Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Easy methods to Make the Most of Your First Edinburgh Fringe Pageant

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tips for your first Edinburgh Festival

Planning your first ever journey to Edinburgh Fringe Pageant? I’ve obtained you coated! Earlier than I went, I had no thought what to anticipate and if it hadn’t been for somewhat assist from the organisers, I’d by no means have seen half as a lot as I did.

There’s simply a lot on that it may all really feel somewhat overwhelming – so I’ve put collectively a weblog put up all about how you can take advantage of the Edinburgh Fringe. Take pleasure in!

My journey to Edinburgh was supported by Edinburgh Pageant Metropolis. As all the time, all phrases and opinions are my very own.

First picture credit score – Advertising and marketing Edinburgh

planning edinburgh fringe tips

When is Edinburgh Fringe?

The Edinburgh Pageant Fringe (official title) occurs yearly in August and runs alongside the Edinburgh Worldwide Pageant. In 2023, the Edinburgh Fringe will run from the 4th to the twenty eighth August.

Enjoyable truth: it’s known as the Pageant Fringe as a result of it was arrange as a substitute for the Worldwide Pageant and it ran “on the perimeter” of the competition.

READ MORE: 25 Uncommon Issues to do in Edinburgh 

8 Suggestions for Edinburgh Fringe Pageant

Under, I’ve rounded up some high suggestions to your first Edinburgh Fringe, that will help you take advantage of your go to. Hope it helps!

READ MORE: take a look at Vicky’s put up about our go to to seek out out extra in regards to the reveals we went to!

1 – Do your analysis

With tens of 1000’s of reveals throughout actually lots of of venues, Edinburgh Fringe Pageant is BIG. There’s a lot to see and do, and you may by no means do all of it, even if you happen to have been there for the entire month.

edinburgh fringe festival tips

So, the trick is to do some pre-planning to actually take advantage of your first Fringe. As quickly as reveals begin being introduced, learn via the listings and see what takes your fancy. Huge title reveals can get offered out fairly quick so plan forward and ebook your tickets prematurely. That stated, there’s often loads of availability on the smaller reveals so even if you happen to had nothing booked you’d be capable to catch loads of stuff.

For those who’ve no thought what you need to see, verify the evaluations from the yr earlier than, and check out the winners of the numerous Fringe awards. That’s place to begin to offer you an thought of who could be good this time round.

2 – However don’t do an excessive amount of analysis!

You need to have a number of issues deliberate so that you just’re not scrambling round on the lookout for reveals to go to. However you additionally want to depart room for spontaneity. A part of the enjoyment of Fringe is getting word-of-mouth suggestions.

Stroll the streets across the metropolis centre, particularly close to the competition areas, and also you’ll be bombarded by leaflet-ers attempting to tempt you to come back to their present. Every now and then, you’ll even see forged members performing skits to tempt you in. Otherwise you may simply overhear individuals chatting in line on the espresso store and assume “that sounds superior”.

Edinburgh Fringe tips
Flyers are all over the place throughout the competition

These suggestions might be hit-and-miss, due to course individuals dispensing flyers will say something to get you to purchase a ticket. We noticed a very naff cabaret act as a result of we believed a man who bigged it as much as us, however we additionally caught a fairly enjoyable present known as Comedy within the Darkish. It’s all a voyage of discovery, which is a part of the enjoyable!

3 – Ask for particular affords

Usually, you’ll be able to choose up a code to get a particular supply on a ticket. Some are printed on flyers or posters, others are secret passwords which you will get by asking the one that arms you a flyer! We picked up a 2-4-1 low cost on a number of units of tickets. Simply ask if there’s a suggestion on and also you may get fortunate!

4 – Purpose to go in the midst of the competition

There’s not likely a foul or good time to go to the Edinburgh Fringe Pageant. With a lot on all through the month, and plenty of reveals doing the total run, you may go anytime and have a zillion issues to do. You can even spend the entire month in Edinburgh and never see and do all the pieces the Fringe has to supply.

