last year when some of the biggest names in the Middle East came to Edinburgh. and this year the state of western/Islamic relations after the invasion of Iraq will be robustly discussed. Look out for lots of other issues on which to swap opinions: the legacy of George Orwell; why we still can't stop fighting wars; and what does

International Book Festival

progress mean anyway? Plus free morning coffee and pastries. Charlotte Square Gardens, 0737 228 5444, wwwedbookfestcouk, 26-28 (£3. 50). I Edinburgh lntemational Festival (1 0-30 Aug)

One of the world 's most famous arts festivals and the 'official’ big brother to the Fringe. focusing on classical music. opera. dance and theatre. Scottish Opera's Fling cycle had sold out before the programme was even launched. but you can still see concert perfonhances of operas by Handel, Verdi and Rossini. Dance includes the Cullberg Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet, while theatre features new w0rk by David Greig. Peter Stein and Calixto Bieto. Look Out



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for the free performances at the opening Gateway Weekend plus the Royal Bank's £5 ‘Turn up and Try It' tickets. Various venues, Edinburgh, 0737 473 2000. prices vary.

I Edinburgh lntemational Film Festival (14-25 Aug)

The EIFF is the longest continually running film festival in the world and John Huston famously called it 'the only film festival worth a damn'. In terms of international standing. the EIFF is up there with Cannes. and it does glamour too: patron Sean Connery has attended on more than one occasion and Sean Penn was there last year. But it's quality cinema. such as Morvern Cal/ar and Amelie, upon which the EIFF has built its name. Just announced for this year's 57th fest: a retrospective of the great French filmmaker Henri-George Clouzot including two of his best known films. Les Diaboliques and Wages of Fear. Van'ous venues, Edinburgh, 07 37 229 2550, wwwedfi/mfest. org. uk. prices vary.

I Gaeliorce 2003 (22 Aug-1 Nov) This popular arts festival sweeps Dumfries and Galloway, celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture. taking in music. dance. theatre and exhibitions in over 60 events. from the Cree Town Opuntry and Western weekend and the Langholm Festival to the Portpatrick and Galloway folk festivals. Various venues, Dumfries and Galloway, 07387

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260335, www. gae/forcefestival. co. uk. prices vary.

I Big Day Out at the Green

(24 August)

With the Gig on the Green festival now consigned to rock history after three years. this gap in the summer gig calendar has been admirably filled by this one-day outdoor special. Building on the Success of their 2002 album By the Way. LA funk-rockers the Red Hot Chili Peppers come armed with pyrotechnics and video screens for their most ambitious Scottish show ever. with a supporting cast that is nothing short of spectaCular: knowing rock behemoths Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age alongside PJ Harvey's sensuous sounds. the Distillers' punk squall and mom to be announced. Glasgow Green, Glasgow, 0870 769 0 700. www. ticketmaster. co. uk.

I Orkney Science Festival (29 Aug-5 Sen)

A week of debates. experiments, talks. concerts and demonstrations. Var/Otis venues, Orkney, 07856 876274, wwvvorknet. co. uk/scifest, prices vary.

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I Peebles Art Festival

(29 Aug-14 Sep)

Forty events and twenty exhibitions of theatre. muse. crafts and talks all c0urtesy of this multi-art festival. Various venues, Peebles, 07727 720377, free—£8.

I Strathaven Balloon Festival (30-31 Aug)

In celebration of the Wright Brothers flight 100 years ago. the annual balloon festival is extended to become a festival of flight, featuring rides. entertainment

. . . something for everyone, in fact. Balloons take off at 6am and weather permitting; an ‘evening glow' is planned around 8pm. Arena events take place Sun. 2—5pm. Strathhaven Park, Strathaven. 07555 860285. pnCes vary I Black Bottle lslay Jazz Festival (19-21 Sep)

Marquees. distilleries and hotels Get into the festival spirit as part of this popular jazz festival. The line-up includes the National Jazz Orchestra and John Rae's Power of Scotland big band. Various venues. Is/ay, 0737 467 5200. www./a22mus/C. CO. uk, pn'ces vary.

I Wigtown Book Town’s Annual Literary Festival (25-28 Sep) Scotland's intimate annual festival returns bringing together children's writers. poets and artists alongside the new and emerging talent of the last year. Wigtown C0unty, Wigtown, 07988 402036. wwwwrgtown- booktowncouk, prices vary

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