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Festival clash

FOR several years the Edinburgh International Festival has been aggrieved that the Fringe begins a week ahead. It makes for confusion among visitors and detracts from the idea of a grand weekend opening. But before the Fringe organisers are condemned for being only self interested, it is worth making a point I have never seen mentioned.

The Fringe is well under way before the schools go back. That means that children and their parents have an opportunity to go to events specially laid on. If the schools were already on the brink of starting (as they are when the International Festival starts) then Frnge performances would suffer - and many children would be deprived of the opportunity to see tailor-made live theatre.

Understandably, the International Festival has nothing or virtually nothing suitable for youngsters and so can ignore the start of the Scottish school session. But the Book Festival, which begins on August 12, does almost clash with the beginning of term. It does make an effort to cater for school parties, but its weekend events for children tend to sell out because that is the only time when many youngsters can attend.

Alice Jackson

Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh

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