What's that distant rumble? It's the sound of the world's best actors, directors, comedians, dancers, authors, musicians and fire-jugglers getting ready to descend on Edinburgh.
Walking the streets of the Scottish capital in July and August is like being in the eye of the festival storm. Posters fight for your attention on every spare bit of wall and fliers are thrust at you from all directions. So how do you make sense of it all? My top tip is to check out the festival previews and round-ups from our best critics and publications. This isn't a substitute for trawling through the brochures and making up your own mind, but it can help point you in the right direction. 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh's festivals and from the sounds of things, there's more than ever to choose from.
For theatre, the Guardian's Lyn Garner is a sure bet. In 2016 I managed the Pleasance Press Office and Lyn was the critic that all the performers wanted to impress. Her What To See and Where To Go blog is a great preview of the Fringe's most promising theatre shows. Her tips range from Fleabag to Forced Entertainment, with Shakespearean puppet shows, a dance marathon and a love letter to Dolly Parton.
The List's special festival editions are a must-grab and in the run-up to the festival they do lots of preview round-ups online to help you decide what to spend your money on. 10 Reasons to Visit the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017 is a great introduction. The List also has a solid round-up of this year's Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival highlights - look out for the Blind Boys of Alabama, John Scofield and Kandace Springs.
The Skinny is another good source of festival news and reviews. Check out their Edinburgh International Festival reveal Spirit of '47 report which shares details of the EIF's partnershp with the British Council celebrating arts and culture from across the globe, from Syria to Stirlingshire.
The Scotsman has a nice round-up of which film industry luminaries will be visiting Edinburgh this year for the Edinburgh Film Festival (Kevin Bacon and Oliver Stone top the list), while The Herald previews the Edinburgh International Book Festival, including details of new venues as well as speakers as diverse as Limmy and Nicola Sturgeon.