• Opmain
Opinion

Opinion: Why you should all make the effort to go to the Edinburgh Festival

Posted by Rob Alderson,

This week editor Rob Alderson extolls the virtues of the UK’s most creative city. As ever you can add your thoughts using the thread below…

Where is the most creative place in the UK? Many would say London, immediately and unthinkingly; many of them would be more specific still and flag up east London in particular. Some would bang the drum for their own cities – for Manchester, Brighton, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow etc. But don’t worry everyone because I’ve got the definitive answer for you – the most creative city in the British Isles is… Edinburgh (in August).

Ah yes, those parentheses. Truth is I can’t vouch for Edinburgh the other 11 months of the year but having made my sixth trip to the Fringe Festival earlier this month, I am certain that in terms of concentrated creative energy, Edinburgh is nigh on unbeatable.

There’s comedy of course – at times a bewildering amount of “hilarious” “must-see” “Five Stars!” promises to take in. But there’s also music, art, spoken word, theatre, cabaret and the Book Festival that overlaps with the main event. It’s not just galleries, theatres and performance spaces that have packed programmes for the month, but pubs, cafes, bars, church halls, social clubs, courtyards and any other space people can find are pressganged into use as temporary venues.

The amazing thing is that down in this here London, it’s quite possible to spend the month utterly unaware of what’s going on in the Scottish capital. It’s as if we can’t quite conceive of anything so culturally significant taking place anywhere you can’t reach by Tube.

Of course Edinburgh has its issues. Comedy in particular has become big business and there has been over recent years a perceptible commercialisation pushing the big TV acts centre stage (excuse the pun). There are also issues around the number of shows taken to the Fringe and the lack of quality control exercised by some venues and promoters. But surely that is a price worth paying?

Edinburgh in August is intoxicating (and often intoxicated) – where thousands of people who believe enough in their chosen artform give up time and money to pursue some kind of creative goal. There’s genuine risk-taking if you know where to look (or rather where not to look; it’s more ubiquitous than the safely-packaged Live At The Apollo acts and their impressively polished schtick).

So my advice is pretty simple – if you’ve never been to the Edinburgh Festival, make it one of your 2014 resolutions. Nobody interested in creativity could fail to fall in love with it.

comments powered by Disqus
Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Opinion View Archive

  1. Main

    In light of New York Fashion Week’s main event, a star-studded play put on by Opening Ceremony entitled 100% Lost Cotton, the It’s Nice That team began to ponder their own individual dream play, and what that would look like if they were given the chance to direct it. The results are pretty weird to be honest, but you can’t deny the appeal of each and every one in its own way.

  2. Main

    This week Editor Liv Siddall addresses the world’s distraught reaction to the announcement that MSN Messenger will terminate after 15 years in operation, and wonders if we should get so nostalgic and wet-eyed over technology.

  3. Main

    This week editorial assistant Amy Lewin ponders the cultural impact of the potential England/Scotland split. As ever, feel free to leave comments below.

  4. Main

    We’ve been posting music-related art and design articles on It’s Nice That since the very beginning. In fact the first music video ever posted on It’s Nice That is this one by Koichiro Tsujikawa back in May 2007. Since then we’ve covered countless festival posters and identities, record sleeves, band logos, ad campaigns and tour photography amongst pretty much every other kind of music-related content you can think of, barring only reviewing music itself.

  5. Opinion-list

    This week editor James Cartwright wonders whether it was right to remove the Chapman Brothers’ controversial sculpture Piggyback from a Roman gallery or whether it’s an affront to creative freedoms. As ever your comments are welcome below…

  6. List

    Last week we were duped into running a project on the site that turned out to be a hoax. Here Rob Alderson explains what happened and why it’s left an unsavoury taste, while James Cartwright disagrees and congratulates the artist on a spoof well done. As ever you can leave your thoughts using the discussion thread below…

  7. List

    Two weeks ago we featured DesignStudio’s Airbnb logo. One week ago copywriter Rob Mitchell of We All Need Words wrote an Opinion piece calling for an end to convoluted brand stories. His article was cheered by some people and incensed others; Sam Peskin and Liam Hamill of VentureThree want to have their say and defend brand strategy. Again you can add your views using the comment thread below…

  8. List

    We were pretty impressed with the new Airbnb logo when it launched last week, but for a different perspective, here’s Rob Mitchell from We All Need Words. He tells us why he’s had enough of “over-cooked brand stories masquerading as strategy” and as ever you can add your thoughts below…

  9. List

    In light of our recent changes and the launch of the new-look Design Observer, Rob Alderson reflects on design websites’ redesigns. As ever you can add your thoughts using the comment thread below, and we’re particularly keen to hear what you’re making of our new look!

  10. List

    This week James Cartwright wonders what the V&A is up to with its policy of “Rapid Response Collecting” and whether it really marks a shift in their curation policy. As ever you can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below.

  11. List

    This week Rob Alderson considers the aftermath of the disastrous Robin Thicke Twitter Q&A and wonders how it was ever signed off when what was going to happen seemed entirely predictable. As ever you can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below.

  12. Opinion-list

    This week assistant editor Maisie Skidmore asks what makes a good group show. Are they really all they’re cracked up to be, or are they poised for failure? Tell us what you think of them and which you’ve been to that were especially brilliant or terrible in the comments section below.

  13. Main

    This week online editor Liv Siddall wonders if anyone actually enjoys the huge amount of wacky summertime events that are on offer in London. As always your comments and opinions are welcome below.