THE FESTIVAL SURVIVAL GUIDE
The List’s very ovrn easy-lo-lollovv guide provides the basic information you need to survive (and hopefully enjoy!) Edinburgh’s annual feast of international culture.
The first Edinburgh Festival was in 1947. the brainchild of Rudolf Sing and Harvey Wood. who savr it as a way to repairthe divisions of post-war Europe through a celebration of international culture and creativity. The Festival is now in fact several lestivals- International. Fringe. Film. Jazz and Television, along with the Tattoo and the biannual Book Festival -together incorporating every aspect of the visual and performing arts. It you can't find something to entertain you in Edinburgh during August. you may as well give up trying.
Each Festival has its ovrn venues and procedures for obtaining tickets- details given below.
THE FESTIVAL FRINGE
Untilt Sept Now the largest arts festival in the world. the Fringe began as a response to the perceived elitism and exclusivity of the official Festival. The difference between the two is that anyone can perform on the Fringe: there is no selection of any kind. 1990 sees the biggest-ever Fringe . with 537 companies performing 1 100 different shows in 150 venues. Almost everything that can be acted. mimed. danced or sung. is - plusa few things that shouldn‘t be. With such a bewildering choice. guidance is essential: buy The List. out every Thursday during the Fringe.
I INFORMATION Buy The Liar. Get acopy of the Fringe Programme. available free from the Fringe Office. 180 Iligh Street. 226 5257/5259 (information only). open daily 10am—7pm. Companies and larger venues are listed alphabetically. with an index ofshow titles at the front. The profusion of different shows makes browsing fairly pointless. especially asthe entries are written by the companies themselves. Information in more easily-managed chunks comes in the Daily Diary. 3 free broadsheet listing every show taking place on a particular day. available from the Fringe Box Office and many other venues around town. Extra guidance is provided by Fringe Find. a simple computer system with terminals located around the city. Many larger venues produce their own more detailed programmes.
I TICKETS/BOOKINGS Tickets for all Fringe shows are available from the Box Office. which will accept postal and credit card phone bookings. (Access/Visa only. 229 5138). Allow three days for processing. Long queues build up at peak times; ifyou want to avoid these. there isa handy Next Day Collection service: simply fill out a request for tickets. leave payment. and collect the following afternoon. Most venues also sell tickets on the night; some larger ones (eg Traverse. Assembly Rooms) do advance sales as well.
THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL
Unti12 Sept The Festival has grown so big that this year it has two themes: one is Czechoslovakia. to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Bohuslav Martinu. one of the most prolific and innovative composers of the 20th century. The other focuses on the arts and culture of the Pacific. with performers from
52 The List 24 — 30 August 1990
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Korea. Japan. New Zealand. Australia and California. There is the usual range of opera. dance. orchestral concerts and theatre. It‘s not all 'high‘ culture. though: this year the Festival includes the ‘sexiest of circuses‘. the anarchic Arehaos. and the Flying Karamazov Brothers. who will juggle with (almost) anything the audience give them.
I INFORMATION A free brochure covering all events can be obtained from the Festival Box Office. 21 Market Street. Edinburgh. 226 4001 (information only) There is a Festival Information Centre at the foot of the Mound by the National Gallery. open 10am—6pm daily. giving information on seat availability etc.
I BOOKINGS/TICKETS Festival Box Office. 2| Market Street. 225 5756 (open 4 Aug—2 Sept. Mon—Sat 9am—6pm; Sun 10am-5pm) takes personal. postal. and credit card telephone bookings. The brochure contains a booking form. The Box Office opened on 28 May. so some events may be sold out by now. There isa returns desk. which is always worth checking. Queues — organised on a numbered ticket basis: collect one when you arrive — tend to get very long. but refreshments are provided.
There is a Half-Price Ticket Centre at the foot ofthe Mound. for same-day tickets. maximum 2 seats per person per event. sold on a first-come-first-served basis. Open l—5pm daily.
