August is a great month for events in the Northern Hemisphere! Three of the biggest are...
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (7-31 August) is the world’s largest arts festival, with around 300 venues and 3,314 different shows. Yep, in one month. It’s basically a comedy-palooza, plus there’s loads of music and theatre – including a musical version of Game of Thrones. Even if you can’t make it, watch out for the inevitable – and brilliant – “best jokes from the festival” lists.
La Tomatina takes place in Bunol, near Valencia, on 26 August. Thousands of people + more than 100 metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes = the world’s largest food fight. Shopkeepers protect their storefronts with huge plastic covers, but visitors can’t escape the carnage. Bunol is normally home to just 9,000 people, and this number used to swell to an incredible 50,000 for La Tomatina. These days the limit is 20,000 (and you’ll need an official ticket to attend).
Burning Man (30 August-7 September) is like landing on another planet. Tens of thousands of people gather to create Black Rock City, a temporary, strange and super-cool metropolis in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. It’s filled with people, art and events that are incredible, weird and wonderful, and will take your breath away. It culminates on the final Saturday, when the “Man” – a massive structure that looms over the entire event and takes a different form each year – is ceremonially burned. It’s an unforgettable spectacle and embodies the festival’s “leave no trace” mantra. For this is a fiercely eco event, plus there’s no sponsorship, no branding, no trading stalls and virtually no money changing hands – instead, a “gifting” culture pervades. Legen… wait for it… dary.