Lonely Planet Writer

Edinburgh festivals begin amid euthanasia controversy

Edinburgh’s Fringe and International festivals have begun. It’s the first time in 18 years that the two events have kicked off on the same day.

The Edinburgh Festivals kick off for another year.
The Edinburgh Festivals kick off for another year. Image by Laura Suarez / CC BY-SA 2.0

The comedy – and theatre-dominated Fringe is the world’s biggest arts festival, and hosts over 50,459 performances of 3314 shows. Over 2 million tickets for its events were sold last year. The International Festival traditionally hosts higher-brow performances. This year sees the Fringe feature a controversial show on assisted euthanasia, that promises to ‘teach the funny side of the right-to-die debate’, while the International Festival includes an ambitious adaptation of Alasdair Gray’s Lanark, directed by David Greig. Both festivals run 7—31 August, and are joined by the Edinburgh Tattoo and major book and art events. Read more: bbc.co.uk