Tickets are also available through Edwards and Edwards ticket agencies (London office British Travel Centre. 12 Regent Street. SW1 . 071 3795822. Also at many travel agents‘ through Prestel 22021 187. First Call credit card bookings. ()71 497 9977. and Keith Prowse Tickets. 0817419999. In Glasgow tickets can be bought from the Ticket Centre. Candleriggs.041227 5511.Mon—Sat 10.30am—6.30pm.
McEWAN’S INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL
18—27 Aug Of the two Jazz Festivalson offer. this is the more traditional in ﬂavour and by far the bigger. with literally hundreds of shows around town. from free concerts in pubs to more formal concerts in the Usher and Queen‘s Halls.
I INFORMATION A souvenir programme (£1.50) is available from the Fringe Box Office. the Festival Box Office. the Queen‘s Hall and selected newsagents and bookshops. Also from the Jazz Festival Information Point. Royal British Ilotel. Princes Street. open 10am-6pm. For more information. phone 557 1642.
I TICKETS/BOOKINGS For the first time . all Jazz Festival Tickets will be on sale from the International Festival Box Office. 21 Market Street. 225 5756. Gold Star. Jazz Pavilion and Queen‘ Hall tickets from the Queen‘s Hall Box Office. Clerk Street. 668 2019. and from the Fringe Box Office. 226 5257. Tickets will be on sale at venues 30 minutes before the start of performances. A Gold Star Badge costs £45. and gives access to all events except Queen‘s Hall and Usher Hall concerts and the Farewell Ball.
TOK ROUND MIDNIGHT JAZZ FESTIVAL
2741 Aug Organised by Assembly Direct. who bring jazz to Edinburgh all year round. the Round Midnight festival goes for quality rather than quantity with five prestigious concerts featuring top names on the contemporary scene. Stars this vear include Nina Simone and George Melly.
I INFORMATION Enquiries to the Queen‘s Hall. 668 2019. 10am until after evening concert interval. or the Fringe Box Office. 226 5257/5259. 10am-7pm. Concerts listed in Queen's Hall and Fringe programmes.
I TICKETS/BOOKING Tickets for all concerts from Queen‘s Hall Box Office. Clerk Street. or Fringe Box Office.
There is no Book Festival as such this year but there is a series of ‘Meet The Author‘ talks with writers such as Hanif Kureishi and Germaine Greer. discussingthcir work. See Books section for details.
Unt1126 Aug The 44th Film Festival is bigger and more diverse than ever. with new awards for animation and new British films. Buffs‘ delights include retrospectives of John Landis and Pupi Avati and a ‘Truth Triumphant‘ series of previously banned films from Eastern Europe. There is also a lunchtime animation programme.
I INFORMATION Full details in the Film Festival ProgramnIe (£2.50) from the Filmhouse. 88 Lothian Road. major bookshops and newsagents. Info also from Filmhouse. 228 2688.
I TICKETS/BOOKINGS The Filmhouse is the Box Office for all Film Festival events.
Tickets can be booked by phone. 228 2688.
Box Office open 9am-9pm. later for late films. Access/Visa bookings. 3pm—8pm only. 229 9359. Prices: Cinema 1 £1—£4. concessions (before 6.30pm) £1—£2. Cinema 2 £3 (£1 .50). Cameo £4 (£2).
Purely an industry event — one of the most important talking shops in the television year — and closed to the public. This year‘s themes are the Broadcasting Bill and defining ‘Quality‘. For more information phone 071 379 4519.
Until 25 Aug With 200.000 annual visitors. the best-attended event in the Festival. The 4 lst Tattoo. entitled ‘Takingthe Castle by Storm‘ features the Australian Police Band and Drill Team. and the Gurkhas.
