We’ve just finished our 15th Edinburgh Festival Fringe! 25 days in a row of “Jazz at Lunchtime” in the Tap Music Lounge at the Novotel Edinburgh Centre in Lauriston Place (Venue 188). The festival (EdFringe for short) is the biggest arts festival in the world and has been running for over 70 years. You can see more on their website at: www.edfringe.com
It the 3rd year we’ve been in this particular venue (The Novotel). Its been absolutely fantastic for us, with the best part of 1,000 people coming to see us perform this year. The venue is superb, an oasis of calm, but with great views of the bustling festival streets of Edinburgh going past the large glass windows. People can choose to buy lunch or not (most do!). The management and staff of the hotel work very hard throughout the festival and treat us with great warmth and friendliness. Every day all staff members say “hello” or wave hello to us from a distance. Quite magical. An absolute pleasure for us – it made our job very easy!
Here’s a few photos of us playing, intermingled with some photos around Edinburgh showing some of the many posters for shows on display.
One of the Novotel bar staff that had worked there the last couple of years was Jessie from Australia. Half way through this year’s EdFringe her work visa finished so she headed back home. We gave her a bottle of bubbly and a send off – we played her “Waltzing Matilda” as a ballad. Its a beautiful tune played slowly. Not a dry eye in the house!!!
We had some very busy days indeed!
And of course, the European Championships were also on with the diving held at the Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh. (The Games were held in Glasgow & Berlin – which is why the sign says “Glasgow 2018“.)
Everyone commented on how good the food was (served by the excellent & very hard-working staff).
You see some amazing things in Edinburgh during the festival.
Apart from walking past famous people in the street such as Richard Curtis (“Four Weddings & a Funeral“, “Notting Hill” etc), Robert Bathurst (“Cold Feet“), Mark Thomas (British comedian), Rory Bremner (British comedian/impersonator), being nearly run over by German comedian Henning Wehn on his bicycle in a hurry on the way to his gig!, Allan Havey (US TV drama “Mad Men“, “Billions“, “Hail Caesar!” & a New York comedian) – who was very friendly to us on a number of occasions, I saw a squirrel in The Meadows running off with a whole bagel (tripping up continually), a woman get out of a taxi with two (real) Yorkshire Terrier dogs sticking out of her backpack, and one Sunday evening around 7.30pm near the university, 3 American ladies asked me how to see the ocean in Edinburgh (right now!). I told them it was a bit out of town, but they said they were going to order a taxi. I sent them off in the right direction – I only hope they got there before nightfall….
Its been a great EdFringe for us again this year. Thank you again to the wonderful, hard-working, helpful, warm & friendly team at the Novotel Edinburgh Centre. We look forward to next year…..
Words and photos by Ian Millar © 2018