A complete Guide to Edinburgh Fringe Festival

A complete Guide to Edinburgh Fringe Festival

A complete Guide to Edinburgh Fringe Festival

As part of the world’s largest festival of arts, In the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a riot of performers, color, and creativity pour in on the capital of the Scottish land every August. Newbies and seasoned attendees may be overwhelmed by the sheer scope of the festivities. Use Louise Bastock, one half of the comedy duo Glitter Business, as your guide to navigating Edinburgh’s cobblestone streets and a mind-bending lineup of acts. This is the one festival you must not miss out on if you are in Edinburgh.

Here is your complete guide to Edinburgh Fringe Festival

What do you mean by the term “Fringe Festival”?

Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Image Credit: urbanillustration.co.uk

Three weeks in August, see the world’s largest art event, the Edinburgh (pronounced ed-in-buh-ruh) Fringe Festival. It’s easy to see why this festival is referred to as “the world’s best platform for creative freedom.” There were around 55,000 performances during the 25-day festival in 2018.

In 1947, eight theatre companies decided to swoop in on the burgeoning Edinburgh International Festival and “found” the Fringe Festival. More than 3500 concerts and 55,000 performances spread over 300 venues across the beautiful city have grown from humble origins into a Goliath. Furthermore, it’s one of the four festivals in Edinburgh in the month of August, including the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Art Festival, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

This year’s Fringe features an abundance of stand-up comedy and theatre, cabaret, and children’s events. Every August, the Fringe goes on for three weeks, with the dates fluctuating slightly from year to year. This year, the festival is scheduled to take place from Fri, 5 Aug 2022, to Mon, 29 Aug 2022.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe performers can be found on the Royal Mile throughout this time. There are more than 30,000 performances of more than 2000 productions at the Fringe Event, making it the world’s largest performing arts festival. A large group of people has assembled to see what’s going on. A man dressed in shorts and a bowler hat walks along a high line while playing the violin.

The Finest Places to see shows at the Fringe Festival

All accommodations at Just the Tonic are within walking distance and have easy access to the city’s major attractions. With Assembly, Gilded Balloon, Pleasance, and Underbelly, you can expect to see some well-known industry artists, along with up-and-coming performers.

It’s worth noting that, despite its more rustic setting (think back rooms of pubs, tents, and even tunnels!), the Free Fringe still boasts of the brightest and finest in the circuit, so keep a watch out for any surprises.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival Venues

A large number of shows are put on by four venues with multiple performance spaces (often in
different locations). We refer to them as “the big four” for a reason. These are

Pleasance

Edinburgh Fringe Pleasance

Underbelly

underbelly Edinburgh Fringe

Assembly Hall

Assembly Hall edinburgh fringe

Gilded Balloon

the gilded balloon fringe

Some other honorable mentions are:

  • C Venues – C Royale
  • Edfringe Shop and Box Office
  • C Venues – C too
  • Fringe Central
  • theSpace on Niddry St
  • New Town Theatre
  • The Stand Comedy Club 1 & 2
  • Assembly George Square Gardens
  • George Square Theatre
  • Mayfield Salisbury Church
  • High Street, Cockburn Street to George IV Bridge

Which Fringe shows you should attend might be difficult.

The Edinburgh Fringe Guide is the festival bible. It lists nearly every show at the Fringe. The Fringe App (which, fortunately, can be accessed via the free WiFi all through Edinburgh) allows you to search presentations by genre, venue, time, pricing, and more without dragging about a 452-page book. Follow your favorite performers at #edfringe or @edfringe for show reviews, updates, and recommendations on the Twittersphere.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

If you want insider information about the must-see performances and off-the-beaten-path productions at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, get to know the people working at the section of the box office. People you encounter, bartenders, and flyers will all be able to recommend a show that they’ve been to or seen recently. However, keep your eyes peeled for refunds at the box office or get tickets a few days in advance if you want to see the most popular acts at larger venues.

The “Half Price Hut” ticket office is a hotspot during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for festival-goers waiting in line. Windowed shipping containers house the office, decorated in red and white. Presale tickets at the box office become available 10 minutes before showtime.

Must-See Shows at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Here is a list of shows you must not miss at the upcoming Edinburgh Fringe festival this year. 

  • Stewart Lee
  • Amazing Bubble Man
  • Showstopper! The Improvised Musical
  • Fern Brady
  • Hotel Paradiso
  • Andrew Maxwell
  • Jack Docherty: Nothing But
  • Myra’s Story
  • Dr. Phil Hammond
  • Tarot

How to get tickets for Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Located on the Royal Mile, the Fringe’s central office sells various Fringe-branded merchandise. It serves as a ticketing and information center for all the Fringe productions. Tickets can be purchased through the Fringe app, online, or at the venue’s box office.