Fringe Festival guide
Picture credit score: Edinburgh’s Festivals

However, if you happen to go in direction of the center of the competition, as soon as issues have already been working for some time, it’ll be simpler to get word-of-mouth suggestions. Critiques could have been printed, and other people might be speaking about their favorite reveals.

This can make it simpler to determine what you actually need to see, as you received’t be shopping for tickets based mostly on the synopsis alone (these hardly ever give a lot away).

5 – Choose up a free Fringe Programme

Yearly, the Fringe publishes a telephone-book-sized competition programme itemizing each single present and venue. And it’s completely free! You’ll be able to order it on-line (you simply should pay for postage) or choose one up utterly free from various areas on launch day.

You may as well use the location to browse reveals, however there are SO MANY that typically flipping via {a magazine} is barely simpler. Plus, if you happen to’re struggling to resolve, you may all the time simply let the information fall open on a random web page and level blindly at a present. It could be the very best factor you’ve ever seen.

6 – Don’t miss the competition meals

Throughout the Fringe Pageant, a bunch of out of doors and indoor areas get creatively transformed into social areas. I liked the trellis and fairy-light-filled Underbelly beer backyard in Bristo Sq. – the proper place to sit back out with a drink earlier than a present.

And George Sq. Gardens, which is seemingly just about abandoned the remainder of the yr, turns into an outside meals court docket filled with pop-ups. You could find superior meals from everywhere in the world, and the costs are fairly first rate (contemplating it’s a competition). That is additionally a good way to assist some impartial native distributors!

Edinburgh Fringe Tips
Picture credit score: Udderbelly

7 – Attempt to go to a number of venues

A part of the enjoyment of Edinburgh Fringe is that lots of the reveals happen in venues that aren’t usually venues. After all, many are in correct theatres, or upstairs in pubs, however others might be present in much more quirky locations – many venues solely pop up for the month of August. I even heard a couple of present in a public bathroom a number of years in the past!

My Fringe Programme listed 540 venues the yr I visited. So when you ought to positively take a look at the large venues, just like the Underbelly theatres, it’s price exploring among the smaller locations for an expertise that’s completely distinctive.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

8 – Don’t overlook the OTHER festivals

August is Pageant month in Edinburgh and there’s a lot happening. Make certain to go to a number of of the opposite festivals to see extra of this sensible metropolis and its unbelievable creativity.

The Edinburgh Army Tattoo

Subsequent dates: 4th-Twenty sixth August 2023.

The Edinburgh Army Tattoo is an iconic spectacle and actually, I believe it’s a must-do.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Massed Pipes and Drums

Hosted on the fort each evening, the Tattoo options navy performers from internationally in a critically uplifting present.

Photographs are projected onto the fort all through, and the entire thing culminates in a fireworks show. It’s loopy spectacular – everybody ought to see it at the least as soon as. Learn all about The Edinburgh Army Tattoo in my weblog put up!

Edinburgh Military Tattoo
The epic finale

Edinburgh Worldwide Pageant

Subsequent dates: 4th to twenty seventh August 2023

Earlier than there was the Fringe Pageant, there was the Edinburgh Worldwide Pageant. Three weeks showcasing creators and performers from the worlds of arts in Edinburgh’s six main theatres, in addition to among the metropolis’s smaller venues. Suppose music, theatre, opera, and dance – on a large scale, throughout an entire metropolis!

fringe festival tips
Macbeth on the Edinburgh Worldwide Pageant. Picture © Franco Lannino Studio Digicam

Edinburgh Artwork Pageant

Subsequent dates: twenty seventh July to twenty seventh August 2023

A month-long celebration of the humanities, the Edinburgh Artwork Pageant brings collectively over 40 museums, galleries, and pop-ups.

There are dozens of exhibitions to find, and a few spectacular venues to take pleasure in them in. Higher nonetheless, a lot of the reveals are free – so this can be a nice method to complement your time on the Fringe Pageant.

