Travelling alone to the Edinburgh Festivals?
You’re not alone. Thousands of people come to the Edinburgh Festivals every year by themselves, whether they’re coming to watch shows, perform or work in the hundreds of theatres and street stalls dotted around the city. You are not alone and you will not be alone – here are a few words of advice to help you in your solo Edinburgh Festival journey…
1. DON’T BE INTIMIDATED!
Edinburgh is an incredibly friendly city and the Scottish people are more than likely to want to find out about you and where you’ve come from. If you’re ordering a beer, stop and have a chat with the bartender. Ask locals for tips on what to do and where to eat. If you have one of these interactions every day you’ll soon start to see how friendly a city Edinburgh really is.
2. STAY SOMEWHERE SOCIAL
Regardless of how long you’re visiting Edinburgh for, staying somewhere social could make your trip all the more enjoyable. If you’re coming to watch shows, stay somewhere where you can chat to other people about what you’ve seen that day. If you’re coming for longer, having a community of familiar faces around you could be perfect way to end your day.
Every year Edinburgh Festival Camping provides accommodation for visitors, performers and participants working at the Festivals, many of whom are staying by themselves. We work really hard and are super proud of the community we create at our campsite. We want everyone to feel at home and we are aware that particularly performers travelling solo sometimes just need someone to chat to! At Edinburgh Festival Camping, there is always someone around to have a chat with, give you support or just help you with whatever you need. All of our staff stay on site so it’s our home for the month too. If in doubt, head to the tipi and say hello!
3. BECOME A REGULAR
Edinburgh is full of quirky bars, cafe’s and social spaces. If you’re here for a little longer, choose somewhere you like the look of and make it your go-to place for ordering a coffee or hanging out. You’ll soon recognise faces and you’ll be well on the way to making the city feel like home.
4. CHOOSE AN ACTIVITY TO PARTICIPATE IN
Yes, you’ll have a busy schedule if you want to see as many shows as possible, but if you’re in it for the long haul, spending 2 hours once or twice a week to do something social and a bit different could be a great escape from solo-ing it. Pick a yoga class, have some beginner’s boxing classes or try out some life drawing classes. Why not?
If you’ve got some free time on your hands, why not try volunteering? Choose something that’s social – there are loads of different things you could do. Edinburgh Festival Camping offers an accommodation exchange programme where you can volunteer your time in exchange for free accommodation, working with up to 40 volunteers at any one time. If you’ve got the time and you’re interested in meeting people and making friends, our Volunteer Programme may be for you. Or if you have less time, join a charity for a bucket collection morning. It’s up to you to make it happen and the opportunities are there – it’s a pretty cool thing to do too!
6. USE THE MEETUP APP
If you haven’t come across Meetup yet, it’s a mobile phone App with the aim to get people socialising. There’s loads of groups for whatever you’re interested in – going to shows meeting up for coffee, board game nights, going on walks or bike rides (just to name a few!) The purpose is to meet new people and make friends so everyone involved is there for the same reason.
There are opportunities to meet people everywhere and Edinburgh is a super friendly city. If you want a social experience, or if you feel that you need more social interactions, you can do something about it. For an instant fix, join a Free Walking Tour or find a quiet bar and chat to a bartender.
THE TOP TIP
For ongoing support, the biggest tip I can give is to stay somewhere that is inherently sociable. I can confidently and proudly say that Edinburgh Festival Camping is this – friendly, welcoming to all and supportive of individuals needs. You’ll definitely find a friend at Edinburgh Festival Camping.