This weekend marked the start of the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, and to celebrate there were a series of free musical events.
On Saturday the now traditional Mardi Gras parade was held in the Grassmarket. We missed the parade, but there were lots of bands playing to a packed Grassmarket when we arrived.
The music wasn’t confined to the four stages, with bands mingling with the crowds.
There was quite a mixture of musical styles, with one end of the Grassmarket very much at the Blues end of the spectrum, and the other at the Jazz end.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Grassmarket so busy – no doubt influenced in part by the glorious weather – with people stretching from one side to side and end to end.
There was a great atmosphere as the crowd soaked up the sun and listened to the great music on offer.
The stage at the west end of the Grassmarket had the magnificent backdrop of Edinburgh Castle rising high above it.
On Sunday it was the Edinburgh Festival Carnival, with over 400 performers from France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Scotland and the rest of the UK, Martinique, Trinidad and Tobago, Réunion Island and China. Music, dance and costumes were the order of the day, along Princes Street and in Princes Street Gardens.
We followed the crowds down into the Gardens as the music drifted up to meet us.
As we reached the middle of the Gardens, we met a procession coming the other way so climbed up to Princes Street for a better view.
On Princes Street itself was a small troupe of West Indian dancers.
Thousands of people were milling about, enjoying a Princes Street free of tramworks!
At the bottom of Frederick Street were a popular Samba band and dancers.
Back on Princes Street itself The Country Boys from Trinidad were attracting their own crowd.
Further along Princes Street were the drummers of Bombrando from Portugal.
We made our way back along to the mid entrance to Princes Street Gardens, passing by The Country Boys once again.
Down in the Gardens, the Ross Bandstand was playing host to numerous acts, including dancers and a dragon from the Chinese Community of Edinburgh.
The acts at the Bandstand were being compered by Grant Stott from Forth One.
Next up were a Hungarian folk band.
All the seats in the amphitheatre were taken, the audience enjoying the music and the sun.
Despite the hot weather there was an array of weird and wonderful costumes on display.
All in all it was a really entertaining weekend, and it certainly whets the appetite for the rest of the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival and the other Festivals still to come.
The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival runs until the 28th of July.