Edinburgh Worldwide Guide Pageant

Subsequent dates: twelfth – twenty eighth August 2023

As soon as upon a time, a then-unknown creator learn the primary chapter of a brand new ebook known as Harry Potter to an viewers of eleven-year-olds on the Edinburgh Guide Pageant.

It’s a celebration of books outdated and new, with creator signings, workshops, and debates. It’s additionally a very nice space simply to sit down, have a espresso and uncover a brand new ebook. And also you may simply meet the subsequent JK Rowling!

READ MORE: 19 Epic Cultural Festivals Across the World

How to Make the Most of Your First Edinburgh Festival Fringe [Updated 2023]
Picture credit score: Edinburgh Worldwide Guide Pageant

How A lot is Edinburgh Fringe?

Questioning how a lot Edinburgh Fringe Pageant goes to value you? I’d all the time assumed that it was fairly costly – however it doesn’t should be.

The principle prices would be the journey there and the lodging (extra suggestions for that within the subsequent part). Attempt to ebook flights or practice tickets as early as doable to safe an honest value as they will get a bit pricey. Fortunately there are a number of flights a day from price range airways like FlyBe, so if you happen to plan proper it shouldn’t be too dangerous.

The reveals themselves aren’t really too dangerous. Tickets vary from free to about £20 (for the extra well-known names), and most appeared to be on the £10 or much less mark. In actual fact, there are such a lot of free reveals that you just might by no means pay a penny for leisure. And you’ll usually blag reductions for paid reveals as talked about above.

READ MORE: Take a look at my Edinburgh Weekend Information for tips about what to do (and the place to remain) when you’re not festival-ing! 

Edinburgh Fringe Lodging that Gained’t Break the Financial institution

Edinburgh Fringe Pageant is notoriously costly. But it surely IS doable to seek out price range lodging if you happen to’re intelligent. Listed here are a number of suggestions for you…

Guide early

First off, you need to ebook as far prematurely as doable. The nearer you get to the competition, the extra booked up all over the place will get and the upper the costs might be. Whereas I used to be in Edinburgh, we checked out lodging costs for subsequent yr and so they have been about regular – however costs for the week we have been there have been wanting steep. The sooner you’ll be able to ebook, the higher.

READ MORE: B+B Edinburgh Overview

tips for your first edinburgh fringe festival
Picture credit score: David Monteith-Hodge


For those who’re travelling in a bunch or as a household, you’ll be able to break up the price of an condominium or an enormous resort room. It usually works out lots cheaper than staying in a non-public room. Take a look on AirBnb or for flats – it may also be a good bit comfier than staying in a resort.

PSST! Use my referral hyperlink to get £25 AirBnb credit score so as to add to your financial savings. 

Some hostels, like Safestay Edinburgh, even have dorm rooms that may be booked by personal teams. Have a hunt on Hostelworld for triple or quadruple rooms and it’s possible you’ll discover a severe discount. And if you happen to’re not travelling in a bunch, contemplate staying in a dorm room – the costs are a LOT cheaper than resorts.

edinburgh fringe tips
Picture credit score: David Monteith-Hodge

Scholar Lodging

On the Fringe this yr, I stayed in a room at Unite’s Scholar Lodging in Salisbury Court docket. They’ve began renting out rooms to non-students throughout the summer season when all the scholars are away. The room we stayed in was £250 for 3 nights and their web site is exhibiting rooms from £59 a day for the time being.

It was a primary, no-frills room however it was clear, quiet, and PERFECT if you happen to’re solely actually planning to sleep at your lodging. I’d positively advocate it as an affordable and cheerful lodging possibility for the Edinburgh Pageant. Nice location and all the pieces you want!

Examine costs on

Learn Extra

In case you have extra time in Edinburgh – or need to see a bit extra of Scotland after the Fringe Pageant – take a look at these posts:

Native’s Information to Glasgow

Easy methods to Plan a Weekend in Edinburgh

Greatest issues to do in Dundee

Have you ever obtained an ideal tip for the Edinburgh Fringe Pageant? Scroll down to depart a remark!

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8 tips for your first Edinburgh Fringe Festival

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