Festival experiences

Wow, since the Edinburgh Festival started, there has hardly been a pause to breath. Which sounds unusual, as the past seven years I have hardly ever been to any show or event.

Basically did not have enough money, something most newspaper seem to forget about or dismiss [Guardian podcast] . So the free festivals have been great to catch up at least with some of the excitement, and so has volunteering and events at the local arts centre. Unfortunately though the Festival of Peace and Spirituality have now introduced entry fees to many of their events, which used to be free. And the local North Edinburgh Arts Centre has a new director and suddenly discovered a £300 000 debt or funding shortfall or whatever financial troubles are called nowadays.

On the outskirts of Edinburgh, there is no change at all to the daily routine, no tourists nor visitors or all that hussle and buzzle of the city centre. So its quite bizarre entering the city centre where all the tourists shove each other off the pavement and put in unusual and unexpected stops in the middle of walking down the Royal Mile or Princes Street – high collision danger!
Luckily enough a Napier student is now conducting a research into the matter of how the festival impacts on the locals and what they/we make out of it. Which is great, given that there are several contradiciting opinions flying about.

So this year it’s brilliant that Three Weeks have taken me on as one of their many student volunteers to go and see and write reviews. I have been sent to see so many amazing things and it’s a fantastic time so far. It is also great to visit so many different venues, Aurora Nova is really impressive, the press officer incredibly nice and helpful; they have got a nice little cafe going with outdoors seating and a Tibet photography exhibition. The Traverse was a bit odd in my opinion; thought they had six or so press officers sitting around in their little cabin they weren’t that helpful or friendly. And they did not announce that the play would have an interval, so I stupidly left in the middle of it – aeh ha. It really seemed to be the end to me! Okay, there wasn’t much applause, but it only had two stars in the Metro! Anyways, I was more thinking about how annoying it is that the programme costs £3 when I had only £10 left to exist on the next few days and the press officer did not give me any of these books, which also had the entire script in it. So I was running low a bit on background information, too.
Whisky with Chocolate was even more fun, as I was running on £1 for the next two days, so I felt at first a bit catapulted into some high society event for my very own comedy star appearance till I had the first whisky in and everybody became so delightfully happy and chatty so that it did not matter anymore what background people were from or how much money they had. Interestingly, the Whisky Society is indirectly about saving money: people can afford to drink really rare Whiskys without having to buy a whole bottle for £300 or so. I considered joining the society briefly in future when I am going to have my first properly paid job, but that was before the tremendous headache set in.

The Burlesque art salon was just so much incredible and unexpected fun, I was giggling my head off. Very recommendable – Three Weeks even sent another reviewer there, who also gave it a good rating, 5/5 – dunno why they send two of us; maybe because it is a daily changing show with different models, or maybe because it was unbelievably good to get a second opinion?
Anyways, I only now discovered that tw rating stands for Three Weeks rating, and as Micah rightly pointed out it would not be a tw rating until approved by the editor, so I corrected it all on my blog. It was also good to have a feedback session about the review process so far on Thursday, as I got a bit scared that my English language skills might not be good enough. Which luckily doesn’t seem to be the case, but I seem to put too much info into too short a word count, and then it can become confusing.
Maybe my German and science background is interfering, I really always want to put in some educational in depth information and keep it simple at the same time.

So, my dissertation and the radio project is running a bit low at the moment, which isn’t good. Tomorrow I am scheduled to look at the John Lewis shop window for three and a half hours – it’s Window at the Fringe. Already got the foldable chair out of the allotment to take with me, and a huge umbrella. The potato blight has broken out in our allotment, and I really want to dig out and harvest all the potatoes at the moment, but haven’t got time. Luckily enough, so far it does not seem mine are infected.

Another talking point is how many shows you can see a day at the Fringe. I have already got my brain swirling at about three, so I could not believe it to hear from another Eurobeat attendee that they would see eight shows a day! Unbelievable. However, most people don’t seem to do more than four or five a day.

Oh, and also  see Allison’s Blogging the Festival.

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