The complete guide to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
“The Scots think of it as their capital; they’re too possessive, Edinburgh belongs to the world.” - R. Demarco
Such a quote has never been more accurate as we head into August, meaning that the world’s largest arts festival is about to roll into Edinburgh for their yearly offering of comedy, music, theatre and absolutely everything in between. With what can feel like a thousand shows a day, Edinburgh begins to feel as though it is full to bursting. Add to that the early starts, 5am finishes and the Fringe burnout has the potential to be huge but, fear not, we got you covered with this quick Fringe survival guide!
With so many shows per day, it can feel impossible to properly plan out what to see and when, but fear not, keep an open mind and you’ll often find a gem of a show (for free!) listed on a flyer handed to you on a street. (Comedians against Humanity is a famously funny free show that roams around the city year on year). In terms of the ‘big’ shows though, both Shitfaced Shakespeare and Thrones! The Musical are unmissable and well-worth the ticket prices, just be sure to buy tickets in advance as they are guaranteed to sell out. Additionally, check out the Virgin Money tent on the Mound for daily half price tickets for a huge range of show types.
As with every big festival with the constant stream of night’s out and coffee breaks, the Fringe can quickly become a burden on your finances. Add to that ticket prices for the big shows and your pocket may find itself in a disappointing situation towards the end of the Fringe. With that in mind, you may find it helpful to check out the ‘Flyerer’s Needed’ Facebook page, where acts offer £10 an hour for people to hand out flyers for their shows. It won’t help with the big events and shows, but a couple of hours a day can easily fund your night out and coffee every day!
With all the goings at the festival, the hardest task may well be being able to find a roof over your head! Hotels are likely to be either fully booked or extortionate costs up to months in advance, making the most economical option to simply rent a room or a flat from students looking for some extra cash over the summer. While still likely to be expensive, split an accommodation with a couple of friends and it can easily become the cheapest way to experience the festival.
Take a Break
.. no, this isn’t a lead-in for an elaborate KitKat advert (though hey Nestle if you want one you know where I am *winkwink*), but rather a word of advice to keep your sanity in check. As with every long event, the Edinburgh Fringe can become overwhelming with the constant lack of sleep and proper peace and quiet able to eventually grind the gears of even the calmest of individuals. When that happens, don’t be ashamed to take a step back from it all. You’re in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe so take advantage of it. Take a walk around Carlton Hill, climb Arthur’s Seat or even take a day trip out to Glasgow or St. Andrew’s to unwind
Simply, enjoy it!
Whatever you end up doing during the Fringe, enjoy yourself! The city in August is a chance to let loose and enjoy the weather, so be sure to take advantage of everything going on around you and have a great summer!
Have any of you been to the Fringe? Let us know what your favorite parts of the festival were.
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