Wednesday 7 August 2019

Edinburgh during the Festival period

Every year in August Edinburgh becomes a Festival City and the city centre is taken over by festival goings on and advertisings. I will rant a little in this blogpost, but first to make it clear I'm not anti the festival, I love the chance to go to so many theatre productions and literary events (though I don't go to anywhere near as many events as I used to, and the Edinburgh International Film Festival remains my favourite festival and that has now moved to June).

I also love the West End Craft Fair, which pops up every year during the festival and at Hogmanay

which showcases loads of local and not so local makers selling their wares, including jewellery, paintings and prints, wooden kitchen utensils, decorated bottles filled with glowing LED lights, hats and pottery. If you're looking for a gift, this is a wonderful place to start and every purchase here supports a maker.

This pellucid hoverfly was happily sitting around the fair yesterday

However the various August festivals (primarily the International Festival, Book Festival and the ever expanding Fringe Festival) seem to get bigger and bigger every year and to take over parts of the town. And there are many less than pleasant aspects to that, for example, George Street is one of Edinburgh's most distinctive, historic streets but you'd hardly know that at the moment

it currently looks like a festival shanty town and I'm sure that tourists as much as residents are exasperated by the historic centre of town (which is after all a part of why most people visit Edinburgh, even if, at this time of year they're primarily here for the festivals) being visually ruined like this.

Perhaps you want to wander through Edinburgh's beautiful Princes Street Gardens, the only sizeable public greenspace in the centre of town? Well, hurry now and make sure you're out by 4pm before these PUBLIC gardens are closed to the public for the sake of private ticketed events so no more summertime evening walks (just as these days you can now longer go for your once traditional Christmas Day wander through the park as it is then closed to prepare for Hogmanay)

and whatever time of day access is limited

even flowers are behind bars

and tourists may struggle to get a photo of the iconic Edinburgh Castle without ugly fencing getting in the way

Though at least if you choose the right viewpoint you can still see the beauty of the gardens

I often do feel we have reached peak festival (and peak Air BnB but that's another story) in this beautiful city. There's also a strong sense among many people that Edinburgh City Council cares more about tourists than they do about residents.


Incidentally I was very pleased to find out today that North Face and Fat Face both accept worn out clothes for recycling, North Face also take worn out shoes (in any condition!).Very useful for those items of clothing that are unrepairable and not good enough to give to a second hand shop.

Also worth noting that bookings for City of Edinburgh's adult education programme for this autumn are now open - browse the courses and sign up here


RG said...

So many nice places big and small - now being overrun by tourists - mostly what everyone originally thought as a good idea grown out of proportion!!!

I have family working and living in Leavenworth, Washington and I leave it to the curious reader to google that and see the bitter-sweet phenomenon there!!!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Rabbit's Guy, I looked up Leavenworth and it looks a lovely place with lots of tourist attractions so i can imagine it's overrun in the summer.