What is the greatest show on earth? There can be so many debates. The answer to this question varies. But for an art lover, Edinburgh Festival Fring might be the answer. This 25 day festival is another world. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the largest art festival in the world. This is an open festival. That means they accept all the applications in this festival. Edinburgh Fringe Festival is an ‘unjuried’ festival. This festival has categories like music, dance, theatre, comedy, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, etc. But the comedy section is the most popular one. This festival has enriched the city of Edinburgh.
So here is everything you need to know about the Edinburgh Fringe festival of Scotland before you set your sail off.
What is Edinburgh Fringe Festival?
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe aka The Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world. It takes place in the Capital of Scotland, Edinburgh. They established this festival as an alternative to the Edinburgh International festival. This summer festival might sound like a usual arts festival. But its size is beyond your imagination. In 2019, over three million people attended this festival. Following year 4000 shows took place in the festival. This festival is 25 days long. It all started in 1947 and has grown bigger during these years. The Fring Festival society supports this festival. This society arranges the festival, sells ticket from a physical box and websites. Also they offer year round advices to the people who take part in the festival.
Some Key Facts about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival:
- This annual festival takes place every year in August.
- The fringe is the greatest platform for creative freedom in the world. Anyone can perform in this festival.
- It is the third top ticketed festival. Only the Olympics and Fifa World cup sell more tickets than this.
- Over seventy years ago, a bunch of rebels created this Platform. They weren’t invited to the official Edinburgh International Festival.
- It will take you eight years to watch all the performances of this festival till date.
- The Fringe has hosted shows and performances in taxis, stadiums, underground tunnels, swimming pools, on the beach and so many other places. With over 300 venues, Edinburgh turns in to an entire Fringe venue with uncertain stages.
- The Fringe Festival has its very own time zone. They call it ‘Fringe time’.
- There is nowhere else’s anything like the Fringe on earth.
Edinburgh Fringe Festival – a Short Overview:
Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a spectacular event of joy and electronic buzz. The attendees and the performer bring life to this summer festival. This makes the festival unique. Anyone can perform in the Fringe, and anyone can join. You can enjoy the entire festival for free. There so many street performances and free shows. If you want to spend some money, you can buy a ticket. Your money is going into charity. The Fringe Festival society does charitable work for the deaf and disabled. This festival is not only the largest arts festival in the world, but also the greatest platform for creative freedom. The Fringe has unusual places as their venue. Which makes it unique. The Fringe takes place each august in the capital of Scotland, the beautiful city of Edinburgh.
The History of Edinburgh Fringe Festival:
Over seventy years ago in 1947 a group of rebels organized The Fringe for the first time. These are eight theatre companies who didn’t get an invitation from the Edinburgh International Festival. They established the Fringe as an alternative to the official festival. The international festival took over all the bigger venues of the city. So, the Fringe founders booked the smaller stages. Though the alternative festival was not recognized as The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it is the first event of this spectacular art festival.
From the very first, they maintained the defining features of the Fringe. These are unofficial invitations to perform and unconventional venues. These founder groups referred to themselves as the ‘Festival Adjuncts’. They called the Fringe ‘semi-official festival’. In 1948 during the international festival journalist and playwright Robert Kemp wrote about this festival by calling it Fringe.
Until 1951, the Fringe did not get any benefit from official organizations. In 1951, the students of the University of Edinburgh set up a drop-in centre where they arranged cheap food and a bed for the night for the participants. In the early fifties, a popular feature of the Fringe, late night revues started appearing in the festival. IN 1954 they added ‘other entertainments’ in the list of the performances.
The Fringe started attracting more participants and audiences. In 1954, the students of the University of Edinburgh developed a booking office. But it was a failed attempt. The formal organizations progressed in 1959. They called it Festival Fringe society. Michael Imison, the director of Oxford theatre group, pushed the progression. Following year the society produced the first guide to festival and its shows. They made a policy to keep the festival ‘Unjuried’.
The festival grew in size and became a complete counter-festival program of the Official International Festival of Edinburgh. It still did not stop advertising in the venues of the official festival. And as they expected, there were complaints that the festival fringe is too big.
When is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival?
The Edinburgh Fringe festival takes place in Each August. Due to the pandemic outbreak 2020 festival got cancelled. The Festival Fringe society announced that, in 2021, the festival will take place on 6-30 August.
Where is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival?
Edinburgh Fringe Festival takes place in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. For the 25 days of the event, entire City of Edinburgh turns into a venue with unusual and uncertain stages.
Essential Tips to enjoy the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
- Do your research, collect a guide. Plan your trip and choose your shows. Edinburgh is a big city with hundreds of venues.
- For the ticketed shows, book your ticket earlier. Check out for offers. They can print it on your ticket. Or for the free shows, ask for offers to the person who is giving leaflets.
- Try to go towards the middle of the festival.
- The festival will make the city crowded. So arrange your accommodations earlier to say in a decent place.
- Do not miss the festival food.
- Go to several venues. Don’t stick out to one.
- Wear your colorful clothes and it’s better to go with flat sandals or shoes.
- Don’t forget to do some donations.
Safety Concerns during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival:
- Just like any other place, take some usual safety measures.
- The venues will be crowded. Don’t engage yourself into too much crowd. It can be risky.
- Put your valuables in a safe place.
- Be careful of the leaflet-ers. Otherwise you might end up as a wall full of leaflets.
- If you see anything suspicious, call the local emergency number asap.
- Take care of yourself. There are going to be over 3 million of attendees at the festival.
Other Things to do at the Festival:
- August is the festival month in Edinburgh. Check out the other festivals in the city.
- Don’t miss to check the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
- Go to the circus hub.
- Checkout the Edinburgh International book festival.
- Checkout the Edinburgh Art Festival.
- Don’t forget to attend the Edinburgh International Festival.
Wow! This looks like an amazing festival arts and culture. You should not miss out the Fringe if you are an art lover. You can come here for the love of music, dance, comedy, theatre and contemporary arts. It will blow your mind. What are you waiting for? Make your to do list for the 2021 August. Don’t forget to add the other festivals.
Frequently Asked Question about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival:
Q. What is the Fringe Festival in Scotland?
Answer: The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the single biggest celebration of arts and culture on the planet. For the three weeks of August, Edinburgh city celebrates this festival with an explosion of creative energy from around the world. Many performers across the city to present the shows of every taste.
Q. Where is the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh?
Answer: There several venues.
Q. Why the festival is called the Fringe?
Answer: The groups putting on shows alongside the Edinburgh International Festival called themselves “Festival Adjuncts” and were also referred to as the “semi-official” festival. The name ‘fringe’ stuck and from its origins in Edinburgh it became a universal term for a certain type of artistic experience.
Q. How much does Edinburgh Fringe cost?
Answer: How much are tickets? There are a whole range of ticket prices at the Fringe, from absolutely nothing (you heard us right – this year there are 697 free shows thanks largely to the Free Fringe) up to around £35. On average you’d probably expect to pay about a tenner.
Q. Do you need tickets for Edinburgh Fringe?
Answer: Shows exist that can be ticketed or non-ticketed but do not charge in advance. The Fringe Box Office can issue tickets for free ticketed shows. Many free shows give the audience the option to contribute money to a bucket at the end of the performance.