As our home city we thought it would be remiss of us not to pay homage to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
One of the world’s largest cultural arts festivals taking place every August, it is set in the backdrop of the stunning architecture and history of our amazing city, and plays host to thousands of performers and visitors from all over the world.
About The Fringe
The Fringe began in 1947, when eight theatre companies decided to participate (completely uninvited) in the Edinburgh International Festival, taking over small, alternative venues to host their productions. From these origins there were two main features that came to define the event – using unconventional venues, and a lack of invitation to perform.
As the popularity of the Fringe grew, The Fringe Society was formed in 1969 when it became apparent the numbers attending could no longer be managed by volunteers and students. In the 1980s, comedy acts started to appear, the first Perrier Awards (now known as the Edinburgh Comedy Awards) was introduced, and “super venues” – locations with multiple performance spaces were utilised.
The different types of venues used for Fringe performances now come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from traditional theatres like the Bedlam Theatre, temporary structures like the Udderbelly, church halls, lecture theatres, schools, bars and pubs. The event has used more unusual spaces like the back of a taxi, a public toilet and even in the private homes of audience members! The venues are operated by lots of different types of people including commercial, not for profit, Edinburgh-based and London-based.
The Fringe has served as a platform for many renowned performers and writers, including Rowan Atkinson, Eddie Izzard, Billy Connolly, Steven Berkoff, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Stephen Fry, Jo Brand and Tim Minchen. It has seen the debut of shows known for their notoriety, including Jerry Springer, The Musical, Fleabag and Six, The Musical. It has run annually except 2020, when it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, with restrictions introduced in 2021.
The 2022 Fringe Festival
This year, after a two year break, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is back!
Bigger and better than ever, the Fringe celebrates their 75th anniversary and is taking place from 5th – 29th August. With cabaret and variety, children’s shows, comedy, dance, physical theatre and circus, events, exhibitions, music, musicals and opera, spoken word, theatre and street performers, there are thousands of performances taking place all over Scotland’s capital that will suit everyone.
With so many events available, the easiest way to create a schedule that works for you is to visit the Fringe Festival website here: Fringe Festival Website The website separates the performances into day, time and even genre, giving details on where and when each performance is taking place and allowing visitors to book tickets in advance. Some venues are priced at a set amount, while others are free or offer a ‘Pay What You Want’ policy.
In addition to the many theatre performances taking place, the renowned performance areas on the Mound Precinct and the Royal Mile become a space for talented street performers. There are also new locations added to the street performance timetable this year, including East Princes Street Gardens, St Andrew Square, Multrees Walk and Cathedral Square outside St James Quarter.
Want to see the street performances? A map is available within the official Fringe programme which helps visitors follow a route around the street performance locations.
We’re joining in the Fringe!
Ok – we’re not performing. But, not ones to be left out, on 24th August ExecSpace are having an ‘Edinburgh Festival Fringe Big Night Out’!
We’re going to be seeing Pam Ford: 24 and Counting! at the Laughing Horse @ City Café and Al Murray: Gig for Victory at the Assembly George Square Gardens. We can’t wait to be part of the city’s celebration and enjoy everything this wonderful festival brings to Edinburgh.
If you’ve ever wondered about what the venues are like in Scotland’s amazing capital, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is absolutely a great time of year to experience everything the city has to offer!