Arts and Entertainment

Generating a Laugh in Edinburgh

Every year in August, Edinburgh becomes a world stage, the centre of everyone’s attention. It becomes home to one of the year’s cultural highlights – Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Thousands of artists and visitors descend on the beautiful Scottish capital to experience some of the best and worst shows of their lives. Hotels and hostels get booked out far in advance, and ‘festival lets’ see flats rented out at extortionate prices.

Predominantly a comedy festival, Edinburgh is where many stand up comedians make or break their careers. Here, the reviews really matter.

Most locals have praise only for the paid shows, but you can get lucky with free shows as well. You never know, you could see the biggest rising star in comedy whose shows will be completely sold out next year.

There are also many more shows to see from theatre to live music so everyone is catered for, making Edinburgh the perfect destination for families or groups of friends with different tastes.

Venues

With over 200 venues scattered throughout town, the festival means spaces are opened up to the public that normally don’t even see the light of day. One of the biggest venues, Underbelly, takes over the old bank vaults on the city’s famous Cowgate, an old Church on the Royal Mile is transformed into a bar and late night locale, and many other pop up venues take over abandoned buildings and yards throughout town.

The city’s streets and squares (Bristo Square, Charlotte Square, George Street and more) see tents and other temporary structures erected to accommodate the crowds.

Not only do all these venues need stage equipment such as lighting and sound systems, but many also require air conditioning, and transportable toilets.

Most venues boast bars and some even feature food kiosks that all require refrigeration of some sort, as well as tills and lighting.

For event equipment hire companies in the area it is one of the busiest and most fruitful times of year. Rumour has it extra gear has to be flown over from places like Ireland to deal with the excessive demand as it is also music festival season elsewhere in the UK.

One of the biggest gains is felt by the power generator rental industry who hire out generators to power all the temporary equipment. It isn’t unusual to see these tucked away in discreet locations at venues throughout town, quietly humming away yet providing such an important service without which the festival couldn’t be as loud, proud and visually effective.