I’d seen them before, a motley crew of otherwise normal looking tourists, bouncing and bopping and singing their way through the busy Edinburgh streets, weaving through traffic and drawing a great deal of attention to themselves. Led by an energetic disco diva with dance moves as eye-watering as his orange flared jumpsuit, the group looked and sounded absolutely ridiculous, and absolutely fantastic. Dudu Guru’s Silent Disco Walking Tour is the place to be.
It was in fact my sister who suggested going. She didn’t expect me to be so keen, and I insisted on dragging Mum into it as well. The two of them were doubtful, and positively demanded we go for drinks beforehand to help aid the reckless sense of abandonment apparently needed to participate in the tour. We arrived in front of the Grassmarket Hotel where our tour was due to kick off, damp from the rain and slightly tipsy, and were handed a set of noise-cancelling headphones.
From the moment of contact with the head, you were in your own little dancing bubble. 80’s hits blared out from the headsets and Guru Dudu’s microphone was looped in. He led us on a merry little tour involving curvacious yoga, a choir performance of Bohemian Rhapsody and a catwalk dance parade down the Royal Mile.
“There’s not much entertainment outside on a day like today, so we’ll be the entertainment!” Whoops and cheered greeted this statement from Guru Dudu.
It is hardly the “walking tour” it describes itself as, covering ground only from the Grassmarket to the Royal Mile and dawdling back, a distance which would under normal circumstances take around fifteen minutes but which managed to extend to forty-five. In any case however, these were not normal circumstances. Guru Dudu had us dancing constantly, clapping our hands and shouting out the lyrics to various weather-appropriate songs, such as Raining Men, and the wet weather did not put off anyone on the tour.
The number of baffled and bemused pedestrians who cheered up and sang and danced along with us was both heart-warming and somewhat hilarious. Give someone an excuse to dance and they really will. At times Guru Dudu would instruct us to surround an unsuspecting couple or group of people, or look a stranger in the eyes and sing to them, and whilst usually this would be mortifying, with the headphones on you feel simply unstoppable. Plus you can’t hear yourself sing, which helps.
Heads turned wherever we went but the attention was not unwelcome. Spreading the cheer and inspiring the masses to dance was fantastic fun, and I’m sorely tempted to buy my own set of noise-cancelling headphones and dance to work every day. However without the context of the tour this might look a bit bizarre, but also you know, yolo. This is a trend which needs to be set.
Even if you don’t normally like singing or dancing or walking or Edinburgh you will guaranteed enjoy this tour. It is without doubt the most fun Fringe event I’ve ever been to/taken part in, and the one cult I’d happily be a follower of.
Salsa up to the ticket desk now and don’t take judgement from anyone.
Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco Walking Tours are running several times a day until the 29th August starting at the Grassmarket East, Edinburgh. Tickets available on the door.
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