INFORMATION/ CLUBS/ FOOD
THE FESTIVAL SURVIVAL GUIDE
As people pour into central Edinburgh lorthe city's annual least at international culture. The List provides an easy-to-lollow guide to the crucial inlormation needed lor survival in the hectic testival weeks.
The Edinburgh Festival was dreamt into existence in 1947 by Rudoll Bing and Harvey. Wood to heal the wounds of a lragmented post-war Europe. Through theatre. music and art the International Festival wasttL nourish the colour and creativity olartists and audiences from all overthe world. The Festival Fringe, which grew up beside the otticial Festival. doing its own thing, is now listed in the Guinness Book of Records asthe largest arts festival in the world.
This arts extravaganza just keeps growing. with the Edinburgh Film Festival and Book Festival adding to the excitement and entertainment. The choice is overwhelming. so be prepared tor a breath-taking three weeks ot culture.
Each Festival has its own procedure for obtaining tickets. For details, see below.
— THE FESTIVAL FRINGE
Until 2 Sept. The difference between Fringe and Festival is that anyone can perform on the Fringe. No selection ofany kind takes place. and this might be worth bearing in mind if you're bringing children with you. 1989 is the year of the second largest Fringe ever. with 504 companies and over 1000 different shows. Almost‘ anything that can be written. sung or acted is. plus a few things that shouldn't be. There is no way anyone can pick out the best on their own. Take advice: buy The List. out every Thursday duringthe Fringe. I INFORMATION Get a copy of the Fringe Guide. which is free from the Fringe Box Office. 180 High Street. 2265138 (information only). open daily 10am—7pm. The Guide is somewhat daunting. but provided you know the company or the venue you can find an entry. You can of course leaf through. but as the entries are written by the companies themselves they tend to be a touch optimistic. If you still can’t cope with the plethora of information. daily listings are compiled by the Fringe Box Office — available there and at various venues around town. This year marks the arrival ofthe Fringe Find. auser-frIendly computer system aimed at providing further guidance for the uncertain Fringe-goer. I TICKETS/BOOKINGS The Fringe Box Office (226 5138) will take postal and credit card phone bookings — allow three days for processing. Most venues will also sell tickets on the night. Additionally. the fringe Box ()fficc sells tickets for theJazz
and Book Festivals. If you have a horrorof
crowds. or simply no time to waste. there is a handy Next Day Collection service. which allows you to fill out a request for seats. leave payment and collect tickets the following afternoon.
THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL -
Until Sept. This year with a Spanish ﬂavour. the Festival has the usual range of opera. national ballets. orchestral offerings and world theatre. But don‘t make the mistake of thinking that the Festival is only for the serious culture vulture. It has a diverse range ofpickings this year. from Johann Kresnik‘s ‘Macbeth‘ which is proud to be ‘bloody‘ and ‘full of sado-masochistic images‘ to the street theatre production ‘Dimonis‘ that filled the Piazza in Venice.
I INFORMATION A free brochure covering all events is available from the Festival Box Office. 21 Market Street. Edinburgh. 225 5756. Due out now. Duringthe Festival there is an Information Centre at the foot ofThe Mound by the National Gallery. open 10am—6pm. which dishes out the much-valued daily diary.
I BOOKINGS/TICKETS The Festival Box Office. 21 Market Street. 225 5756. (open until 3 Sept. Mon—Sat 9am—6pm. Sunday 10am—5pm) takes in-person bookings. credit card phone bookings and postal applications. Contact them for a postal booking form. As the box office is open from 29 May. many events are sold out by the start of August. so early booking isa must. There is also a returns desk. which is always worth checking. Queues tend to get very long as the day wears on. but coffee. tea. juice and snacks are provided. Queuing is done on a numbered ticket basis. so collect a ticket as soon as you arrive.
Half-price tickets are available from the Information Centre at the bottom ofThe Mound for same-day performances. maximum of two seats per event per person. Done on a first come/first served basis. Booth open 1—5pm only.
Tickets are also available: through Edwards and Edwards ticket agencies. who add a service charge and VAT tothe price (In London they are located at the British Travel Centre. 12 Regent Street. London SW1 . 01 379 5822) ; through Prestel at many travel agencies: and by dialing the First Call Credit Card Line.01 240 7200. In Glasgow tickets can be bought from the Ticket Centre. Candleriggs.041 227 5511 (Mon—Sat 10.30am—6.30pm).
— MOEWAN’S INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL
Until 27 August. Edinburgh has twoJazz Festivals. the McEwan's being the more traditionally-inclined of the two and putting on literally hundreds ofshows around t0wn. in venues ranging from pubs to the more formal surroundings ofthe Usher Hall. In keeping with the Bicentennial celebrations. there is a French ﬂavour to this year‘s programme. I INFORMATION A souvenir programme (£ 1 ) is available from city newsagents and the Jazz Festival Offices. 116 Canongate. 5571642. and. during the Festival. the
Jazz Festival Box Office. Royal British Hotel. Princes Street. 557 1642 (10am—6pm daily).
