The Edinburgh Festival is in full swing, and our city streets are crowded with locals and visitors from all across the earth. Probably the single most congested spot in the city in the afternoon is the Fringe Street Event, on the stretch of the Royal Mile which runs past St Gies Cathedral. All around the ancient spires actors from the fringe shows advertise their acts on the street. You can get a taste of scores of acts for free, in a carnival atmosphere, full of fun and colour. It’s hard to know where to look.
You can also find a constantly changing array of busking musicians, who get half hour slots to show case their talents. So the air is filled with a bewildering array of musical notes and styles, all adding to the chaotic buzz of the street. All of them are very talented, and a wonderful free show, which changes hour by hour.
You will bump into characters from all sorts of different time eras, as though a time machine has brought them all together into one historic setting. This chap was in a steampunk Sci-Fi show, and very happy to pose.
Scattered through the area are all sorts of living statues. I find their slow movements entrancing, and their elaborate themed costumes are wonderful. This golden clockwork lady performs with her hoops when people put coins in her jar.
Just in this area of town fly posters are allowed, and even encouraged. All free surfaces get covered in growing layers of adverts vying for your attention. This row of phone boxes are very close to the Fringe Ticket Office, and so they get quickly covered. There’s a feeling that if you stand still too long you might get covered in posters too.
Here are a few more of the wonderful characters I came across on Tuesday. All of them are actors keen to talk about their shows, pressing flyers into the hands of everyone whose eye they can catch. The historic back drop of cobbles and cathedral adds to the dramatic and slightly surreal feel of the whole experience. The crowds of people, feel like a timeless throng pressing through the history seeped streets, and the atmosphere is wonderful despite the crowds.