Edinburgh Fringe Festival
SO, a bit about me – I get around. No, not like that. Behave yourselves.
I’ve had a number of festival jobs. That’s all I’m saying. In a city with a cultural scene as vibrant as Edinburgh, finding work has been less challenging than one might expect.
The key is to be flexible. A supressed gag reflex also helps. You will become overfamiliar with the base level of the food pyramid when your income ranges from nothing at all to a handful of free tickets. The pay is crap, but pasta is cheap.
Still, temporary festival work has its rewards – like the invaluable experience you gain in a variety of areas that will ultimately lead to a successful career in journalism and media, plus the chance to sniff William Friedkin’s neck.
Forget Christmas and its measly month of tinsel and turkey, Edinburgh’s festival season is a rock star in comparison, starting the party in March and continuing through until New Year’s. During this cultural binge the population doubles as Edinburgh hosts what is referred to as Edinburgh Festival – a collective term used to cover the variety of independent events that take place throughout the city each year. Despite being unrelated, the events at Edinburgh Festival make it the largest annual cultural festival in the world. Now, if you are particularly fond of such grandiose official taglines, then you’re in luck because here come the rest.
Kicking off the season each year is the Edinburgh International Science Festival. ‘The world’s first celebration of science and technology’, and the first festival in Edinburgh to have a website.
Then along comes the Edinburgh International Film Festival; ‘the world’s longest continually run film festival’, established in 1947. Also established in 1947 is the original Edinburgh International Festival, offering you a dose of classical music, theatre, opera and dance.
Bringing down this high culture in the best of ways is The Fringe, ‘the world’s largest arts festival’, which shares the spotlight with the Edinburgh Book Festival, ‘the largest festival of its kind in the world’. There is also the Imaginate Children’s Festival, Turing-International Technology Festival, and Edinburgh Military Tattoo, just to name a few.
Like a puppy chasing cars on a motorway, my 2012 experience with Edinburgh’s festivals was somewhat frantic as I found myself in pursuit of one event while three others passed me by. I began by driving around the Highlands, visiting schools and teaching wee ones how to play with Lego as part of the Science Festival.
I then found myself writing reviews and serving coffee at the Film Fest where Director William Friedkin was the special guest in attendance. While I may not have gotten close enough to sniff his neck, I almost certainly ate a canapé he discarded at the opening party.
I got rejected for a job at the Book Fest, was kept awake each night by the Military Tattoo fireworks, wrote reviews at Edinburgh Fringe before finally cursing the tourists as they occupied the city for Hogmanay.
I tell you this, why? Because, it is with these flimsy qualifications that I will be brining first-hand accounts of the culture cluster that is Edinburgh Festival 2013. Sure it’s going to be tough and as I have learnt, covering all of these events will require plenty of energy. Value lasagne might be off the menu, but I will always have good old fashioned carbs to keep me going. Pasta, rice, bread- you know, the base level of the food chain.
Here we go again.