For three weeks Edinburgh hosts the largest arts festival on the planet and there are plenty of Irish acts taking part.

Now in its 60th year, Edinburgh breaks its own record every year as the largest arts festival on the planet.

For three weeks each year, the Scottish capital is swamped by nearly 17,000 performers from all over the world in over 1,800 different shows. Irish comedians, dancers and actors are among the many artists hoping to make a name for themselves.

The Royal Mile in the heart of Edinburgh is transformed into a public stage for three weeks.

The Lady Boys of Bangkok are making their eighth appearance at the festival and they are still as popular as ever. Producer Philip Gandey says that word of mouth has spread and the Lady Boys now enjoy sell out shows every year.

Competition for audiences among the acts is strong and performers must stand out from the crowd.

Everyone here has an opportunity for great success or miserable failure.

Irish performer Simon Toal has taken to the streets in character dressed in a fedora, trenchcoat and suit, in order to attract a crowd to his one man show 'The Friends of Jack Kairo'.

Irish comedians have a long running relationship with audiences in Edinburgh and the festival has been a springboard to success for Dylan Moran and Dara Ó Briain.

Comedian David O’Doherty describes the festival as "inspirational" and says that this year’s festival is great for new Irish acts.

Edinburgh provides a platform for up and coming actors. Director Paul Gudgin says that there are talent scouts in town from Woody Allen’s film company so things are looking good.

1.4 million tickets have been sold this year. Such is the number of shows in the festival that even if you wanted to watch every show back to back it would take about five years.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 16 August 2006. The reporter is Niamh Nolan.