Bollywood and beyond

here are 216 pages in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Programme, 61 pages in the Edinburgh International Book Festival Programme, 48 pages in the Edinburgh International Festival Programme, 16 pages in the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival Programme and 44 pages in the Edinburgh International Film Festival Programme.

We’ve lost the office calculator, but we know that’s a lot of pages.

Frankly, we wouldn't expect you to read them all. And here’s the good news. You don’t have to. Because we’ve read them all for you. Every single page.

Trust us. We've got the measure of the world’s biggest arts festival and, in four weekly instalments starting on Thursday 1 August, we’ll be bringing you the first and most reliable word on the whole shebang.

But first, in the coming pages, we're focusing on two themes. One is the splendid array of Indian music, theatre, dance, literature and film we’re about to be treated to. The other is the prevalence of radical thinkers, be they comedians, actors, politicians or writers, who’ll be everywhere you look.

All this plus our recommendations of the best art, clubs, comedy, kids, dance, film, theatre, music and gay events coming your way.