A Guide to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

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That time of year has sprung up on us again, it’s festival season in Edinburgh! Which means it’s time for the annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival – the world’s largest arts festival – and this year is set to be a huge one as the Fringe turns 70!

Guide to Edinburgh Fringe Festiva

What is the fringe?

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the world’s largest arts festival, which takes place in Scotland’s iconic and beautiful capital – Edinburgh. Spanning over 25 days the festival is taking place between the 4th – 28th August 2017. The festival is spread throughout the entire city with approx. 300 venues showing a vast array of unique shows, to cater for everyone’s tastes. From singing to performing, dancing to stand-up, children’s shows to exhibitions, there is literally everything you could think of at this amazing festival!

How to choose a show?

There are soooo many different shows out there, it can be quite difficult to find the best ones for you. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of ways to find the best shows for your tastes!

  • Grab your copy of the Fringe Programme Guide 2017. This chunky guide is the perfect way to begin preparing for your fringe experience. Set out in sections, the guide is easy to navigate through to find the perfect show for you. You can download your own version of the guide here, you can also get a copy sent to your address or alternatively you can pick up a copy at the edfringe shop on the Royal Mile, or from other outlets across the UK.
  • Visit the official Edinburgh Fringe Festival website – www.edfringe.com. This website is FULL to the brim with shows, programmes, hints, tips and everything you need to make your Fringe experience the best it can possibly be!
  • Why not head onto the Royal Mile, the true heart of the Fringe Festival. During the festival the mile will be full of a wonderful mix of street performers, people advertising and selling tickets to their shows and of course the official EdFringe authorities, who will be dressed in red jumpers and ready to answer your questions at all times!

Getting your moneys worth?

Some of you may have been saving for a whole year since the last festival to make sure you have the best Fringe 2017 experience possible – and that is absolutely fantastic! However some of you may be attempting to do the Fringe on a budget – and I’ve been there, believe me! Not to fret though, you can still have an amazing time on a budget.

  • Free shows– yes these exist! There are many shows during the fringe that are free, and from experience, I can say that sometimes these are actually the best shows!
  • Discounts – Have you suddenly decided, spur of the moment, that you have a free night and want to attend a show, but don’t want to take out a second mortgage? Not a problem. Visit the Virgin Money Half Price Hut which is located on The Mound and pick up some bargain tickets for a Fringe show that day!
  • Look for smaller shows – perhaps some student/amateur performances. These shows tend to be less expensive but just as good!

Survival Tips:

  • Give yourself time between shows – Unless you have two shows in venues right next to each other, then give yourself extra time to move between venues. Edinburgh is a large city full of steep hills, sneaky side streets and a lot of cobbles – add to that thousands of tourists all trying to get to different venues. Let’s just say it’s VERY busy – but the atmosphere really does just add to the whole amazing experience!
  • Book in advance if you can – Yes, I know I said you can buy tickets on the day, but with venues being located throughout the entire city, and the large amount of bodies within the city it really is better to be organised. Booking in advance means you can have your route mapped out and timings sorted, prior to the show.
  • Read reviews – Truthfully I’ve never personally seen a bad Fringe performance – some weird ones yes- but never a down right rubbish one. It is good though to read some of the reviews on the shows, just to make sure you are getting the best variety out of your experience! Try reading what the, EdFringe website has to say or the newspapers like The Scotsman, The Independent.
  • See Edinburgh – Many tourists come to Edinburgh just for the Fringe Festival shows, but whilst you’re there why not see some of Edinburgh’s amazing sights. The city is truly a remarkable one, so go and explore some of its fantastic offerings. To name a few – Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, Greyfriars Kirkyard, Holyrood Palace, The Elephant House (where Harry Potter was written) and so much more!
  • Be respectful – During the month of August, Edinburgh is the home to double the amount of people it normally is, meaning traffic is slower, shops are busier and pavements are a lot more crowded. It is key to be respectful to all around you, many people are trying to continue their normal lives of working and shopping in the city centre, whilst others are enjoying their holidays at a calm pace – so just remember there are all types of people trying to go about there day in Edinburgh, so please try to be as polite and respectful as possible.

I hope you’ve found this short guide to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival helpful, and that you are looking forward to your Fringe experience. Make the most of it- and enjoy!

Much love, fae,

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