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Edinburgh Festival Fireworks 2011 09

Well last night was the traditional hour-long fireworks classical music concert over the Castle that marks the end of another year of the Edinburgh International Festival, with the Fringe and the Book Festival having finished the weekend before. It’s a huge display of pyrotechnic fun and luckily the threatening rain clouds held back till the end of the concert. Much as I love the annual fireworks (much larger than the ones at Hogmanay) having seen them many times I can’t really face watching them from Princes Street as there are tens of thousands lined up to watch and I can’t be bothered with trying to get through all of that each year. Used to watch from my friend’s old workplace which had a Castle view, they had a party with food and booze while we watched over the roofs of the New Town to the Castle, but sadly they relocated and their new place doesn’t have the view. So last year we watched from the Radical Road under the Crags on the volcanic bulk of Arthur’s Seat; this year I decided to try somewhere closer to my end of town and with the old S&N brewery finally fully demolished I realised that from the old humpback bridge on the Union Canal at Fountainbridge I’d get a half decent view.

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The Fringe may be over too (and Edinburgh has that ‘just taken down the Christmas decorations’ feeling – peeling flyers for shows now finished on walls and stands but the carnival is over and the fabulous freak have left town. A relief in some ways but also always slightly sad) but I shot far too many photos during August as usual – the section of the Royal Mile near my work is given over to performers to do little bits of their acts on small stages and to parade up and down, many in costume, trying to interest folks in the hundreds of shows competing for bums on seats, which gives a lot of opportunity for grabbing some interesting street scenes (in fact I still have some left to process and upload to the Woolamaloo Flickr – click the pics here to see the bigger versions on my Flickr).

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A gallant kiss on the hand for his lovely assistant:

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Even rain doesn’t stop the Fringe or the tourists – the tacky ‘tartan tat’ gift shops must do a roaring trade in these disposable rain macs for tourists who come to Scotland in the summer with a summer wardrobe only to find the rain!

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Offffff with his head!!!!!

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Championship level gurning from the Mad Hatter!

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Beautiful smile from this performer:

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Rockin’ around the clock tonight…

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And faery creatures prowl the street, casting their charms…

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And we even had Charlie Chaplin performing right outside St Giles where once the dour, miserable old bugger Knox used to preach:

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And a bit of skin always helps sell a show!

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And I managed a couple of shots at some Free Fringe shows too:

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And the Book Festival of course (I’ve already posted full reports & pics from those events on here and the FP blog):

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Out with a bang

And thus Edinburgh’s Festival season, the world’s biggest arts festival, comes to an end for another year with mighty explosions echoing across the city like the pounding of the Castle’s cannons as the traditional classical music and fireworks concert took place. I was lucky enough to be invited to my friend’s workplace which has a good view out towards the front of the Castle rather than standing with the 250, 000 others in the streets and hills of the city watching it all. It was a lovely late summer evening as we walked into the city centre, the last glow of the sun washing the stones of the Castle in a copper glow before finally fading into darkness, the stars beginning to appear in the sky above the floodlit fortress. An air of expectation from thousands of people waiting in the dark… The orchestra in the Gardens begins to play and suddenly the dark night explodes in light, colour and sound, incredibly ephemeral sculptures and flowers of light in the air, lasting only seconds.

I love fireworks – there are some things you never grow out of an a huge fireworks show is one of them. But fireworks launching into the sky from an ancient fortress atop a volcanic rock is something else again. I love living here. You can view the full set at larger sizes on my Flickr stream.