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Ideas / Album / Edinburgh Festival
A brief guide to the Edinburgh Festival


The Edinburgh Festival is the world's largest annual arts festival.

Edinburgh Art Festival -
Edinburgh Festival Fringe -
Edinburgh International Book Festival -
Edinburgh International Festival -
Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival -
Edinburgh Mela -
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo -

See also:

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Time Out:

More than 20,000 performers take part in about 2,500 shows across about 250 venues in Edinburgh.
The Fringe is an open access arts festival.
Venues charge for their space and take a percentage of the ticket sales
Shows are put on at a wide variety of locations across the city. Most performances are in the afternoon or evening, but there are also some in the morning and late at night.
The most popular categories are Comedy, Theatre and Music. Other categories include Musicals/Opera, Exhibitions, Events, Dance/Physical Theatre, and Children's Shows.

Some of the larger venues are:
Assembly Festival:
Gilded Balloon:
The Stand:

Choosing which shows to see:

- Official website
Full details of all of the shows are online at
There is an electronic Daily Guide which lists what is on each day, hour by hour:
(there used to be a paper version published each day, but this is no longer available - the Fringe Box Office may have a couple of print-outs of the Daily Guide for reference only)
The lists are also available as an iPhone App
- Fringe Programme
There is a free programme which lists all of the shows alphabetically by category. Copies can be picked up at the Fringe Box Office in Edinburgh or at various other locations (for example, the Britain & London Visitor Centre in Lower Regent Street, London)
- Media
Three Weeks in Edinburgh:
Fest (free magazine):
- Show adverts
You may be given flyers, be greeted by performers on the streets of Edinburgh, or watch free short samples of performances on the Royal Mile

Buying tickets:

- Online
You can buy tickets online at You pay using a credit card or debit card (remember which one you used).
Tickets can be picked up from the Fringe Box Office at 180 High Street (on the Royal Mile; map). Make sure you join the correct queue for collecting pre-paid tickets. You need to swipe the credit card or debit card which you used to make the booking.
- Fringe Box Office
You can buy tickets by queuing at the Fringe Box Office at 180 High Street (on the Royal Mile; map). At busy times you may need to wait for up to an hour. Make sure you know which shows you want to book before you reach the counter, and consider possible alternatives if the show you want is sold out.
- Fringe Half Price Hut
Half price tickets are available for some of the shows at the Half Price Hut on the Mound Precinct (outside the Royal Scottish Academy museum, off Princes Street; map). This is not open during the first week of the fringe.
- Venue box offices
You can also buy tickets either at the venue itself (sometimes there is a box office which serves a series of venues at the same location). Queues are likely to be shorter than at the Fringe Box Office.


- 2-for-1 offers may be available for some shows, especially on weekdays.
- Half price offers may be available at the Fringe Half Price Hut
- The first few performances for each show are previews, and may be cheaper.
- If you become a Friend of the Fringe you may receive details about special offers
- Some shows offer a student discount
- There is no entry charge for shows which are part of the "Free Fringe" (about 500 shows). A bucket is usually passed around at the end of the show, and members of the audience are asked to give what they think the show is worth

Other tips:

- Allow an hour between the end of one show and the start of the next one you see
- Arrive at least 10 minutes before a show starts. Latecomers are not always admitted. Many shows have unreserved seating, so arrive early if you are with a group of people and want to sit together
- Make sure that you join the correct queue for your show (there may be several different shows starting at similar times in the same location)
- Carry an umbrella - the weather in Edinburgh can be unpredicable
- Wear shoes that are comfortable for walking between the venues (avoid high heels)

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The official website for the Edinburgh Fringe is:

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Visitor guide to Edinburgh: Travel/Tours/Scotland/Edinburgh
Edinburgh Military Tattoo: Ideas/Album/Tattoo
Edinburgh Hogmanay: Ideas/Album/Hogmanay
Events in the UK in August: Ideas/Events/August

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