Unless you are in the middle of one of Edinburgh's festivals, it is hard to understand how big they are. Or, as was the case in 2020, there's nothing to see.
In 2020, there was only one show at the fringe. It was a Just Festival art installation in St. John's Church. Both the Edinburgh International Festival and the book festival were online.
All of the tattoo, art, and jazz festivals were cancelled. Then, in 2021, some people came back. About 10% of the normal number
of international and fringe festival events were held, and all of them were held outside, in plush tents for the EIF and a multi-story parking lot for the fringe.
eople had good reason to worry about the risks of this year's return. In the first few days, it was said that 80% of artists would return, hotels would be full, and there would be more visitors than in 2019.
The city was busy, but not as busy as it was three years ago, when it seemed like everything was falling apart.
When there were too many shows to choose from, people thought about them carefully, as you might expect from people who don't get to see many live shows.
It's possible that the rising cost of living had something to do with these decisions. You used to be able to see four or five shows a day,
but now you might just choose one or two and check out another festival, find something free, or just soak up the atmosphere in Edinburgh.
It's easy to forget that Edinburgh is the best thing about itself. The goals of each of the six festivals affected how well they did.