The first Edinburgh Festival was in 1947. In dreary post-war Britain it was the dream. amongstothers. of Sir Rudolf Bing and Edinburgh Provost Sir John Falconerto create something as spectacular as the Salzburg Festival andto unite through artistic performance a so long divided Europe. Right from the start. however. the Festival became more than one festival with the Film Festival beginning in the same year and a number of unsolicited 'tringe' theatre events turning up in small balls. This federal structure remains and you can now choose from between over a dozen festivals all crammed into three weeks in August.
Each festival has its own procedure for obtaining tickets and information . . . see below.
THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL
Until 31 August. Frank Dunlop's fourth Festival and Iidinburgh's 41st. This is still one of the most significant arts festivals in the International Calendar despite under-funding in recent years and inadequate facilities ( Iidinbui‘gh is still
aw aitiiig an opera house and has a Irole in the ground to prove it). l)urilop's most important innovation is'l‘he World Theatre Season. which began last year to general acclaim. It would be difficult to accuse the Festival of neglecting drama now. and perhaps iiiev itably' doubts are now being raised about the comparative strength of the musical programme. This year‘s Russian Theme. while by
no means connecting ev ery event. is the riiost concerted attempt since the celebration of Vienna lOtltlin .loliii
l)rummond‘s final Festival in 1984. The Russian theme either by coincidence or inspired programming seems also to
hav e been picked up by The Fringe.
In recent years under lidinburgli‘s labour District Council. there have been attempts to make the Festival more responsiv e to the interests of Iidinburgh's local population which culminated with a community ‘I)ome’. last year. in Pilrig Park. It largely failedto attract an audience despite notable attractions. This year with money tighter than ever. the lnterrrational Festival has left the communities to entertain themselves.
0 Information The lull International Festival programme is available in the Souvenir Cruide. published in association with the International Festival by Pastime Publications price £2.50 ( this guide has articleson all the Festivals but lull programme information only on the International Festival). and in the free booking brochure which is available from the Festival Office and Ticket Centre. 2f Market Street. Iidinburgli and from information points around the city. Individual programmes for specific events (containing programme notes and east lists etc) are available at performances. For information only ririgll3l 236-100] (for booking see numbers below).
0 Booking/Tickets Counter bookings can be made at the The Festival Booking Office. 21 Market Street. Iidiriburgh. 9am—6pm Mon-Sat and 10am—5pm Sun. The wait can be very long but supermarket- style numbered tickets at least prevent those awful shuffling queues. Credit card bookings and reservations cart be made during these hours on ()3! 235 5756. Tickets can also be bought (subject to availability ) on the door fialf an hour to an hour before performances. Some performances are already sold out but there is a returns desk in the office. This operates on a first come. first served basis.
Ilalfprice tickets for certain
shows are on sale on the day from the Ilalf Price Ticket Booth at the bottom ofthe Mound ( next to the National Ciallery ) each afternoon between lpm and 5pm. .\'o phone reservations. a maximum ofiwo tickets per person and first come. first served.
Tickets can also be bought throtigli Iidward & Fdward's ticket agencies throughout the world (In London they are located at the Palace Theatre. Shaftesbury Avenue. London. ()1 73-1 (3767); through Prestel at many travel agencies and by dialling the First Call credit card line (fll 34tl72flll). Iit(ilasgovv tickets can be bought from the Ticket Centre. Candleriggs. (ilasgow (ll-ll 227 551 l l Ill.3llalll-ft3llpltl.
[Tritil 3‘) August. Although the Festival Fringe Society publish the Fringe Programme and sell tickets from their I ligh Street offices. the Fringe isn‘t an organised. invited Festival in the way the International Festival is. The Fringe liasbeen
around as long as the
International Festival inthe
: early yearstlieunprogrammed g showsthat startedappearing . were known as any thing from
Barnacle events to Festival Adjuncts. liventually the name Fringe stuck and it has become
- internationally famousinits
own right. and a model for theatre Festivals all ov er the world.
The Fringe Society has been responsible for much of the success of the Fringe. allow ing it to expand by providing a central information and box office location. The nature of the Fringe gradually develops and changes as the years go by but as Fringe .-\dministrator Mhairi Mackenzie-Robinson commented at the launching of
this year's programme it is ; notoriously difficult toget
predictions correct. The Iiiglities hav e seen the
? dominance of the Assembly
Rooms. a successfully programmed iriiilti-v enue w lrich acts almost as a fringe within the fringe (see below ). The cost of bringing a show to the Fringe has led to other organisations programming a number of venues or siiblettiiig v enues. Tic
Toe now has seven stages in fiv e
buildings and a huge number of companies; The Pleasance. in one theatre. is host to an almost equally large number of companies. and Marco‘s leisure Centre has fifteen companies ranging from The Smallest Theatre In The World to Railroad Bill And the Boxcar Stompers. This trend is likely to continue but the expected fall off in number tiletittlpilllleS and number of show s overall hasn't come about.
There are rather more show s than usual this year which hav en't made it into the Fringe
Programme. Partly this is due to
the decision not to print a second edition of the Fringe Programme (see information below and the Beyond the
Fringe Section). Ilow these show s fare for audiences w ill be one of the stories of tltis y car's Festival.
