THE sounds and crowds of the Royal Mile on the first day of the Fringe are just some of the things that make the Edinburgh festivals so exciting.

Getting up close and personal with all manner of artists and performers is a highlight for many visitors. But what will this post-lockdown ­Edinburgh Festival and Fringe look like?

The Fringe and Festival will be back on the capital’s streets from ­August 6-30 a year after it took a pause at the height of Covid, although there will be no Tattoo this year.

This year’s events will be the most highly-anticipated in the Festival’s 74-year history.

The Fringe in particular, with its smaller venues in halls and rooms across the city is ideally suited for smaller performances making social distancing that bit easier.

READ MORE: Edinburgh Tattoo cancelled for second year due to Covid crisis

The Fringe Society is working to make sure it accommodates all the many wannabe actors, singers and performers who see the Fringe as their chance to tread the boards.

A spokesperson said: “Every show at the Fringe is unique and has its own set of requirements and circumstances. Likewise, every venue is ­different.

“Every venue will have their own challenges in meeting Covid-safe requirements. We are working closely with the Scottish Government and the City Council to seek the clearest possible guidance on how shows can go ahead safely in person this year.”

Fringe organisers are just glad and grateful that they can put on shows at all after last year’s annus horribilis.

The Fringe Society added: “The Fringe not going ahead in 2020 was a huge blow for everyone who makes it happen, from artists, producers and venues to the joiners, electricians, restaurants, bars, transport providers and local businesses that get such a boost from the festival and the thousands of jobs that are created every year.

“It was also a blow for the people who have grown up with it as part of their lives. The Fringe is such an integral part of the fabric of Edinburgh, and we were inundated with messages of support from all who love the Fringe saying how much it would be missed.

“Seeing performance return safely and viably in 2021 will be an important and uplifting moment for local people, a vital lifeline for the arts and culture sector and such a positive message from Edinburgh as a cultural capital.”

The return of the Festival will also be a key moment in the much-­vaunted return to “the new normal”.

Festival director Fergus Linehan said: “We appreciate that these first steps back to live performances will be for audiences closer to home but are delighted to offer a parallel ­programme of digital work for those further afield.

“We are hugely grateful to the ­artists who have agreed to come on this journey with us, the stakeholders, donors, and sponsors who have stood by us through a tough year.”

The Edinburgh Festival will be ­putting on a selection of ­performances at spaces across ­Edinburgh with three temporary outdoor ­pavilions: ­Edinburgh Park, Edinburgh University’s Old College Quad and ­Edinburgh Academy ­Junior School for live shows.

This year’s Festival experience will be different from those we all enjoyed pre-Covid with shorter performances, no intervals, physical distancing, regular cleaning and contactless ticketing. And for those who cannot attend there will be a selection of streamed free performances across the month.

The Festival will announce its full list at the beginning of next month but excited arts lovers have already had a sneak preview of some of the events that they can see in person.

THE Edinburgh Art Festival announced that it will return from July 29 bringing together over 35 exhibitions and new commissions in visual art spaces across the city, complemented by an online programme of events and digital presentations.

Among its highlights is The UK and European premiere of Lessons of the Hour presented in partnership with National Galleries of Scotland.

It is a 10-screen film installation by celebrated British artist Isaac Julien and offers a poetic meditation on the life and times of Frederick Douglass, the visionary African American writer, abolitionist and a freed slave.

​READ MORE: Edinburgh art festival to return after Covid forced cancellation

Douglass spent two years in ­Edinburgh in the 1840s campaigning across Scotland, England and Ireland for freedom and social justice.

Lessons of the Hour will be ­presented at Modern One until ­October 10, to coincide with Black History Month.

The International Book Festival is a much-loved feature of an Edinburgh summer and it will have its Big Reveal at the end of next month.

Director Nick Barley said this year will be different but the Book Festival is hoping it will be rewarding for those for whom it is an essential part of their year.

He said: “We are planning to present the Book Festival from our new home at Edinburgh College of Art where we will be building broadcast studio spaces for online events with some in real-life audience if regulations allow.”

Of course for those who can’t wait until August for their fix of Edinburgh Festival and Fringe entertainment there is the Jazz and Blues Festival from July 16-25.

They are promising this year to present more than 40 digital events including 20 concerts from the Assembly Roxy which will be live streamed with a small audience and will announce the full programme on June 8.