Monday, 27 July 2009

Edinburgh Jazz Festival

For ten days the sounds of the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival resonate through the city of Edinburgh - in parks, churches, clubs, bars and concert halls. The best international musicians rub shoulders with top Scottish talent - unique collaborations, world premieres, Scottish debuts, outstanding musicianship all contribute to the exciting Festival atmosphere.

Major concert halls host the best players in the world: Roy Hargrove, Joe Temperley, Chick Corea, David Murray, Wynton Marsalis have all performed. The Festival has a strong track record with mainstream jazz: Dick Hyman, Jeremy Monteiro, Scott Hamliton, Ken Peplowski, John Allred are all festival favourites.

Scottish jazz musicians celebrate the best of Scottish jazz during the Festival and feature in orchestras, leading their own bands, in international collaborations, often presenting new projects. The Blues is a key component and the Festival has presented some of the biggest names in the business from BB King and Buddy Guy to Scottish musicians like Maggie Bell and Tam White.

The UK's largest jazz event, Jazz on A Summer's Day sets its stall out in Princes Street Gardens under the shadow of Edinburgh Castle and showcases top Festival performers - all for Free. While the Mardi Gras brings the spirit of New Orleans to the Grassmarket.

The Jazz Festival runs from the 31st of July to the 9th of August. Don't you dare miss it! You can find more information at

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (commonly known as The Fringe) started in 1947 when 8 theatre groups turned up uninvited to the first Edinburgh International Festival (EIF). Over the years, more perfomers came to Edinburgh to perform on the outskirts of the EIF and by 1958 the Festival Fringe Society was formed to provide information, a central box office and a published programme of all the Fringe shows. Central to the society's constitution was the policy that there should be no artistic vetting from the society. Which still holds true to this very day.
The Fringe caters for the biggest names in showbiz to the performers in the street and covers all sorts of art forms such as theatre, comedy, children's shows, dance, physical theatre, musicals, operas, all genres of music, exhibitions, and events. In 2008, hundreds of groups participated in putting on 2,088 different shows with a total of 31,320 performances in 247 venues.

The Fringe is the largest of a number of festivals that come together in Scotland's capital every year, in and around August.

The Fringe is an open arts festival, which means that anyone can perform without any constraints from the Festival Fringe Society. The Festival Fringe Society (commonly known as the Fringe Office) does not produce any of the shows, does not invite anybody to perform, does not run any venues and pays no fees to performers. They do, however, help performers every step of the way.

So, here's one more reason to come to Edinburgh!! Come and join the thousands of visitors that visit the city willing to participate in one of the most important events of the world. It runs from the 7th to the 31st of August. Don't miss it!!