The August Feast

The August Feast: A Punter’s Perspective on Edinburgh and its Festivals

This freely available book (current edition December 2015) is something of a potpourri, covering various aspects of the Edinburgh experience in August.  It is part travel, part arts, part social and part history. It was originally written in 2005. At the end of each year I make any necessary changes to reflect our latest visit, mostly to A History of the Edinburgh Festivals  and Some Favourite Shows over the Years.

The chapters are freestanding: they can be accessed individually so that you can simply choose what is of interest or you can download the whole tome (1.5MB). All the pieces are in Acrobat pdf format, i.e. you need a copy of Acrobat Reader (which is free) to access them.

Let me start with a quick explanation of the title: I call it a “feast” because there are in fact six festivals; and in the UK a “punter” can mean a customer or client, as well as the more common meaning of a gambler.

A History of the Edinburgh Festivals provides an account of each of the summer festivals plus a description of the birth and subsequent flowering of the Traverse Theatre. Also available in HTML format

A Punter’s Tale from the Feast is a light-hearted personal account of some of our experiences over the years.

Choosing Shows & Feast Miscellany focuses on the problems that surround picking shows, particularly on the Fringe where there were over 3,000 to choose from in 2014.

A Potted History of “Auld Reekie”, as the city is still affectionately known, is a brief history of Edinburgh from Roman times up to the mid-nineteenth century.

Some Favourite Shows over the Years.

Food, Drink & Getting Around contains some personal thoughts on watering holes and restaurants, which can be used to supplement the information that you will find in the various guides and web sites.

If you are reading an individual chapter please note that you will find copyright and acknowledgement details here.

If you are interested in learning more on any aspect of the festival experience, see:

  • The bibliography, which contains some ideas for further reading
  • And the links to useful web sites.

I hope that you find something of interest in these pages, and that it encourages you, if you need encouraging, to try out the festival.