From the very beginning in 1947 the Festival was more than one event; the Film Festival started the same year and an embryonic Fringe put on its shows in some of the city’s smaller halls. Now you can choose irom over halt a dozen testivals all crammed intothree weeks in Aug. Each iestival has its own procedure lor obtaining tickets and information. . . lor details see below. (Please remember to omit the (031) code it phoning irom Ediburgh in thetelephone numbers given below).
GENERAL FESTIVAL INFORMATION
I The British Gas Scotland Festival lntormation Centre in the National Gallery car park at the bottom ofthe Mound is open 10—6 seven days a week from Saturday 13. and offers information on ‘the lot' — all the various festivals. as well as general information on the city. Look out too for their special Fringe Rover tickets. giving reduced entrance fees for selected shows. Available only from the Gas Info Centre.
I The Scotsman (30p. daily Monday— Saturday). the East Coast based Seottish National has an extensive reviews section. as well as providing up to date information on late cancellations and additions. The Glasgow Herald also reviews much ofthe Festival.
I The National Papers are much in evidence with the Independent breaking new ground again this year with a selective hour by hour daily listing. The Times is also publishing in its Scottish editions for the first time a selective listings ofthe Festival and The Guardian has extended its London based listings coverage to Edinburgh too. . .
I Festival Times weekly throughout the Festival. price ~10p. is devoted to reviews and interviews across the spectrum of Edinburgh events.
I Review '88 a recently established rival to ‘FT' . provides similar coverage. Priced 20p.
I Scottish Television as well as daily weekday coverage at 6pm on their ‘Scotland Today‘ programme. have the Friday night Festival '88. See media.
I BBC Scotland's ‘Reporting Scotland' (weekdays. 6.35pm) should also. like its STV rival. carry some daily news ofthe Festival. More specifically. Muriel Gray hosts six review programmes on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10pm under the general title ‘Forth Fiesta'.
THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL
14 Aug—5 Sept. This will be Frank Dunlop‘s fifth Festival and Edinburgh‘s 42nd. Still one of the most significant arts festivals in the International Calendar despite under funding. (the City Council grant. as last year. is 1553000 which is £80,000 less than in 1986) and inadequate
facilities. Although this year the Financial Times described it as ‘a cold collection of bitty leftovers'. Dunlop‘s most important innovation to date is the World Theatre Season. which began two years ago to general acclaim. Musically. more serious questions need to be posed about the ability to run a major festival on such a tight budget. Nevertheless. there is always excellence around. After last year‘s Russian theme. Dunlop has decided to focus on Italy and on Naples in particular for musical inspiration. although once again it by no means connects every event. I lntormation The full International Festival programme is available in the Souvenir Guide. published in association with International Festival by Pastime Publications. price £2.50 (this guide has articles on all the Festivals but full programme information only on the International Festival). and in the free booking brochure which is available from the Festival Office and Ticket Centre.21 Market Street. Edinburgh and from information points around the city. Individual programmes for specific events (containing programme notes and cast lists etc.) are available at performances. For information only ring (031 ) 226 4001 . I Booking/Tickets Counter bookings have already begun at The Festival Booking Office. 21 Market Street. Edinburgh. 9am—6pm Monday to Saturday and 10am—5pm on Sunday. The wait can be very long but supermarket — style numbered tickets at least prevent those awful shufﬂing queues. Credit card bookings and reservations can be made on (031) 225 5756. Tickets can also be bought subject to availability on the door. halfan hour to an hour before performances. Some performances are already sold out but there isa returns desk in theoffice. This operates on a first come first served basis. Half price tickets for certain shows are on sale on the day from the British Gas Half Price Ticket Booth at the bottomof the Mound (next to the National Gallery) each afternoon between 1pm and 5pm. No phone reservations. a maximum oftwo tickets per person and first come first served basis.Tickets can also be bought: through Edwards & Edwards ticket agencies. (In London they are located at the British Travel Centre. 12 Regent St. SW1 . ()1 37‘) 5822); through Prestelat many travel agencies; and by dialling the First Call Credit Card Line.012407200. In Glasgow tickets can be bought from the Ticket Centre. Candleriggs. Glasgow. 041 227 5511. 10.30am-6.30pm.
12 Aug-Sept 3. Although the Festival Fringe Society publish the Fringe programme and sell tickets from their High Street Offices. the Fringe isn‘t an organised. invited Festival in the same way the International Festival is. The Fringe Society ( 1959) has been responsible for much of the success ofthe Fringe. and they have been recently rehoused in new offices at 180 High Street. This year 473 companies with 913 different shows will be brought to the Fringe and as
time goes on the barriers between the Festival and Fringe break down. This explains why organisations such as Beyond the Fringe and the Fringe ofthe Fringe (aka The Edge) have been formed in the hope of recapturing that original independent feel. The Edge or Fringe of the Fringe return to the venue they used last year. St Patrick's Primary School. Drummond Street. Their box office is open from “lam—midnight and there is an all night ticket reservation service on the box office number: (031 ) 557 6010.
