You’re fabulously artsy, you love a cracking play and a pint or two with your friends after to rip it to critical shreds or laud the performances, you read the five star reviews and snap up the tickets for the now-famous talent, and you vow over and over that, if you get the chance, you’ll get your mates together for a few days on the Edinburgh fringe to revel in all that not-quite-discovered arts and drama talent for yourself, for a few pounds at that.
But still, you’ve yet to get stuck in at the Udderbelly or in amongst the throngs of theatrical pleasure-seekers on the Royal Mile. In fact, Scotland is a distant dream before August of every year, and a faint regret for the months after.
If this is you, 2013 is the year to renew your vows and get on up to Edinburgh for the fringe in a special celebration of the Year of Natural Scotland, taking place in Edinburgh and across this wild and wondrous land in the form of festivals, adventure trips, arts exhibitions, foodie trails and special events, all celebrating the lochs and wilds, mountains and moors of Scotland.
Seeing world-class plays, comedy, gigs and tricks, circus skits, burlesque or operas in Princess Gardens – in the theatres and on the streets in the carnival that is Edinburgh during the Fringe – is hungry and thirsty work. This summer promises even sweeter nectar in the forms of Scotland’s famed seafood – from oysters, langoustines, clams and smoked salmon, to fish suppers after a night celebrating with a town full of players and artsy folk, in the jazz cellars or the pubs.
The distilleries are bringing out the finest for the Year of Natural Scotland, so whiskey-lovers will be sipping on tasty treats in the form of rich malts of the mountains or acidic charcoal blends inspired by the fresh lochs. Especially hard-worked critics can test the free range, old fashioned farmed steak being celebrated in Scotland’s restaurants in 2013. First timers to the Fringe will want to do the decent thing and tuck into hearty haggis, neeps and tatties along with a few other treats from Scotland’s bounty.
Natural spaces in cities, and reflections of these spaces in galleries and pop-up exhibitions, are being championed all throughout Scotland, putting the spotlight on Edinburgh’s volcanic roots, the Castle on the hill, gardens, parks and watery places, to enhance the festival atmosphere traditionally lighting up the city during the Fringe.
Celebration and pride in all things Scottish, wild and wonderful, is sure to liven up what is already pretty wild living on the part of the partygoers and arts lovers wandering the romantic streets of Edinburgh on warm, spotlighted summer evenings, fresh from a downpour, making the flowers smell and the chatter about the shows seen that day and night all the more memorable. Year of Natural Scotland will make sure culture meets nature in some stunning ways in Edinburgh this August. If you’ve been waiting to hit the Fringe, it turns out you’ve been saving yourself for a fine reason.