The Edinburgh Fringe Festival: What To Expect

Please note that unfortunately, due to the current situation with COVID-19 pandemic, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival will not go ahead as planned, however, it will return in 2021 with even more fantastic activities to offer! Check the latest related information on the official Fringe Festival website.

What is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival?

So, what is this festival you have never heard of? Well, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the biggest celebration of arts and culture on the planet. Yup, you heard that right, it’s the world’s biggest arts and culture festival and it takes place in the beautiful Scottish city of Edinburgh. 

Here you’ll find a great deal of artists, comedians, actors and writers all doing what they do best; performing and showing off their talents to you, their adoring audience. There are approximately 3,000 shows, 50,000 performances and 317 venues. It’s absolutely huge and you can guarantee that there is quite literally something for everyone. 

The best bit: it’s open to absolutely everyone.

The other best bit: it’s open to all acts, anyone can perform and you can perform whatever you like. 

The Fringe is best known for it’s comedy acts, and these are the largest type of show on offer. So expect a whole lot of laughs and some happy tears. But if comedy isn’t really your thing, you can also find a wide variety of theatre acts, classical music performances, crazy circus shows and so much more. 

Expect the venues to be widely spread. Edinburgh isn’t the biggest city but it will be filled with around 3,000 shows (and maybe more). They cover a huge range of locations; you’ll find them on street corners, cafes and even in the old pubs. With certain acts taking place in larger theatre style locations. In every venue you can find multiple acts and performances. Everywhere you turn there’s something to see.

edinburgh fringe festival

When is the Fringe Festival?

Edinburgh Fringe Festival takes place every August and runs for 25 days. That means you can pick and choose what days you want to visit the festival. On days you don’t want to take part, it’s best to avoid the city and visit other areas just outside. The best time to visit is smack dab in the middle, you’ll get some of the best recommendations from people who have been there the entire time which means you have more time to see the acts you are truly excited about.

Do You Need a Ticket for the Fringe Festival?

Generally, yes you do. And here’s the rundown:

2-for-1 tickets – this applies when purchasing tickets in multiples of 2 and a variety of shows are included in this.

Allocated seating – some shows require you to be seated and with this you might be issued a seat number. In other cases where you don’t have a seat number, arrive early so you can choose your seat.

Free tickets – even if the tickets are free, you might need a physical ticket to present on arrival. 

Pay what you want – exactly what it says on the tin. In these instances you can choose how much you pay to attend the show. 

Family tickets – only available for some shows. 2 adults and 2 children under 18.

edinburgh fringe festival ticckets

Top tip: make sure you plan your trip and do some good research. But don’t research too much! You want to leave some room for some spontaneity…nothing goes to plan all the time anyway! 

All in all expect a lot of madness. A lot of people. A lot of laughs. And a whole lot of fun.

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