Edinburgh's Fringe Festival kicks off on 5 August, cramming 2,050 shows into just three weeks.
Ricky Gervais performs a one-off show at Edinburgh Castle
Visiting the annual arts extravaganza for the first time can be quite daunting, so how do you choose what to see?
Big names are thinner on the ground than in previous years (although Ricky Gervais is performing a one-off show at Edinburgh Castle) but there is still plenty to divert your attention.
Stars of the musical Auto Auto, for example, perform a symphony by demolishing a Vauxhall Astra car on stage every night.
The Absinthe Monologues promises a free shot of alcohol to everyone who turns up, and Korea's Hayan Theatre company has themed their play around toilet paper.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is the subject of no less than three productions, two of which are musicals.
Tony! The Blair Musical takes a look back at the premier's decade in power - and features the son of former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith in the role of Alastair Campbell.
It is not to be confused with Tony Blair - The Musical, which asks whether Blair's ambition for power eventually led to his downfall.
Told through Blair's eyes, it features songs like Oh, What A Lovely War On Terrorism and Throwing in the Jowell.
But fans of satire shouldn't be tempted by New Zealand comedian Cameron Blair. The name may have political connotations but his show, Gifted, actually pokes fun at mediums like Derek Ancorah and Colin Fry.
Humour is the lifeblood of the Edinburgh Fringe - accounting for more than one third of the shows - and this year sees many festival favourites return to the stage.
Never Mind the Buzzcocks host Simon Amstell has a stand-up show
Frank Skinner tries his hand at stand-up for the first time in a decade, while Paul Merton brings improvisational comedy to the Pleasance Courtyard.
Other famous names from the circuit include Jimmy Carr, Rich Hall, Lucy Porter, Simon Amstell and Richard Herring - who promises skateboard tricks in his show Oh ****, I'm 40!
And, if the professionals don't raise a chuckle, you can always polish up your own skills at one of the festival's comedy classes - which culminate in a nerve-wracking stand-up spot at one of the many Fringe venues.
Now in its 61st year, the Fringe has an international reputation, and acts have come from Spain, Korea, South America and Russia to please the crowds.
The Lady Boys of Bangkok host a big-top extravaganza
The Soweto Gospel Choir return to Edinburgh after last year's triumphant performances, while Turkish actress Hazal Selcuk plays fourteen characters in her one-woman show East-West.
Other international performers include Japanese drum troupe Aska and festival regulars the Lady Boys of Bangkok.
If you fancy something out of the ordinary, you could watch Macbeth performed on a bouncy castle, or join stand-up comedians delivering one-liners in women's toilets.
Drama Just To(o) Long is performed at a dinner table, with the six-strong audience sharing a meal with the actors as the action unfolds.
More conventional entertainment comes from the festival's numerous chat shows - in particular Nicholas Parson's long-established Happy Hour.
US rock band Foo Fighters are among the musical highlights
Music is also on the menu - with the Foo Fighters, Kanye West and the Kaiser Chiefs rubbing shoulders with up-and-coming acts like John Penate, Candie Payne and Kate Nash.
Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus even puts in an appearance - playing Mary in a kitsch musical about the birth of Jesus, Discotivity.
About 40% of the Fringe shows are premieres, with standouts including Teenage Kicks - a drama about late Radio One DJ John Peel, and international dance showcase Stratospheric.
The pupils of Kidbrooke School in London are staging the first production of Ali Smith's Booker-shortlisted novel Hotel World.
The festival opens with a parade on Edinburgh's Princes Street
Smith chose the school over several professional companies to adapt her book - which tells the story of five people in a smart hotel, only four of whom are alive.
But with so many shows to choose from, planning your schedule can be a little overwhelming.
Organisers say the best tactic is to "read reviews and cross your fingers".
"Book in advance for any big-name shows and be prepared to sit through the good, the bad and the ugly," said a spokeswoman for the festival.
"It's not a truly authentic Fringe experience otherwise!"