0 Information ( let a copy of llte Fringe Programme. It's free and has Fringe '8'? writ large on it. 'I'here‘soiily one edition this year. so forget about the usual printed-in-bliie-ink update. To use it take a deep breath and dive iii. lt‘sactually very well laid otit. The main section isaii alphabetical list of companies giv ing details ol tlteit’sltovvs. show -time and dates. prices etc. complete with the coiiipanies' ow n descriptions of themser es. lfyou know the title of tliesliow and not the company tlieie is an index (subdivided intoComedv . Mirsicals. Revues etc) at the front. It you know only the
v eiiue name they are listed alphabetically at the back. together with useful
how -to-get-there information and details of facilities for the disabled. plus full listsot companies performing. Cross reference these with the main llst.
I'nless you've used the programme w ell in advance to produce your ow ri itinerary . you will need the tree l)aily l)iai‘y. .-\ir official I-rrrige publication. while it gives nocrrtical infoi'iiiatioii rt chronologically liststlietlay'ssliovvs. It is published the day before the day it eov us is available from the Fringe office and information points around the city . Many ofthe groups w ho failed to get their entries in on time for the mainprogramme will have their shows listed iii the Daily Diary
The Fringe ()tfice I‘lllligli Street ( Royal Mile l \\ ill give you information on all aspects of the I’i'inge. Come iii person (Illani T._‘stlaiid gosiraiglit to the counter don‘t tom the ticket queue or you'll be alldayl or ring the irifoi‘iiiatioii lines. lllam "..‘~llpiiievery day .ll.‘l ZZtvSZS'T f).
0 Tickets Buy tickets toi I'l'lllsle showscither at the venues themselves t \B many bov officesaie oiin open iiiirriediately before the performance time i or at the Fi‘iiige()ffice. ITIIIIIinStic-et (Royal Mile). Illam (rpm
Sat \Ved; Illam "prri'lliur'sarid Fri (cash or cheques orin . no credit cards). Before queueing lor'tickcts take care to look at the information on the blackboards in the fringe windows they vvilloltentell you if a show is sold out or ‘ whether tickets are now available only from the venue (particularly relevant for Assertiny Room tickets)
IL‘IL‘PIIUIIL‘ booking w itli payment by .-\ccessor Visa is available during the same hours as abov e. sev eii day s a w eek. Allow 3 clays for pittcessiitg til orders tickets vvrll eitliei be posted or may le- “ilk-(rut (from the back door. down the neighbouring close-i. It collecting rerireiiibei' to bi iiig yflllf‘ Access em (I,
I’Uslzil Booking. Send order form at the back of the Fringe programmetogeihe-imm I
ss Visa number or ( 'lreque to the abov e address.
Perhaps the most el iicient way ioget your tickets isto make use of tlie \evt-Day Collectiort service. lllam- 7.3llpm. Collect the form and special envelope from the special office at the back of the Fringe office and up the steps. Pay by cash. cheques or' .-\ccess and pick tip the tickets the nevi day frorri noon it usually avoids queueing.
THE BOOK FESTIVAL
I'irtil 23 August. Illaiii ti .‘llpm daily . The biggest public book event in Britain. an immediate success. pitelied up in tents in l-dinbiiigli‘sstunning. leaiv business centre. Charlotte Stltlttle. ll lltIS illStl worked financially. Izach year the Scottish Ar ts ( ‘ouiicil gr ant has. as planned. been reduced but thanks It) spittistttslllp. brink sales and entrance fees. the budget for and scope of the event has increased. r\s well as berriga gigantic book shop. tlieie is a lull pi'ogiaiiriiie i it talks. debatesaiid interviews w itlr big name authors. .isvvell as events for children. Refreshment is av ailable all day in the elegant siir i'oiiiidiirgsoi the Beck‘s Spiegelteiit. toilie aceoiiipaiiiirieiit oi ran and more book ev eriis l these cv eiits start at Spin after the Book I'L‘SIH al proper cliiscsl 0 information Contact the Book I'L'SIlHlltitlll.” 33H l35‘loi w me to them at. 'I lie lzdrirbiir-Jlr Book l'eslrv al. 35a Soiitlr \\ est 'l liistle Street I ane. Iidinburgh ICII: ll-.\\'. .-\ liccadvaiice diary of events withcoiripetition detailsisavailablc from lzdinburgli bookshops and information points. or by w i'iting to the address above. The ( )ffieial Programme ( iiiide is available at the Book l'estiv al in ( ‘liarlotte Square 0 Tickets .r\\.lll.tl‘Ie at ( ‘lrai lotte Square and iii adv .lllee llt‘tl‘; tlie lidiiiburgh Bookshop. 5” George Street. l'iliiibiirgli (Illaiii-hpnil. and from the Fringe office (see abov el Access and Visa bookings. l l.‘~l 3:“ ll“). l)ay tickclsaie Ll .75 (fillpcoric). season tickets Uil L3 cone l. See programme to: prices of Meet the .>\iit|ioi everitsctc.
McEWAN’S INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTTIVAL
[bid 3.‘ August.
0 Information The Souveriii l’t‘ogr‘ainiiie. Ll . Is av ailable Il'fllll l‘tltlk\htip\;|[ld
new sageiits iii the city and from The Jan I‘estlval ( )llices. I If» Canongate ( Royal Mile l.
Mon I’l'l lllam 5pm and attlie .la// I'L'SIH al llead ()iiarters. Royal()verseasl eague. Princes Street. irooii-iriidrrrgltt throughout the .la// I L'Sll\.tl. I'ttllllel' iritoi riiation from the .la// I'estiv al ( )llices and lleadquai'tei s belw eeir these liouisabov e. or tel ll_‘~l 55" IMI. Illam 5pm. Mon Ill
0 TicketS/booking ‘t Iekels .tl lltc veiiuestlrii‘ty iiiiiiuiesbetoze
The list 2] Aug