Cracking Retirement - Festival Queue

Edinburgh Festival 2017

The Edinburgh Festival 2017 has started and Edinburgh has really come alive. It is the only word for it.  it is transformed and vibrant.

There are several festivals all running at the same time.

  • Edinburgh International Festival – This started 70 years ago in 1947. It is quite a formal festival, with opera, theatre, dance, classical music, contemporary music and talks
  • Edinburgh Fringe – This started in 1958 to provide a platform for the many artists who were coming to Edinburgh despite not having a place in the main festival. Now it is huge. To give you an idea, last year there were 50,266 performances, 3,269 shows, in 294 venues
  • Edinburgh Book Festival – this runs for a shorter period from 12 to 28th August. With 1,000 authors supporting these events, you can find many new and aspiring authors as well known names.
  • Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo   – Probably what Edinburgh is best known for. A spectacle that takes place on the Castle Esplanade, rain or shine for 3 weeks with acts from all over the world.
  • Edinburgh Art Festival  – which provides a range of art events from showcase events to pop-up exhibitions

All sorts of places become Venues, pubs, church halls, schools, university lecture theatres, parks, squares. Streets are closed off. The city literally becomes transformed. In February, I was a Tourist in my own Town, some of the places I took pictures of then, I also took pictures of today, so I will see if I can match them up, to show you how it changes. For many venues, the money they get renting them out for the Fringe means a huge difference to their sustainability for the rest of the year, even if they have to compromise their values slightly.

On Sunday, I was fortunate enough to take part in a formal procession on the Royal Mile from the City Chambers to St Giles’ Cathedral for a service to celebrating the opening of the Edinburgh International festival. I was one of the representatives of a local university, and along with the great and the good, I processed in formal robes, watched by many holiday makers wondering what on earth was going on. Many organisations were represented. The High Constables in their top hats and tail coats with their batons, the Lord Provost, city councillors, representatives of a lot of organisations from First Aiders, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the city’s Universities together with their fantastic ceremonial maces, to The Society of Solicitors.  In all about 25 organisations were represented. I wish I had kept the service sheet. The net result is that I will have been in hundreds of photographs, where people will get home and say – I saw this weird procession… It was certainly strange being the one doing the processing as opposed to one of the onlookers. I wish I had taken some photographs. I have looked online but haven’t been able to find any so far. My husband was there as my guest but unfortunately couldn’t take any photographs, as he had to be seated before we started!

Today was a lovely sunny day, I had a quick visit to the dentist, than I wandered along enjoying the buzz of voices from all sorts of nationalities, impromptu dancing, stand up comedians and much, much more. At the same time it can be a bit frustrating as it takes ages to get anywhere, but apart from that it is generally good fun.

I went to my first Fringe event this afternoon. It was OK, but not amazing. At the Fringe you get some stunning events, most are pretty good and some are downright awful. The problem is you don’t really know beforehand! I have another planned for Thursday, and another 2 that I am about to book. They aren’t cheap, so I am afraid there’ll be no money saved this month! I prefer revues and comedy shows, I am afraid Opera is not quite my thing.

I took hundreds of photographs, a subset of which will appear on this post, but I will also provide a link to my Flickr album where you will see more photographs – it is a while since I have used Flickr, I seem to be having difficulty deleting some I dont want, but hopefully I will get that fixed soon!

I started along Princes Street which was quite quiet, it was only 10am, and the one thing about festival goers is that they tend not to get up too early. There are loads of pop-up shops, and impromptu performers. These performers were outside the National Gallery of Scotland on the Mound, and the pop-up shops nearby

Cracking Retirement Performers on the mound edinburgh Cracking Retirement Pop up shops edinburgh

The view of the Castle has changed, where you can see the stands on the left that have been built to house the audience at The Tattoo

Cracking Retirement Edinburgh Castle

The profile of St Giles Cathedral has changed with loads of pop-up shops in front of it, not to mention a huge Edinburgh Fringe arch!

Cracking Retirement - Edinburgh St Giles   Cracking Retirement - St Giles Cathedral

I don’t want to sicken you with photographs, but here is a small selection of the day

A couple of T shirt logos

Cracking REtirement T shirt logo 1         Cracking retirement T shirt logo 2

This is the Assembly Hall on the Mound, the headquarters of the Church of Scotland. Not only is it a venue, but it also has a bar in the courtyard!

Cracking Retirement - Festival Queue Cracking Retirement - Assembly Hall Courtyard Cracking Retirement - new college sign

A selection of performers on the Royal Mile

Cracking Retirement Performers 1 Cracking REtirement Performers Royal Mile 2 Cracking REtirement Performers Royal Mile 3

Advertising styles…

Cracking Retirement Edinburgh Festival Advert Cracking Retirement Edinburgh Festival Venue Sign Cracking Retirement Edinburgh festival Banner

If you would like to see more of my photographs, you’ll find them on my Flickr site. I’ll be adding to it as the month goes by.

If you would like to pin this post, and please do, just click one of the pictures below

Cracking REtirement Edinburgh Festival 2017 v1 Cracking Retirement Edinburgh festival 2017 v2


  1. Erith, I love how you find ways to enjoy life, be it in your own town, heading back home to Ireland, or extended “slow travel” via 5 weeks in Madrid. You’re setting an example for our retirement, and for that I am grateful. Enjoy your time in Spain, mi amigo!

    1. Gracias Fritz, I will indeed enjoy Madrid
      With only about 10 days to go, I have moved the preparations up a level!

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