The city of Edinburgh has a history of invaders and the castle and city walls have been besieged several times. This trend continues every year in August when hordes of culture vultures, art and music aficionados descend upon the International Arts Festival.
2014 is the 67th Festival and it is set to be one of the biggest in the history of the event. The Festival, the Fringe Festival and Military Tattoo attract approximately 2 million visitors to the city during the month of August. With an 11% increase in the number of artistes participating there will be almost 50,000 performances of 3,200 shows over 299 venues.
Comedy is still the mainstay of the Fringe with Rob Newman, Al Murray, Ruby Wax , Mark Thomas and Josie Long among the hundreds of comdeians appearing this year at venues across the city. Theatrical star turns are expected from Dame Diana Rigg, Simon Callow at the Assembly. The festival can often be political and this year also sees shows on Margaret Thatcher( as a drag queen!) and several celebrations of the late Tony Benn.
As ever the Royal Mile and Mound will be host to acrobats, sword swallowers, dancers and a multitude of performers.
The Military Tattoo is another mainstay of the Festival and it attracts 220,000 visitors annually. This year more than 46 countries will be represent in this spectacle of military arts and music. The castle esplanade will be alive with the blare of massed pipes and drums and the percussion of marching feet.
What shows have caught your eye this year? Tell us about your Festival experience or who you are coming to see this year.