many hands make lights work

It’s all going. Everything‘s kicking off. The trucks have arrived and been unloaded and there’s still more to come. Plenty of bodies are grinding away getting the prep work for the venues done. It’s not quite full swing just yet, as the mass of workforce don’t arrive until Saturday but it’s certainly going.

In my last post, I posed the question about why the Edinburgh festival has become what it has become. The world’s largest arts festival doesn’t just pop up in a few years – Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know! Year after year, the staff, companies and punters (in that order) all trek up to bonnie Scotland to basically have one big fat arts party and kick some cultural butt.

Speaking to some of my colleagues, I managed to get a real understanding of why some of the people came. For example, one person, among many I’m sure, could have taken approximately five days of site work and earned twice the money that you would in Edinburgh. Granted, everyone knows that the money isn’t great, and certainly not the reason why people come. However, the five days, basically corporate work, that he would have taken on wouldn’t have had anywhere near the amount of interest, spontaneity, diversity and shear passion for theatre and the arts as here. It’s incredibly fulfilling and by far beats most corporate work, no matter what the money.

Respectively, there are others who don’t have the skills and experience to be able to take a large money job at the moment. There are many students helping run the festival where the opportunity will, without a doubt, further their skills and experience for higher profile work later in their careers. I certainly have come to Edinburgh for this reason as one of many. I’ve been here less than two days and already learning a vast amount.

To give you an idea, 90% of the venues across the site’s are not purpose built theatres – far from it, in fact. They have to built from scratch to a highly professional specification. Everything from the lighting, sound, seating rig, stage, floor, drapes and fire exit signs are built in each venue which takes a great amount of effort. Take a look at the photos for some evidence of how they being to shape up. But as I said before, as you learn whilst doing this it, makes it a truly invaluable experience.

That’s the rough progress report so far and also a bit of reasoning behind how and why the festival takes place. As it continues and I digress over a beer with my colleagues and others, I’ll discover more of the many reasons why Edinburgh exists as it does.

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