Edinburgh Fringe Tickets

Even though free shows aren’t required, it’s always nice to chip in if you can at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They’re usually open to the public and don’t require tickets, so all you have to do is show up and drop a few bucks in the contribution bucket. Arrive before time to secure a seat at free shows, especially on weekends. If your concert is advertised as ‘Pay What You Want,’ you can either look at it as free entertainment or purchase a ticket to ensure a spot, which is helpful if the event is frequently sold out.

In The Meadows, people bask in the sunshine. The park is filled with barbecue smoke, cherry blossom trees blooming in the backdrop, and groups of people relaxing on the grass. In the distance, one can make out a church spire.

How can I participate in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is available to anyone who wants to perform as a performer. Becoming a show host is simple if you complete the registration process. Finding a place to hold the event and making important choices like whether it will be a free or paid event are all part of this process.

It’s possible to participate in a Fringe production without doing any work if the show involves audience engagement. However, that’s not always the case. On the official website, you’ll find a wealth of information outlining every procedure and step.

Where can you get away from the hustle and bustle?

The Meadows is a great place to eat. This grassy space provides a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, an oasis in the middle of Edinburgh. It’s possible to catch a solo comedian running performance, taking a nap, or even canoodling with Fringe fling —unless you’re willing to hand over one of the Scotch eggs.

Take a stroll up Arthur’s Seat to get a feel for the area and be rewarded with stunning views of Edinburgh and the coast. It’s worth checking out the Botanical Gardens, where the world’s smelliest plant, the nine-foot-tall blooms called the ‘Corpse Flower,’ blooms.

Most incredible places to dine and drink at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

Pop-up bars and street food vendors take over during Fringe. George Square Gardens, Bristo Square, and Charles Street are hotspots for the primary colony of huts. Festival food and drink vendors will charge a premium, so plan accordingly.

The Elephants and Bagels cafe, located just off Nicolson Street, is a great place to get a bite to eat on the way or while waiting out a rainstorm. All their bagels are made on order, and they also have gluten-free alternatives. Take a bite out of the Mosque Kitchen, which serves up a generous quantity of aromatic curry for cheaper than ten dollars. Eat your hangover away in the City Cafe, the American-type diner, or visit the homey Spoon if you want a nutritious meal that can accommodate many different diets.

If you’re looking for a spot to relax and enjoy the buzz of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, you can’t go wrong with the Pleasance Courtyard. At Under the Stairs, the city’s newest wine bar, you may have a quiet drink while digesting your cultural quota. Panda and Sons in the New Town is a must-see. The entrance to the speakeasy is via a barber shop’s bookshelves. You can sip on enticing concoctions from the bar’s extensive drink menu. Joseph Pearce’s or The Black Fox are great options if you want to get away from the crowds at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival performers can be seen on the Royal Mile. Two men pass by a vast white yeti costume with a tartan sash and a staff propped up on a bollard.

How should one get around at Fringe Festival?

In a compact and cobbled city, walking is the best mode of transportation. Getting about town within 20-30 minutes is a breeze. Even the most remote locations are simply a short walk away. Bring comfortable, solid shoes. Flip-flops and other such footwear are an absolute no-go in the hills of Edinburgh.

It’s a good idea to download the Lothian Buses app for real-time service updates and departure times if you grow tired of laughing. Uber is available in Edinburgh, and you can easily flag down cabs on major thoroughfares. If you strike up a conversation with the driver, you might learn about a local theatre performance.

A little ‘Fringe time’ can go a long way, no matter how you get around. When the city’s residents quadruple in August, it’s easy to feel like you’re in a game of Wipe Out, trying to get through the crowds and avoid getting wiped out. Give yourself a 15- to 20-minute buffer to make it to the finish line.

Cultural enthusiasts will soon be able to enjoy the offerings of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Before you go, make sure you know everything about the place you’re going to. The sooner you book your accommodation in Edinburgh, the better. Renting an apartment close to a festival venue will save you time and money.

Make a list of the shows you want to see and buy tickets in advance. Ensure that you have purchased your travel arrangements as well. This year Edinburgh Fringe Festival will be even bigger and better than the previous editions. Take in the latest performances and have a thrilling time while you’re here!

Thinking of going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year? Print out and take this guide along with you when you go. This will be a huge help when the moment of madness comes knocking at your doorstep. Trust me.

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