The Edinburgh Fringe Festival was established in 1947 as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival. It is the largest arts festival in the entire world and interestingly, many people who perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival also take their work over to Australia and perform at the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
The entire event is organised by the Fringe Festival Society who advise performers, sell tickets, and publish a complete programme of all the shows every year. Their offices and shop are located on the Royal Mile.
Below is a guide which runs through all you need to know about the incredible Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a showcase for all things related to performing arts. It is a fantastic platform for new writers, actors, comedians and more, as it gives them a great opportunity to perform for a willing audience.
Although it is primarily comedians and theatre productions that are at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, there is no limitation to the type of performing arts shows in attendance. This means that there are also operas, choirs, musicians and many other interesting and unique performances on offer.
As well as the performances inside the venues, if you walk up and down the Royal Mile you will also get to see street artists. Some performances are designed specifically for the street, and these are usually free with a donation of however much or little, as you want.
Many also use the Royal Mile to advertise their show, and some even perform snippets of it on the street. So if you can’t quite decide what you want to see, why not head to the Royal Mile and see what takes your fancy. You can often wangle special offers such as half price tickets if you meet the performers on the street too!
Where and When?
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is held annually in the month of August. It usually lasts for approximately 25 days, although performers and tourists usually stay for a few days either side of the event.
Practically everywhere in Edinburgh that could possibly house any sort of an audience becomes a venue, from little cafes to restaurants, theatres, churches and pubs. There are a few central areas that get used for the larger performance companies such as George Square and Cowgate.
Most places within the centre of Edinburgh are within walking distance, which is particularly useful during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This means you can get from one venue to another relatively quickly and squeeze in as many shows as possible.
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival does not have a selection committee, which means it is really open to anyone who wants to perform. As a result the performances are greatly varied and people come from across the world to take part. In 2012 there were representatives from 47 different countries performing in the Festival.
Tourists also come from across the world to experience the unique buzz. With so many different shows the Edinburgh Fringe Festival really is a must visit for any performing arts enthusiasts.
The Free Fringe
As it costs money to put on a show, rent a venue and take part in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, most shows cost money to go and see, albeit not an extortionate amount.
However, running as part of the Festival is the Free Fringe. This is a great program of shows that are free for anyone to come and see with a voluntary donation at the end if you want.
There are a large amount of shows that take part in the Free Fringe, which is great because it means you could go to the Festival and see shows everyday without paying a penny the entire time!
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a very exciting event that hosts a huge variety of different performing arts performances. From street theatre to comedians and musicians, if you love the performing arts world then the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is simply a must to visit.