Signs of radical thinking amid ‘negativity’ about Edinburgh’s festivals – Brian Ferguson

Edinburgh’s festivals

There is a bizarre hysteria about how Edinburgh is brought to a grinding halt by the festivals each August, writes Brian Ferguson.

It is an annual melodrama, played out against the backdrop of apparent mayhem on the streets of Edinburgh each summer. While crowds throng the city’s streets round the clock for most of August, queuing for shows and making merry in pavement cafes and pop-up bars, a rumbling of discontent can felt.

Most of the time, it can be easily ignored, like a distant thunderstorm. But just as climate change seems to have turned Edinburgh’s weather patterns upside down, so the pattern of complaining about its festivals has altered.

Blogs and newspaper headlines raising concerns about the impact of the city’s major events, the Disneyfication of Edinburgh and the over-commercialisation of its world heritage site are now a year-round phenomenon.

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