Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival or simply “The Fringe” is the world’s single largest celebration of arts and culture. It is held in Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, every August for a period of three weeks. Thousands of performers and creative soul’s right from big names to unknown artistes take to the stages of Edinburgh to showcase their offerings. The festival offers comedy, physical theatre, musicals, cabaret, exhibitions, music, theatre, dance, circus, children’s shows, opera, spoken words, and many other events.    Hellotravel.com has concrete plans in place so that an interested tourist can certainly visit the Edinburgh Fringe and get a treat of a lifetime. All travel-related aspects are taken care of by them so that a person can enjoy it to the hilt. We take a look at some of the aspects of the festival to understand its grandeur.  

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1. The origins of the festival

The Fringe festival started in 1947 when eight theatre companies came for the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival. These companies were uninvited and seven of them performed in Edinburgh while one performed at Dunfermline Abbey that is about 20 miles across in Fife. The large assembled crowds provided perfect fodder to their offerings and in 1948, Robert Kemp coined the term ‘Fringe’ during the second Edinburgh International Festival.    

2. The enormity of the festival

While making a beginning in 1947 with just eight participating theatre companies, the festival has come of age since then. In 2017, The Fringe offered 3,398 shows with 53,232 performances spread across 300 venues while in the following year, it scaled even higher. There were 3,548 shows featuring 55,000 performances at 317 locations in 2018. Hence, there is every reason for an art connoisseur to visit this amazing festival.

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3. It is managed by the Festival Fringe Society

The Fringe festival Scotland is held by the Festival Fringe Society that has members and a board of directors amongst them. The members of the board select a Fringe Chief Executive and together with him, the board serves for a period of four years. It is responsible for publishing the itinerary, selling tickets for all events through its website and a central box office, and provides year-round support and advice to participants. The permanent location of the Society is at the Fringe Shop that is situated on the Royal Mile.    

4. Planning for events at The Fringe

Visitors can be glad to know that they can select and book tickets in advance as they can easily browse through more than 3,500 shows that may be on offer each year. From January onwards, early on-sale tickets can be procured so that it remains a seamless experience. An online account on edfringe.com can be highly rewarding as one can get access to a customized Fringe planning calendar. 


The advanced search tool can help in identifying one’s preference so that selection can be made according to a person’s choice. In recent years, the Fringe App has also been quite helpful for a lot of visitors so that ‘favorites’ can be synced in it from one’s edfringe.com account. 

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5. The venues for the performances

Practically the whole of Edinburgh can be called as the venue for the festival! It is because function rooms, lecture theatres, University rooms, temporary structures, regular Fringe theatres, church halls, conference centers, the back of a taxi, audience’s own homes, and even public toilets can be a venue. For the performers, selecting a venue can be based on location, cost, and the value that it can add to their performance. However, the main venue operators can be broadly classified into the following four groups.    

6. The Big Four

The Big Four consists of ‘Gilded Balloon’, ‘Underbelly’, ‘Assembly’ and ‘The Pleasance’. They are undoubtedly the biggest venue operators of The Edinburgh festival. They offer multi-room venue sites at many different locations. While Underbelly is relatively new having been founded in 2000, the rest have a deft understanding of the festival. One more thing that binds them together is that all of them have a specialty in comedy genres. 

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7. Free venues

Some promoters make their area available for free to the performers so that if an audience likes the show, a donation can be made at the end of a show. Typically, pubs and clubs make use of this arrangement so that their bar takings can be enhanced and performers can stay assured of a place. Comedian, Peter Buckley Hill introduced this concept so that increasing rental cost can be countered by performers.

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9. Other types of paid venues

There are many mid-scale venue operators who may have multi-room venues as well as operating on more than one location. It includes C Venues, Sweet Venues, Paradise Green, etc. They may have a specialization in a particular genre or cater to all types of program.


There is absolutely no doubt that The Fringe festival attracts a lot of comedy performances so that in 2018, it had the highest number of shows at 660 compared to theatre’s 599. For people who love comedy, getting in touch with hellotravel.com can be worth the experience. The online portal can help in securing the best deals that can be available to visit The Fringe. 

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