The show’s over, roll on festivals 2023

The end of Edinburgh’s festivals season always feels a little flat.

While there are probably just as many city residents who will be celebrating getting their city back than those, like me, lamenting the end of the festivities, few would deny the last few weeks have been electrifying in Auld Reekie.

For me, watching the streets come back to life, witnessing the excitement and enthusiasm of the performers, and even navigating the George Street crowds on the walk to the Scotsman office has been invigorating.

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The festivals are a special time and their loss during the pandemic was devastating for many, culturally and financially.

Of course this year's events have not been without criticism or challenges – not least a certain bin strike and the absence of a Fringe app, but let’s not take anything away from all those involved in returning the festivals to full force.

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This is merely the beginning of the recovery, a hint of what is to come and there is no doubt festivals 2023 will be even better.

An event hampered by strikes by railway workers and refuse collectors, against the backdrop of a cost of living crisis and a global pandemic, still managed to be one of the biggest in its 75-year history. A total of 3582 shows across 277 venues played out for the three weeks.

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As the Fringe Society heard last week: “The collective achievement is massive and the entire Fringe community should be congratulated and celebrated for being back and live and doing everything they can to put on the show.

"To have 63 countries represented on our stages in the post-pandemic year is no small thing.”

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No indeed, and to see the number of international tourists – explaining to them where possible that Edinburgh’s bins are ‘usually’ collected – bodes well for the future.

So for those of you in Edinburgh breathing a sigh of relief today that the festivals are over, I hope you enjoy the quiet streets, quick service and empty pavements.

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For me, I’m counting the days until next August when the world returns to the capital.