s headliners on Sunday night. There is no extra fee for the performance as it is included in the Mela’s £4 all-day entry fee (free to under 12s) and it is hoped they will be on in time so you can still make the eif Virgin Money Fireworks Concert at 9pm.  The weather forecast is looking good so head down to the Links for some international culture.

Barbara