I TICKETS/BOOKINGS The Jazz Festival Office takes postal bookings all year round. The Box Office in the Royal British Hotel takes bookings. but does not accept credit cards. Tickets are also available at the Fringe Box Office (see above). Tickets for Usher Hall events can only be bought from the International Festival Box Office (see above). A Gold Star badge costs £40. and gives access to all jazz events apart from the Farewell Ball. All-day tickets cost £10. . BOOK FESTIVAL
12—28 August. Not simply hot tents of musty old books! As well as readings. signings. cooking classes. evening entertainment in the Spiegeltcnt. there are workshops to encourage novice writers. Held in Charlotte Square Gardens. West End of George Street.
I INFORMATION Up to 1 1 Aug. atthe Edinburgh Book Shop (stationery department). George Street. 2204067. 0an 10am—6pm daily. From 12 August. Book Festival Box Office. Charlotte Square Gardens. 220 4067 for credit card bookings and 225 1915 for information. both open 10am—8pm daily. Both offices can supply programmes. On site there will be a daily diary.
I TICKETS/BOOKINGS Advance tickets from Edinburgh Book Shop. season ticket £7.50 (cone £3.50). daily tickets£1 .50. These tickets give entry to exhibitions. the Childrens' Fair and the entertainment in the Spiegeltent before 8pm. All other events cost extra. Season tickets give reductions. but many events sellout before the Festival opens. so book early.
_ FILM FESTIVAL
12—27 August. Now in its 43rd year. and maintaining its reputation for the very best independent films. This year sees the introduction of a new award. the Charles Chaplin Award for the first or second feature made by a new director. and the Young Film-makers Award. winners of both to be decided during the Festival. Also on offer is a series of films looking at Britain at the beginning of World War II. If your tastes don‘t run to such serious stuff there is an animation series running every lunchtime.
I INFORMATION Full details in Film Festival Programme (£2). from the Filmhouse. 88 Lothian Road. Edinburgh. and most major Edinburgh newsagents. Information also from Filmhouse. 228 2688.
I TICKETS/BOOKINGS The Filmhouse is the box office for all Film Festival Events. Tickets can be booked. but not reserved by phone 228 268. Box Office open 9am—9pm. and later for unsold tickets for that night's late film. Prices: Filmhouse Cinema 1 £4 (cone until 7pm £1.50). lunchtime programme £1 ; Cinema 2£3 (cone until 7pm £1.50); Cameo £4 (no cones); second week lunchtime programme £1.50.
_ TV FESTIVAL
25-28 Aug. Purely an industry event - one
of the most important talking shops in the television year — and closed to the public. except for the MacTaggart Lecture. this year given by Rupert Murdoch at the McEwan Hall. Bristo Place. at 6pm on the first day of the proceedings. Tickets are available from the Assembly Rooms Box Office. and at the door. costing £5 (£2.50).
— MILITARY TATTOO l
11 Aug—2 Sept. Best-attended event ofthe Festival. This is the 40th year ofmilitary bands. and possibly the last chance to see it on the atmospheric Castle esplanade . depending on plans to move it elsewhere. This year it concentrates on Scottish military movements.
I INFORMATION AND BOOKINGS From the Tattoo Office. 22 Market Street. not to be confused with the Festival Office next door. Ring for programme details and postal booking forms. If you want to book in person go to Tattoo Ticket Centre. Waverley Bridge. 225 1188 (Mon—Fri l()am-9pm. Sat ll)am—I(l.30pm).
Both the Fringe and the Festival have their own attached club.
I The Fringe Club Teviot Row. Bristo Square (226 5257) has lots of free events. and late night cabaret. where performers come to plug their shows. The Doug Anthony Allstars started here! Lots of heckling and atmosphere. Fringe performers get a special deal on membership. Also extra-cost shows ofa high standard. Food available. Open 10am—3am daily. membership season £15. daily £3.50. available there.
I The Festival Club 9-15 Chambers Street. 225 8283. More sedate. serves champagne sorbets. no heckling. Doubles as a Fringe venue. Some events Cost extra. Open 10am—2am daily. membership season £14. daily £2.25 available there.
I Tourist Information and Accommodation Desk Waverley Market. They‘ll help you with all budgets here. though Edinburgh is usually very busy during the Festival.
I Scottish Youth Hostels Association Office: Warrender Park Road. 229 8660 for information.
I SYHA Hostel 17 Eglinton Crescent. 337 1120. 216 beds. £4.25 per night forover 215. Open 7—1 lam and 2pm—-2am.
I SYNA Hostel 7 Bruntsfield Crescent. 447 2994. 170 beds. £4.25 per night forover 21s. Open 7—1 1am and 2pm—2am.
I Independent Hostel Blackfriars Street. 557 3984. £5. Open all day. Open to non-members. but always very busy during Festival time.
Caravan Parks and
I Little France Caravan Park Old Dalkeith Road. 664 4742. Caravans. tents. touring caravans. £6 per night for two people with either caravan or tent. Open 8am—9pm.
I Mortonhall Park Caravan Site Frogston Road East. 664 1533. Caravans and tents
52 The List 25 — 31 August 1989