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Digital Subscriptions > DIVA Magazine > August 2016 > BOSELECTA!



Every summer, the historic city of Edinburgh is invaded by armies of actors, authors, filmmakers, dancers and mime artists ready to put their talents on display – and eager audience members looking to pack as much culture into a few days as physically possible. Although people talk about “the Edinburgh Festival”, it’s actually multiple festivals jammed up against each other across August, from the main Edinburgh International Festival to the cheaper Fringe and the does-what-it-says-on-the-tin Free Fringe. Then there’s the Book Festival, held every year in swanky Charlotte Square, and the Art Festival, scattered around Edinburgh’s various galleries and pop-up exhibition spaces.

You can track the progress of queer culture from festival programmes of days gone by. Acts like Susan Calman have come up from smaller comedy venues to big stages like the Pleasance or the Underbelly, and this year’s Book Festival offers a smorgasbord of LGBT women, Calman included, taking the stage with their books.

For upcoming cats, the DIY nature of the Fringe means that you can come up on a shoestring budget to try out work before taking it to London venues or on tour, so that audiences can see the next big thing for a fiver and tell their friends they saw the hot new stand-up on Eight Out Of Ten Cats back when they were playing to three hipsters and a greyhound in the backroom of a pub. It also gives queer acts the chance to stretch their wings in an environment where audiences more used to the mainstream are looking to try something new. This year’s theme is “defying convention”.

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Our August issue cover star is former Bake Off contestant Ruby Tandoh. Also in this issue: Brexit: how could leaving the EU affect lesbian and bi women? After Orlando: why the world needs to change Iconic lesbian poet speaks to DIVA about being an outsider Wentworth is back – we speak to your favourite inmates Edinburgh Festival: we select this year's best LGBT shows Eleanor Margolis asks what makes lesbian music sound so, um, lesbian? Berlin: lesbian historian Cyd Sturgess steps through sapphic time in the German culture capital Chitra Ramaswamy on her compelling new book about pregnancy Forget “gaydar” have you got “bi-fi”? Do social attitudes surveys about LGBT people tell us all we need to know? Plus all the very best in life, scene, books, film, music and TV.