"The Edinburgh International Book Festival began in 1983 and is now a key event in the August Festival season, celebrated annually in Scotland's capital city. Biennial at first, the Book Festival became a yearly celebration in 1997"

To quote from the Book Festival Website -   http://www.edbookfest.co.uk - this is indeed a key event if you have any interest in Literature of any kind, and the quality of the content is its main appeal.  It is very unlikely that you will experience a duff event at the Book Festival - something you can't say about the Festival Fringe, which is a much bigger and less selective branch of the Edinburgh Festival.

 Many of the events sell out very quickly, especially if the author happens to be making a rare appearance, e.g. Alan Bennett.  The workshops which take place are also quick sellers, but you can still get tickets up to the last minute by just checking at the ticket desk at the entrance to the Charlotte Square event when you arrive.  You can book online, by phone or by post - see the website as previously mentioned for full details.

 Aside from some VIP areas, most of the events do not have reserved seating, so it is wise to turn up at least 10 minutes early to join the queue if you want to get a good vantage point.  The eating/drinking areas are well-stocked an have lots of chairs and tables, but they can get very busy at times, so you may want to bring a rug so you can plonk yourself on the grass outwith the official areas to take in the atmosphere and indulge in some writerly chat.  There is a large bookselling tent which has most of the output of all the Festival authors as well as other relevant titles.  It's not as cheap as you might get paperbacks for in some places, but when you realise that most of the profits from the sales are ploughed back into the Festival itself, then it's worthwhile doing so to make a contribution.  If you go to the signing tables after the events, you'll even get your book signed and an interesting exchange of words with your favourite author.

It is also a great place for celebrity spotting, if that's your bag.  Some of the literarti conversations you can eavesdrop on are priceless.  It can be fun to take a dictaphone and catch some interesting snatches of dialogue, maybe even for use in your own fiction!  If you can bear the highbrow fake loviness of many of the attendees, it's rich pickings for any aspiring writer.

There is also the Spiegeltent, which is open late most evenings where you can get a decent pint and take part in free discussion events, as well as getting entertained by a band or two. If you get there really early, it's great to sit in the gardens with a glass of wine ( or a bottle of water if you're less well off) and watch the little square of grass and the tents gradually fill up with people.  You don't even have to buy anything, and it's a bit less raucous than some of the Fringe events, if you're looking for a more genteel take on the Festival. 

 As a final point, don't forget a rainproof jacket and umbrella.  When the undercover areas are full, and a downpour begins, there's nowhere to run!

Edinburgh International Science Festival

Running from 25th March to 5 April, your children can blow their minds at the Assembly Rooms, 54 George St . An amazing family day out filled with fun, workshops and hands-on exhibitions! If you are a budding scientist, aspiring surgeon, wannabe adventurer, trainee archaeologist or if you just want to dress up and head off into the Amazonian jungle at night, get yourself down to Wonderama! The list of shows to choose from is endless and the fun starts at 9.30am everyday. Check out www.sciencefestival.co.uk/Wonderama or call 0131 524 9830 to see what’s on and to book a day pass today! Day passes: Adults £6.50, Concession £5.00, Children 7+ £8.50, Children 3-6 £5.00, Under 3’s Free. Star attractions and drop-in events are included in the cost of your day pass, giving you unlimited access, all day, to every Drop-in event. Pre-bookings strongly advised for Star Attractions.


Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival is getting bigger and better every year.  (Did you know that the Fringe is considered the largest festival in the world, according to The Guinness Book of Records?) Thousands of performers and visitors from around the world get together to celebrate music and art.

Many of the world's top performers will play here.  It is also dotted with horrible stuff (in some peoples opinion) and everything in-between.  Understand, basically ANYONE can set up a performance there, so you will get many up-and-comers and wannabees trying to break out of the pack. Want to see a "Poetry Boy Band?" (They are great, by the way.)  Top comedians? Shakespeare? Music? Gymnasts? This is the place!  Be sure to pick up the many periodicals which spend the short-life of the Fringe reviewing non-stop.

Want to see a preview of a show,then try this new site that has just opened up http://www.festivalpreviews.com/  lots of good stuff there and links to other interesting sites.

Another fantastic element is the Royal  Mile, where hundreds of performers hand out fliers and do mini-shows to advertise their performancesThere are also lots of jugglers,acrobats and fire-eaters and other street performers doing their stuff , It's an experience not to be missed!

Performances are not only held in the many standard-type theaters all over the city, but also in church halls, clubs, schools and functions rooms. Going on at the same time are lots of free shows, theater productions and special exhibitions.

Go to the Fringe website to learn more about the history of this fantastic celebration plus information on performances, schedules, tickets and so on.

** Note: The original information for this thread came from the following forum thread: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-...