The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the biggest arts festival in the world, with nearly 3,500 shows. This year, Playbill is in Edinburgh for the entire month in August for the festival and we’re taking you with us. Follow along as we cover every single aspect of the Fringe, aka our real-life Brigadoon!
Guru Dudu's Silent Disco Walking Tours are the perfect fusion of sight-seeing, karaoke, and rocking out in the streets of Edinburgh. Guru Dudu is a silent walking tour company, made up of artists and facilitators. They originated in Melbourne but they now do tours in the U.K. and Europe. And they have now become a Fringe favorite. Theatre nerds, tourists, and fringe-goers unite for a tour you’re not soon to forget. Where else do you get to belt out a Mamma Mia! medley down the historic cobblestoned paths of Scotland?
If musical theatre is not your thing, not to worry, Guru Dudu also offers other themed tours, such as Queen, Abba, '70s, and '80s, etc. Playbill embarked on the musical theatre tour (of course) and captured a taste of what you’d experience if you wanted in on the fun (you can get a first-hand look in the video above, featuring yours truly and edited by Playbill's Videographer Ethan Treiman).
At the start of the tour, each person receives their own personal headset. These drown out the bustling city sounds and pump a fun, energetic mix of music in your ears, tethering the group together. Now the fun begins. Leading each tour is a facilitator. Your tour guide is not only taking you through the most iconic views of Edinburgh but also acts as your DJ, choreographer, and “energy-producer.”
At the helm of this specific tour that Playbill took on August 19 was Maestro Mania, a.k.a. David Kral, clad in hot pink bellbottoms, a rainbow of leis, and enough energy to power all of Edinburgh. As you venture through the winding thoroughfares of the city, you’ll be dancing and jamming like nobody’s watching…except passersby can’t help but get in the fun as well! During our tour, we had people stop and take video of us.
The tour will take you through the bustling hubs of Fringe, past towering cathedrals, and down colorful avenues (including Victoria Street, which was the inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter).
One might think you’d feel self-conscience singing and dancing (sometimes sillily) in public. But when everybody is doing the same interpretive dance to “You’re The One That I Want,” it’s quite the liberating experience. I mean, with catchy showtunes fueling the party, one can’t resist singing along! Pretty soon the group graduates from timid tourists to a full-on flash mob.
For out of towners, the Guru Dudu Tours are a great way to kick off your trip to Edinburgh and get acquainted to the city, and make a few new friends along the way. Because what’s a better way to break the ice than doing the “Time Warp” together? Though each playlist is unique and curated by your facilitator, the other songs on this specific tour included: “Let It Go,” “Don’t Stop Believing (The Glee Version),” “Cabaret,” “This Is Me,” “A Whole New World,” “You’re The One That I Want,” “I Love You Baby,” “Time Warp,” “One Day More,” and “Defying Gravity.”
The Guru Dudu tours are a wonderful activity to get on your feet, sing your favorite songs, and enjoy all the beautiful scenery Scotland has to offer. But be careful… you might be humming these earworms the rest of the day.
Guru Dudu's Silent Disco Walking Tours runs until August 28. Get tickets here.