Edinburgh Festival 2013

On Saturday I flew to Edinburgh with a work colleague to attend a concert and reader's event that the magazine had sponsored. We had landed and found the city centre by 9am, and soon got to the lovely hotel that would be our base for the weekend. The early morning arrival made it feel like a deserted Sunday, but the beautiful city soon came to life with a buzz of excitement around Fringe events and venues.

After shocking myself with a cash withdrawal (the twenty pound note that came out was nothing like any I had ever seen before, but claimed to be sterling so I eventually breathed out again – "I really am in Scotland!") I managed to tuck myself away in a lovely little cafe to gather my thoughts and plan how best to see Edinburgh in a day.

I couldn't resist a trip to the City Art Centre to see 'Coming Into Fashion', an exhibition of fashion photography at Condé Nast from over the past one hundred years, which I have reviewed HERE. After that I wondered over to The Hub, the port-of-call for all things Edinburgh Festival. When I arrived, classical guitarist Tom Ward was busking near by. He was phenomenally good. The shattered body of his guitar perfectly suited the intensity and atmosphere of the music he played – it was simply stunning to watch. The sound was amplified through a speaker as well so a large crowd soon gathered.

After a nice lunch at The Hub, I attended a lecture there – the first in the festival's 'Interfaces' series – given by Jon Oberlander on the effect of technology on language and privacy. A thought-provoking one...

Everywhere I walked, the strain of bagpipes reached my ears and crowds circled the latest pop-up act to state their piece on Edinburgh's streets. 

A couple of hours of down time and catching up with writing later, I headed over to the beautiful Usher Hall for the BBC Music Magazine reader's event and '20th Century Classics'. The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Under Ilan Volkov, gave an unforgettable performance of some of my favourite works by Varèse and Berio. (Read my review of the concert on the BBC Music Magazine blog HERE.) The evening was a brilliant end to my first taste of Edinburgh Festival. I vow to return next year!

So many churches in Edinburgh have been converted into venues. What used to be The Assembly Hall and Talbooth Church on Castle Hill is now The Hub of Edinburgh Festival | Photo: Rosie Pentreath
Old City, Edinburgh | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Looking towards City Art Centre, Edinburgh | Photo: Rosie Pentreath
Tom Ward performs classical guitar | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Tom Ward and his beat old guitar | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

I attended an 'Interfaces' event at The Hub, part of Edinburgh International Festival 2013 | Photo: Rosie Pentreath 

Old City, Edinburgh | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

The hotel: Residence Inn, Marriott | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

The Marriott Residence Inn, Edinburgh | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

In the evening, I took some time out to write at the desk in my room | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Old City, Edinburgh | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Old City, Edinburgh | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Visit: edinburghfestivals.co.uk


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