10 great things not to miss as Edinburgh reopens
Edinburgh is open. That's the message from Forever Edinburgh as the Capital gears up for the summer months.
The Fringe may be reduced in size, the Tattoo on an extended hiatus for another year and every booking page may carry the now obligatory 'subject to change due to Covid restrictions' but the signs are there, a degree of normality is returning, it’s time to let Edinburgh entertain you once again. So, embracing the sentiment that it's on until it's off, Evening News Entertainment Editor Liam Rudden picks his Top 10 things to do in 2021 and discovers there's more to get excited about on the Capital’s entertainment scene than you might imagine.
MUSIC: Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, July 16-25
After moving online for 2020 the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival is back for 2021 with an exciting programme that includes 20 live streamed concerts from Assembly Roxy, featuring the likes of the Sandy Tweeddale Band, Jacqui Dankworth & Charlie Wood, the Soweto Kinch Trio, David Milligan, Brian Kellock, the Louise Dodds Quartet and the sure to be popular Brass Gumbo who will be entertaining with an evening of music by The Beatles. Full details and tickets can be found at https://edinburghjazzfestival.com/whats-on
ARTS: Edinburgh International Festival, August 7-29
With more than 170 events, this year's EIF is moving outdoors with live performances staged in bespoke open-air pavilions at Edinburgh Park and Old College Quad as well as a free night-time fire walk through the Royal Botanic Garden. Other highlights of the 2021 edition include appearances by Star Wars and Harry Potter star Domhnall Gleeson, Blur's Damon Albarn, The Snuts, Alan Cumming and Nicola Benedetti. Full programme and ticket details here https://www.eif.co.uk/
EVENT: Truckfest Scotland, July 31-August 1Looking for a great family day out? Scotland’s biggest and best truck show returns to Edinburgh’s Royal Highland Centre with all the latest models, major manufacturers and breathtaking live main arena excitement including a visit from the mighty Swamp Thing, the UK’s top ranked freestyle motocross riders, Monster Truck car crushing action and the Slingshot Ride Truck. Full details and tickets from https://www.royalhighlandcentre.co.uk/events/truckfest-scotland/
STAND UP: Comedy at Edinburgh Corn Exchange, August 5-27Four days of stand-up comedy come to the Corn Exchange over the first weekend of this year's Fringe. Daniel Sloss and Craig Hill will play four gigs each and German stand-up Henning Wehn will also be appearing at the venue. Shows will be staged in two rooms for socially-distanced audiences of up to 400. More tickets may be released depending on the restrictions on live events at the time. Tickets and details from https://www.edinburghcornexchange.com/CONCERTS: Summer Sessions, August 6-15Following more than a year without live music, Edinburgh Summer Sessions returns to Princes Street Gardens giving Capital concert-goers the chance to enjoy gigs from DMA’s, Tom Jones, Michael Kiwanuka, Travis and Simple Minds. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, Lionel Richie has rescheduled his 2021 date until 2022. For further information visit www.smmrsessions.com
THEATRE: Disney's Beauty and the Beast, October 21-November 27
The tale as old as time returns to Edinburgh and to the Playhouse later this year telling the love story of Belle and her Beast. Now with a new exuberant tap dance during the show-stopping number Be Our Guest, the stage production is based on the 1991 film Beauty and the Beast, which opened on Broadway in 1994 and remains among the top 10 longest running shows in Broadway history. Tickets from https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/disneys-beauty-and-the-beast/edinburgh-playhouse/
MUSICAL: Dirty Dancing, November 9-13
Based on the blockbuster film, this smash hit musical never fails to attract sell-out audiences, so book now. It's the summer of 1963, and 17-year-old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is about to learn some major lessons in life as well as a thing or two about dancing. Packed with ever-green songs such as Hungry Eyes, Hey! Baby, Do You Love Me? and the heart-stopping (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life, you won't want to be left in the corner when this show comes to the Festival Theatre. Details and tickets from https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/dirty-dancing-2021
ELECTRONIC: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, November 2
An iconic band still at the top of their game, OMD head to the Usher Hall to perform songs from the album Architecture & Morality as well as hits from their legendary back catalogue, classics such as the legendary anti-war hit single Enola Gay, Maid of Orleans, Souvenir and Electricity. Andy McClusky says, "After purgatory without the oxygen of live performance... what joy it is to know we will be able to share these moments again." Tickets available from https://www.usherhall.co.uk/whats-on/omd
FILMS: Cinescapes Festival, July 4 & October 16
Open-air cinema returns to the city in a celebration of Scottish films from next month, launching with a double bill screening of Trainspotting and T2 Trainspotting in the heart of Leith and closing with a showing of Sylvain Chomet’s animated film The Illusionist at the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens. The Trainspotting double-bill will take place at the Campervan Brewery Taproom, Jane Street, Leith, on July 4, while The Illusionist will be screened on October 16. Full details of other screening around Scotland can be found at www.cinescapes.co.uk
DAY OUT: Edinburgh Castle - Open now
One of the most exciting historic sites in Western Europe, Edinburgh Castle sits sentinel-like above the city as it rests in its protective shadow. With some of the best views of the Capital, the Castle is open again and welcoming visitors. Visit between 9.30am and 6pm daily and explore the historic attraction which includes the Great Hall, St Margaret’s Chapel and, not to be missed, the firing of the One O’clock Gun. Full itineraries and tickets, which must be booked online can be sourced at https://www.edinburghcastle.scot/see-and-do
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