August is approaching, and around the world that means many things. For most young people, it promises time off school, college, or whatever they spend the rest of their year doing. But in Scotland, Edinburgh especially, August has come to mean just one thing: The Fringe.
Every year, performers flood in from all around the world to show off their acts in the world’s largest arts festival. The never ending list of performers includes: musicians, comedians, actors and magicians among others. And it’s not just a case of performers dominating the population of Edinburgh for a month; The Fringe attracts an audience of nearly two million every year, many of whom come from overseas just for the festival.
So why does The Fringe attract so many people, spectators and stage-performers?
I believe that it is down to the fact that so many of the nation’s top entertainers began their careers here, shot to fame by the massive crowds. It offers rookies the opportunity to strut their stuff mere metres away from the acts that inspired them to start doing what they do, a chance to be seen, enjoyed and talked about. They might even make a bit of money. Of course, the sheer number of acts every year results in a diversity of genres that quite simply cannot be found anywhere else; there’s always a show for everyone.
I’m a huge fan and avid watcher of stand-up comedy, so I always make sure that I see at least one famous comedian every year. This year I’m most looking forward to seeing Omid Djalili, best known for his impressions, film appearances and all-round wit. Djalili is another one of The Fringe’s success stories, starting out over here in 1995 and going on to sell thousands of tickets, breaking Festival box office records in 2004. Djalili’s prosperity in comedy, cinema and television are all proof of what flashing some talent in The Fringe can do for your career, a prime example of what could be.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe – a medley of shows, some of which will have never been seen before, some of which are world famous, all of which will entertain. There is a spectacle for every suiting and a whole host of the shows are free. I for one can’t wait for August.
Image: Edinburgh Fringe © Phil Richards (philwirks, flickr)