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Edinburgh International festival fireworks concert. Open Seating even if you pay for seats?

I have booked the RS Scotland tour beginning on 8/26/19 in Edinburgh.
It appears the first day of the tour starts with a group meeting around 4 pm, goes on a short walk around New Town and then meets for dinner and visits a pub.
That same evening is also the International Festival fireworks show, which I understand you can see from a lot of places in Edinburgh, including Carlton Hill, near the hotel where the Tour spends the night.
There are tickets for sale for seats at the Princes Street Garden for purchase, and tickets for entry in the park area for lawn spots, but as I read it, the seats are not reserved and you have to get there at 7 pm to get good seats, or a spot on the lawn and bring a blanket, food and drink for a picnic until the show starts at 9pm and the fireworks at 930 pm.

So for those who have attended, how does it work? Does purchasing tickets for seats, get you reserved seats? In the non-seating area, Are people supposed to get there at 7 pm when the gates open and bring a picnic and blanket and find a spot in the crowd until the concert starts at 9pm?
If the tour group dinner ended before 9pm, would you recommend walking up to Carlton hill to see the fireworks, or will the Hill also be crowded with people who got there at 7 pm?

Posted by
2514 posts

Calton Hill will be crowded but you will find a place to sit down,been a few years since I have done it but a blanket on the ground , a bottle of bubbly and tub of fresh strawberries and the one you love makes a great night out.
Actually being in the gardens is too close to the fireworks to get the full effect but you will hear the music . The whole centre of the city will be very busy this past year over 250,000 people were in the city centre to see the fire works,I was not one of them.

Posted by
5559 posts

I have seen them twice. Once from far away near the Botanic Gardens. We could see the high ones and there was a screen showing the ones lower down. It was a park with lots of families. You should bring a blanket to sit on. A bit Fourth of July in atmosphere. The second time, I went up to Princes Street. I just got a space on the curb where I had a good view of the castle and enjoyed myself. I was right next to a woman with a baby in a stroller. The policeman had her move away from the intersection. He said that there could be surges of people and he worried about her. It turned out to be fine. There were lots of people rambling through the crowd in long chains of friends. It reminded me a bit of the Taste of Chicago when it is really, really crowded.

So, I didn't buy a ticket either time, but had a great time and enjoyed myself nevertheless.