Find out how 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 acquired you lined! Earlier than I went, I had no concept what to anticipate and if it hadn’t been for a bit of 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 will possibly all really feel a bit of overwhelming – so I’ve put collectively a weblog put up all about the best way to profit from the Edinburgh Fringe. Take pleasure in!

My journey to Edinburgh was supported by Edinburgh Pageant Metropolis. As at all times, 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 reality: 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 pageant.

READ MORE: 25 Uncommon Issues to do in Edinburgh 

8 Ideas for Edinburgh Fringe Pageant

Beneath, I’ve rounded up some high suggestions on your first Edinburgh Fringe, that can assist you profit from your go to. Hope it helps!

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

1 – Do your analysis

With tens of 1000’s of exhibits throughout actually lots of of venues, Edinburgh Fringe Pageant is BIG. There’s a lot to see and do, and you possibly can 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 essentially profit from your first Fringe. As quickly as exhibits begin being introduced, learn by way of the listings and see what takes your fancy. Massive title exhibits can get offered out fairly quick so plan forward and e book your tickets upfront. That mentioned, there’s often loads of availability on the smaller exhibits so even if you happen to had nothing booked you’d have the ability to catch loads of stuff.

If you happen to’ve no concept what you wish to see, test the evaluations from the 12 months earlier than, and try the winners of the varied Fringe awards. That’s a great place to begin to offer you an concept of who is perhaps good this time round.

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

You wish to have just a few issues deliberate so that you simply’re not scrambling round searching for exhibits 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 pageant areas, and also you’ll be bombarded by leaflet-ers making an attempt to tempt you to return to their present. Every now and then, you’ll even see solid members performing skits to tempt you in. Otherwise you may simply overhear folks chatting in line on the espresso store and suppose “that sounds superior”.

Edinburgh Fringe tips
Flyers are all over the place in the course of the pageant

These suggestions could be hit-and-miss, due to course folks dispensing flyers will say something to get you to purchase a ticket. We noticed a extremely 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 gives

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

4 – Intention to go in the course of the pageant

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 lots of exhibits doing the total run, you possibly can go anytime and have a zillion issues to do. You might even spend the entire month in Edinburgh and never see and do the whole lot 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 pageant, 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 folks will likely be speaking about their favorite exhibits.

This may make it simpler to determine what you actually wish 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 pageant programme itemizing each single present and venue. And it’s completely free! You may order it on-line (you simply must pay for postage) or choose one up fully free from a variety of areas on launch day.

You too can use the positioning to browse exhibits, however there are SO MANY that typically flipping by way of {a magazine} is barely simpler. Plus, if you happen to’re struggling to resolve, you possibly can at all times simply let the information fall open on a random web page and level blindly at a present. It is perhaps the very best factor you’ve ever seen.

6 – Don’t miss the pageant meals

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

And George Sq. Gardens, which is outwardly just about abandoned the remainder of the 12 months, turns into an out of doors meals courtroom stuffed with pop-ups. You could find superior meals from all around the world, and the costs are fairly first rate (contemplating it’s a pageant). That is additionally an effective way to help some unbiased native distributors!

Edinburgh Fringe Tips
Picture credit score: Udderbelly

7 – Attempt to go to just a few venues

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

My Fringe Programme listed 540 venues the 12 months I visited. So whilst you ought to positively take a look at the large venues, just like the Underbelly theatres, it’s value exploring a number of 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 occurring. Make sure that to go to just a few of the opposite festivals to see extra of this sensible metropolis and its unimaginable creativity.

The Edinburgh Navy Tattoo

Subsequent dates: 4th-Twenty sixth August 2023.

The Edinburgh Navy Tattoo is an iconic spectacle and truthfully, I feel it’s a must-do.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Massed Pipes and Drums

Hosted on the citadel each evening, the Tattoo options navy performers from the world over in a severely uplifting present.

Photographs are projected onto the citadel all through, and the entire thing culminates in a fireworks show. It’s loopy spectacular – everybody ought to see it at the very least as soon as. Learn all about The Edinburgh Navy 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 a number of the metropolis’s smaller venues. Assume 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 Digital camera

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, many of the exhibits are free – so this can be a nice approach 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 e book known as Harry Potter to an viewers of eleven-year-olds on the Edinburgh Guide Pageant.

It’s a celebration of books previous and new, with creator signings, workshops, and debates. It’s additionally a very nice space simply to take a seat, have a espresso and uncover a brand new e book. 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 price you? I’d at all times assumed that it was fairly costly – however it doesn’t must be.

The primary prices would be the journey there and the lodging (extra suggestions for that within the subsequent part). Attempt to e book flights or practice tickets as early as attainable to safe a good worth as they will get a bit expensive. Fortunately there are a number of flights a day from funds airways like FlyBe, so if you happen to plan proper it shouldn’t be too unhealthy.

The exhibits themselves aren’t truly too unhealthy. 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 exhibits that you simply might by no means pay a penny for leisure. And you may usually blag reductions for paid exhibits as talked about above.

READ MORE: Try my Edinburgh Weekend Information for recommendations on what to do (and the place to remain) whilst you’re not festival-ing! 

Edinburgh Fringe Lodging that Received’t Break the Financial institution

Edinburgh Fringe Pageant is notoriously costly. But it surely IS attainable to search out funds lodging if you happen to’re intelligent. Listed below are just a few suggestions for you…

Guide early

First off, you wish to e book as far upfront as attainable. The nearer you get to the pageant, the extra booked up all over the place will get and the upper the costs will likely be. Whereas I used to be in Edinburgh, we checked out lodging costs for subsequent 12 months they usually have been about regular – however costs for the week we have been there have been wanting steep. The sooner you’ll be able to e book, the higher.

READ MORE: B+B Edinburgh Evaluate

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


If you happen to’re travelling in a bunch or as a household, you’ll be able to break up the price of an condo or a giant lodge room. It usually works out rather a lot cheaper than staying in a personal room. Take a look on AirBnb or for flats – it will also be a good bit comfier than staying in a lodge.

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 non-public teams. Have a hunt on Hostelworld for triple or quadruple rooms and you might discover a critical discount. And if you happen to’re not travelling in a bunch, take into account staying in a dorm room – the costs are a LOT cheaper than accommodations.

edinburgh fringe tips
Picture credit score: David Monteith-Hodge

Scholar Lodging

On the Fringe this 12 months, I stayed in a room at Unite’s Scholar Lodging in Salisbury Courtroom. They’ve began renting out rooms to non-students in the course of the summer season when all the scholars are away. The room we stayed in was £250 for 3 nights and their web site is displaying rooms from £59 a day for the time being.

It was a fundamental, 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 suggest it as an inexpensive and cheerful lodging choice for the Edinburgh Pageant. Nice location and the whole lot you want!

Verify costs on

Learn Extra

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

Native’s Information to Glasgow

Find out how to Plan a Weekend in Edinburgh

Finest issues to do in Dundee

Have you ever acquired an amazing 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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