Virgin Money Fringe Fireworks Concert 2016
The Fringe Festival is (thankfully) over for another year and every year to mark the end of the Fringe a big fireworks concert is held at Edinburgh concert. As far as I can remember it’s held on Monday after the Fringe has finished and the whole of Princes Street is blocked off to traffic to allow people to watch a concert in Princes Street Gardens backed up by a fireworks display from Edinburgh Castle in the background.
I’ve always had mixed feelings about the fireworks display as well as the Fringe itself. The Fringe is great for Edinburgh’s economy but it also makes the city impossible to use, both in terms of access and financially. Equally, there’s a paid-for concert in the gardens for the fireworks display although I haven’t and wouldn’t pay for it. Instead, as a photographer, I’ve been to several different spots now to try to capture photos of the fireworks.
The first two times I saw the fireworks I went up Calton Hill, which sits on the East side of Prince Street. The views are really good but it’s super packed out with people and it’s almost impossible to both park and move. I’ve been up there twice to watch the fireworks and the first time I did a really crappy job at catching the fireworks and the second time was good. The third time I checked out the fireworks I went up the Salisbury Crags and the views were great and it was a bit less crowded but the fireworks were on the other side of the castle.
This time I went up Blackford Hill which is home to the Royal Observatory and also home to some of the most incredible views of Edinburgh. We got there one hour early and managed to park almost in the first parking spot which was great. I took Amelia and Liv with me and this was Amelia’s first time out at night and the fireworks started one hour after her normal bedtime so she was super excited about both staying out late and also seeing the fireworks.
How were the fireworks? Erm, not very good. There were lots of small fireworks but in terms of the big bang fireworks that you always hope to see there weren’t many of these. Millie summed it perfectly, after 20 minutes she said “I’m bored, can we go home now?” so we left just a couple minutes before the end of the fireworks and managed to beat the traffic back as well.
But in terms of location, Blackford Hill was awesome. I noticed some people sadly standing at the bottom of the hill but you can only see the castle. I went almost to the top of the hill and was able to capture a full-width image that included both the castle, the Salisbury Crags, and Arthurs Seat. The first image below is a stitched panoramic and while it has huge resolution it was windy as anything so the clowds were blowing along quite quickly. The stills were a lot more successful and I took a couple full width images at different angles and a couple photos of the castle.