Festival Fatigue

The festival’s really taking its toll on me. I’m knackered. I was out again last night: catching up with Charlotte, a lovely primary school teacher and all round Good Egg who was briefly back from Vancouver where she decided to decamp to in January, taking her games-designing boyfriend Alex with her (and therefore cutting off my supply of free Rockstar North/Grand Theft Auto merchandise). It was great fun, as usual.  The hilarious David Schneider (you’d know him if you saw him- he’s been in The Day Today, Alan Partridge, Nathan Barley etc.) walked past us, I had the World’s Most Delicious Slice of Pizza outside Teviot (sorry, I mean the ‘Gilded Balloon’), popped into Potterow (aka the ‘Pleasance Dome’) and narrowly missed getting some free cider in Hullaballoo (George Square Gardens).

All of which got me thinking that the University/ Edinburgh Council must be making an absolute killing renting out all of these sites to the Fringe. They surely make enough to make all lectures, student accommodation and bin collections completely free of charge for Edinburgh residents, which would in turn make up for the massive levels of inconvenience, traffic problems (both human and vehicular) and the constant interruptions by leafleters when you’re clearly in the middle of a minor argument:

“What do you mean, you ‘don’t know what my problem is’?”

“Hey there! Sorry to interrupt. Why not come and see ‘Was There Really Somebody At The Door?’ a melodrama about the life and death of Rod Hull? It starts in TWO seconds! HURRY!”

“I just don’t like sushi, that’s all. It’s just cold rice. I could have cold rice at home and just stick it together with glue or something.”

“The Reduced Tolstoy Company present a 10 minute version of War and Peace- on Unicycles! Just £15!” (Leaflet in face).

“Are you kidding? That’s £1.50 a minute! Anyway, since when didn’t you like sushi? It’s…”

“University of Central Lancashire Footlights present a musical version of Schindler’s List, 7.30pm?”

At which point the Person Who Doesn’t Like Sushi proceeds to hulk out and start chasing the terrified flyer-distributors up the street, fists flailing.  

Oh, and let’s not forget the interminable ‘where’s the castle?’ direction giving. I’ve been on buses that have been regularly flagged down by baffled visitors who seem to think they’re giant, mobile tourist information centres. I also had to explain the concept of pay toilets to a baffled Canadian and attempt to demonstrate how to use a Dyson Airblade hand-drier to a sari-clad Indian lady. Unfortunately I didn’t do a particularly good job: she kept trying to insert her elbows.

I feel I should get some kind of compensation for having to live amongst all this lovely chaos. It’s now getting to the ‘party that’s gone on too long’ stage: all the good booze is gone, the floor is sticky, someone’s been sick in your bath and there are hordes of Americans wandering around your living room asking you where the kitchen is. I’d accept some free tickets to Fringe shows- that’d make up for it. I’m particularly keen to see that Rod Hull thing…


About Hilary Wardle
Hilary is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes for a wide range of websites, magazines and newspapers, including Buzzfeed, MSN, The Poke, Chortle, the Guardian and the Independent. She specialises in arts and entertainment, comedy, video games and viral content. Contact her at Hilary3@gmail.com.

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