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The Edinburgh Fringe - Quick Facts About the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

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Street Performer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Street Performer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

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The Basics:


  • What The biggest arts festival in the world
  • Where All over Edinburgh, from private flats and circus tents to pub theatres and public toilets!
  • When More than three weeks in August
  • Who performs? Anybody who wants to. Edinburgh is an open festival - there are thousands of registered shows and tens of thousands of individual performances.
  • Admission Prices vary but most tickets cost just a few pounds. Most artist just try to cover their costs. And there is plenty of street theatre that is free.
  • Visit their website to:
    • See what's on
    • Buy tickets
    • Find how to put on a show at the Edinburgh Fringe.

A bit of background:


In 1947, the Edinburgh International Festival was organized to perk up post war Britain. The Fringe Festival began along side it, as an informal opportunity for less established and more off beat artists. In those days, it was known as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Nowadays, it's the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and there is plenty in that subtle rearrangement of words. The Edinburgh International Festival continues to host important theatre, music and dance companies from around the world and is a very prestigious affair. But when it comes to an arts party to beat the band, the Fringe Festival is the whole enchilada.

The biggest arts festival in the world?:


That's a pretty big claim but the Edinburgh Fringe Festival has the amazing facts to back it up. Here are a few:
  • 2695 shows were staged for the 2012 festival.
  • In 2012, there were 42,096 performances in 279 venues, featuring 22,457 performers from 2,304 companies and 47 countries.
  • In 2012, Festival organizers sold 1,857,202 tickets - but hundreds of shows were absolutely free.
  • 1,418 performances were world premieres.
So, pretty big then? Well, in 2012 despite the distractions of the London Olympics, Edinburgh Fringe was the biggest arts festival in the world, ever.

What kinds of performances to expect:


Performances range from stand up comedy, revivals of classic plays, one person performances to wildly avant gard, in-your-face productions in places like - believe it or not - a public toilet at the 2003 festival.

Though every year is unique, the art forms presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2012 can give you an idea:

  • Theatre - 28%
  • Comedy - 36%
  • Music - 13%
  • Musicals, children’s shows, dance and physical theatre and exhibitions each accounted for 4%.

Is it family-friendly?:


The Edinburgh Fringe Festival has something for everyone. There is plenty of entertaining street theatre, parades to thrill kids of all ages and lots for children to gawk at, photograph and enjoy. And there are numbers of shows, puppet shows, workshops and musical events for kids. One proviso though - Edinburgh is crowded during Festival season so children should be old enough to cope with crowds or young enough not to notice.

Find out lots more about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival:

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