I lntormation Get a copy of the Fringe Programme. which is free and has British Telecom stamped all over it. To use it take a deep breath and dive in. It's actually very well laid out. The main section is an alphabetical list ofcompanies giving details of their shows. show — time.datcs. prices etc. Complete with the companies‘ own descriptions of themselves. lfyou know the title of the show and not the company there is an index (subdivided into Comedy. Musicals. Revues etc) at the front. If you know only the venue 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 lists ofcompanies performing. Cross reference these with the main list. However unless you‘ve used the programme well in advance to produce your own itinerary. you will need the free Daily Diary. An official Fringe publication. while it gives no critical information. it chronologically lists the day‘s shows. It is published the day before the day it covers and is available from the Fringe office and information points around the city. Many ofthe groups who failed to get their entries in on time forthe main programme will have their shows listed in the Daily Diary. The Fringe Office. 180 High Street (Royal Mile). will give you information on all aspects ofthe Fringe. Come in person 10.30am—7.30pm and go straight to the counter — don't join the ticket queue or you‘ll be there allday. Or ring the information lines. l0am—7.30pm every day. (031 )226 5257/5259.
I Tickets Buy tickets for Fringe shows either at the shows themselves (NB many box offices are only open immediately before the performance) or at the Fringe office. 180 High St (Royal Mile) 10am—6pm (seven days a week). Late opening: Thursdays and Fridays. l 1. 12. 18.19. 25. 26 Aug until 7pm. Be prepared to queue at the peak times (ie mornings and first week). Before queueing for tickets take care to look at the information on the boards in the Fringe windows — they will often tell you if a show is sold out or whether tickets are now available only from venue (particularly relevant for Assembly Room tickets). Telephone booking with payment by Access or Visa is available during the same hours. seven days a week. on (031 ) 226 5138. Allow three days for processing of orders— tickets will either be posted or may be collected. Ifcollecting remember to bring your credit card. Postal booking. Send order form at back of programme together with Access. Visa. number or cheque to
the above address. Perhaps the most efficient way to get your tickets is to make use of the Next Day Collection service. 10am—7.30pm. seven days a week. Collect the form and special envelope from the office. Complete the form and leave it in the envelope with cash . a cheque or Access/Visa number and pick up the tickets the next day from noon — it usually avoids queueing.
McEWAN’S INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL
20—27 Aug. Edinburgh now has two important Jazz Festivals complimenting each other. The Round Midnight Festival Jazz (see below) and the senior partner and rather more ‘mainstream’ McEwan‘s Festival. Now in its tenth year itopcns with the biggest. jazz parade in Europe. through the city centre followed by the Grand opening ball. There are literally hundreds of performances in a large number of venues all over the city. There will be a 10th Anniversary Concert at the Usher Hall on the last day as well asthe Grand Farewell Ball.
I lntormation The Souvenir Programme is an absolute necessity for even beginning to come to grips with this festival. It costs £1. and is available from bookshops and newsagents in the city and from theJazz Festival Offices. 116 Canongate (Royal Mile) 10am—5pm seven days a week and at the Jazz Festival Headquarters. Royal Overseas League. Princes Street. noon till midnight. Further information from the Jazz Festival Headquarters between these hours above. or telephone (031) 557 1642. I Tickets and booking Tickets at the venues thirty minutes before the performances and at the Jazz Festival Headquarters. Royal Overseas League. Princes Street. l0am—5pm. A Gold Star Badge which costs £40 is the equivalent pass to all events except the Farewell Ball. Allday tickets cost £10.
ROUND MIDNIGHT JAZZ FESTIVAL
19—27 Aug. Organised by the Platform Jazz Society which brings jazz to Edinburgh all year round. The Round Midnight festival concentrates on widening the boundaries ofjazz. Sponsored by TDK for the second time this year there is a remarkable line-up of famous names. including Carol Kidd and Georgie Fame.
I lntormation Enquiries to the Queen‘s Hall. Clerk Street. Mon—Sat 10am—10pm. Tel (031) 6682019.
I Tickets/Booking Tickets for all concerts available from the Queen‘s Hall Box Office. Clerk Street. Edinburgh. Mon—Sat 10am—10pm and an hour before the performances. The Usher Hall. Box Office Lothian Road. Edinburgh. Mon—Sat l0am—5pm. Virgin Records (Edinburgh). Mon—Sat 10am—5pm 131 Princes St. and from the Fringe Box Office. 180 High Street. Edinburgh.
The List 26 Aug— 1 Sept 1988 57