I INFORMATION AND BOOKINGS From the Tattoo Office. 22 Market Street. not to be confused with the Festival Office. Ring for programme details (225 1188) and postal booking forms. In person go to the Tattoo Ticket Centre. 31/33 Waverley Bridge. 10am—4.30pm (12.30pm Sat. closed Sun.). AccessNisa/Diners bookings 225 3661.
I Trains Waverley Station. East End of Princes Street. 556 2451. Sleeper reservations 556 5633. Seventeen trainsto London daily. last trains around midnight. reservations often esssential - phone first. Half-hourly trains to Glasgow until
I Planes Regular shuttles to and from Edinburgh Airport at Turnhouse . 333 1000. British Airways reservations 225 2525.
I Buses Season tickets and info. LRT Ticket Centre. Waverley Bridge. 22041 11 Mon—Sat 7am-8pm. Sun 8am-6.30pm. Weekly season ticket £6.50. 4-wcekly £22. You need the exact change on LRT (maroon) buses. Night buses cover most parts of the city until the wee small hours. Eastern Scottish (green) buses. Bus Station. St Andrew‘s Square. 556 8464. Scottish Citylink coaches. Bus Station. 557 5717 (enquiries).
I Cycle Hire Central Cycle Hire . l3 Lochrin Place. Tollcross. Edinburgh. 228 6333. from £5/day.
I Taxis Taxi ranks: Waverley Station. Bus Station. Caledonian Hotel (West End) Central Radio Taxis 229 2468. lots more in phone book. or hail one in the street.
I Tourist Accommodation and lnlorrnation Desk Waverley Market. will help with all budgets. although Edinburgh gets very busy during the Festival. For accommodation in University Halls of Residence. contact the Reservations Office. Pollock Halls. l8 Holyrood Park Road. Edinburgh. 667 1971.
All hostels contacted stressed that they were already very busy. with heavy booking. Don‘t just turn up expectinga bed.
I Scottish Youth Hostels Association Office Warrender Park Road. 229 8660 for information.
I SYHA Hostel 17. Eglinton Crescent. 337 1120. 186 beds. £5.70/night for over 18s. Open 7am—2am.
I SYHA Hostel 7 Bruntsfield Crescent. 447 2994. 170 beds. £5.70/night for over 18s. Open 7am—2am.
I High Street Hostel (independent) Blackfriars Street. 557 3984. l20beds. £5.60/night. Open 24 hours. Always very busy.
CARAVAN PARKS AND CAMPSITES
I Mortonhall Parlt Caravan Site Frogston Road East. 664 1533. Cara\ ans and tents £8/night. 250 spaces. open 8am—9pm. LRT bus no. 11
Kirkton Farm Campsite. Ratho. 333 4511. £1 per person plus £1 per tent. Caravans £2.50. Bus 37 from St Andrew‘s Square to Ratho village.
I Abbeymount Filling Station 1 l Montrose Terrace. 661 5593.
I Edinburgh Service Station 69a East London Street. 556 5284.
I Links Service Station Barclay Place. 229 9589.
I Dalry Road Service Station 209 Dalry Road. 337 6857.
CASUALTY AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
I Lothian and Borders Police H0 Fettcs Avenue. 331 3131. In emergency dial 999 (free) and ask for Police, Fire Brigade or Ambulance.
I Hoyal lnfirrnary of Edinburgh (24 hours) 1 Lauriston Place. 229 2477.
I Western General Hospital Crewe Road South. 332 2525.
I Waverley Station Waverley Bridge. Seven days. 6.30am—1 1 .30pm. £1—£1 .50 depending on size.
I Afilil‘lk an organisation making the arts more widely available to disabled people. have produced a leaflet. ‘Festival Venues: A Guide For Disabled People‘ which contains access details on all Festival (not Fringe) venues. Copies available from the Festival and Fringe Offices. Artlink also run a free escort service for arts events. Artlink. 4 Forth Street. Edinburgh. 556 6350. For escort service. 557 3490. Mon—Fri 9am— 1pm.