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Festival season kicks off in earnest today with the opening of Assembly Festival’s George Square Gardens. Vaudeville connoisseurs Speigelworld give a flavour of what’s to come with a taster from their world premiere Atomic Saloon Show ahead of the public opening of the Gardens at 2pm.

From 12 July until the end of August, the gardens are a quintessential part of Edinburgh’s celebrations, playing host to the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival (12-21 July), the Edinburgh Food Festival (19-28 July), and the month-long Festival Fringe (31 July – 26 August). Visitors will enjoy street food from some of Scotland’s best local producers, drinks at Assembly’s garden bars, including the two-storey Treehouse which opened last year, as well as taking in live music, spectacular circus, hilarious cabaret and enchanting children’s shows taking place around the garden and in its magnificent Spiegeltents – Palais du Variété and Piccolo. 

Over the past three weeks, more than 120 Assembly staff have been working round-the-clock to transform the gardens into a magical oasis to sit at the heart of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. During that time the production team has laid almost 2,700 square metres of grass, unfurled six tons of cable, fitted over 1,000 lightbulbs, and drunk around 300 cups of tea every day.

Sharon Burgess, Managing Director of Assembly Festival and Director of the Edinburgh Food Festival said: 

“The opening of the garden is a significant moment each year. When the lights are turned on and the first members of the public make their way through the gates – we know that we’re just weeks away from the start of the Fringe, and to welcoming the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come to enjoy the best international acts in the world. This year is one of Assembly’s largest programmes to date, with over 240 shows in 27 performance spaces across the city. The garden is a central part of that programme and continues to be one of the most popular spaces in the city during August.”  

Assembly Festival’s George Square Gardens opens to the public today Friday 12 July. The Gardens are open daily till late. For more information on Assembly’s full programme of events visit www.assemblyfestival.com.