A FORMER colleague on The Herald was a collector of what I shall call "dubious" aphorisms. They were often funny, but certainly belong to an era of less proscribed speech. An older woman would be "not a scone of yesterday's baking", he would identify a person of lower IQ with "the belt doesn't go through all the loops", and someone pushing their luck in the delegation of tasks in his direction would be greeted with: "Give me a bucket of sand and I'll sing The Desert Song." Very much of its time, that last one, but it came to mind, albeit from something of a tangent, when I read the photo caption on the front of Tuesday's Herald. There, as the "Curtain falls of festival fun", below the inevitable picture of a street performer, were some words about another record year at the box office, despite being "generally performed in awful weather."

Leaving aside the fact that 99% of the events at the International, Fringe, Book and Art Festivals sensibly happen well indoors, out of the elements (but say "Edinburgh" to any picture editor and he or she will always produce an image of a juggler for some reason), were other people suffering a different August in the capital from the one I enjoyed? It rained a little, but rarely for long or with any serious soaking intent, the sun shone quite a lot and it was certainly as consistently warm as anyone visiting Edinburgh has any right to expect. So there you have it: by common consent the Edinburgh Festivals supplied superb entertainment and the highest quality performances from some of the world's finest artists, and the box office receipts across the board were up on previous years. That £300m annual benefit to the Scottish economy that the last study identified has almost certainly been exceeded. But whatever the long list of boxes ticked by the cultural jamboree as "job done", there are always those who will seek out something to find fault with – even if it is the (really rather clement) weather. That will be the various Festival directors sent to the sandbox to learn Oscar Hammerstein's lyrics then. It all chimes rather neatly with that apocryphal Edinburgh greeting: "Come away in, you'll have had your tea."

There was a detectable strain of "what does the Festival do for Edinburgh?" in much commentary on the event this year, which I often thought echoed what Brexiteers say about Europe. It seemed like some were desperately looking for a downside to its success and finding it in poor city planning decisions or absentee property owners in swanky New Town crescents – matters on which voices from the cultural sector actually often articulate the most coherent opposition. In last weekend's Sunday Herald, the Edinburgh International Festival's director Fergus Linehan articulated why the event, and its founding ethos, is still essential, 70 years on. Linehan's Festivals have also thrust themselves on the public consciousness in ways that his predecessors in the post would likely not have sanctioned, far less embraced. The opening free public events, like this year's Bloom, are one facet of that. The somewhat uncomfortably-named "Contemporary Music" strand of the programme is another. Obviously it is a matter of personal taste whether artists like PJ Harvey, Jarvis Cocker, and Stephin Merritt deserve their place in the Festival, but their presence there has undoubtedly made fans of their music aware of the rest the EIF programme in a way they may not have been before.

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The most noticeable part of the Linehan strategy, however, has not required the purchase of a ticket at all. It has been the vibrant yellow identity of the event on all its print and advertising, on billboards, buildings, and buses, often bidding the world welcome. That bold marketing strategy alone has put the Festival in the face of its citizens as never before, to the extent that I'd guess the sunshine colour alone says "Festival" to a new generation. But even bathed in its glow, there will always be a few folk who only want to mump about the weather.