Edinburgh Vs the Tourists : Portrait of Ian Rankin
Couple of weeks ago I spent a pre-festival morning with Author Ian Rankin chasing tourists and appreciating quiet spaces around the city of Edinburgh. Ian was writing an article for the Sunday Times about Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival and how it floods with tourists, doubling the city's population.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world with live theatre and comedy performances. It has an average of 49,497 performances of 3,193 shows staged in 299 venues and ticket sales reaching 1.94 million, And that's only one of 6 festivals that are running at the same time.
The Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh International Science Festival (the world’s first science festival). The Edinburgh International Film Festival, (the oldest continuously running film festival in the world), the Edinburgh Art Festival and the ever exclusive Edinburgh International Book Festival all run in conjunction.
Only the Olympic Games and the World Cup exceed the number of tickets sold for Edinburgh’s events. Its seriously busy! But it's a love hate relationship for most of the locals who need to battle these crowds just to go about their daily business.
Never the less, as Ian points out, oasis of calm can be found by any tourist willing to step off the beaten path and explore a little deeper.