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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Our Top Tips

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Our Top Tips

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes places every August, from 5th to 29th of the month. During these three weeks in August, Edinburgh comes alive with over 3,000 events, including buzzing street performances, art exhibitions, comedy shows, theatre productions, dance shows and so much more. Millions of tourists flock to the city every year to soak up the hubbub of the festival season and the historical beauty of Edinburgh.

 

Getting There

From Dunblane to the centre of Edinburgh it’s an hour’s drive along the M9 or an hour on the train from Dunblane Station.

From Glasgow to the centre of Edinburgh it’s a 1 hour and 15-minute drive along the M8 or just over an hour on the train from Glasgow Queen Street Station.

If you’re staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro, hopping on the train to the Fringe is the perfect way to spend the day; you can leave after a hearty breakfast and return in the evening for a late dinner and a nightcap at the hotel.

 

The Venues

edinburgh fringe

Image © Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

Most of the city is utilised during the Fringe, from the Royal Botanic Gardens to the Assembly Rooms and Pleasance Courtyard to Bedlam Theatre. As well as traditional theatres and music venues, local bars, restaurants, gardens, churches and museums are used as unique venues throughout the festival. Don’t limit yourself to ‘the Big Four’ venues – branch out and you’ll find a whole host of independent, smaller venues hosting some top-notch performances. The Fringe also specialises in bespoke venues such as the outrageous Udderbelly, a huge purple cow-shaped venue in Bristo Square!

 

The Shows

ballet

Image © Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

2016’s festival will see 50,266 performances in 294 venues across the city. The theme of the Fringe this year is ’defying convention’ – and you’re sure to witness some unique and ground-breaking performances. Whether it’s family shows, mime, cabaret, Shakespeare renditions, stand-up comedy or contemporary theatre that tickles your fancy, you’ll find it at the Edinburgh Fringe. Check out the programme to build your itinerary.

Top Picks:

  • Limmy – Daft Wee Stories (18-21st Aug, Venue 150 at EICC)
  • Glasgow Girls (4-28th Aug, Assembly Hall)
  • Bridget Christie (5-14th Aug & 5-29th Aug, The Stand)
  • Ghost Quarter (5-28th Aug, Summerhall)
  • Scottish Ballet (18-20th Aug, Festival Theatre)
  • Anything That Gives Off Light (18-26th Aug, EICC)
  • Comedy Club 4 Kids (5-28th Aug, Assembly Roxy)

 

Top Tips

street performance

Image © Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

Edinburgh during the Fringe is unbelievably busy and with so much choice, it can be hard to see and do everything you had planned when you visit. Here’s some top tips on making the most of your time at the Fringe:

  • Wear the right clothes – that means a good umbrella, sturdy shoes and light layers with preferably a waterproof jacket on top.
  • Recharge your batteries in between shows – there are plenty of food outlets throughout the city, with food stall-packed George Square being a particular favourite. Remember prices and waiting times might be higher during festival season, so you could always bring a tasty packed lunch and eat it in one of Edinburgh’s beautiful parks or gardens.
  • Turn up on time – free shows are first-come-first-serve, so make sure you join the queue early to guarantee yourself a seat. Keep in mind that venues can be on opposite sides of the city, so avoid booking shows with hardly any time between them. And remember – stand-up comics love to rip into latecomers. Don’t be that guy!
  • Escape the madness – after pushing your way through hordes of tourists and street performers you might be in need of some peace and quiet. It’ll be hard to find during the Fringe, but a short walk will take you to the serene botanic Gardens, the majestic Arthur’s Seat and Water of Leith walk.

 

Make a Week/Weekend of it

Heading to the Fringe this August? Why not avoid the crazily bumped-up prices of Edinburgh hotels and escape to a picturesque hotel a little further afield? An hour from Edinburgh you will find DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro, nestled in the Perthshire countryside and only a short journey to Dunblane Train Station which offers a direct train service to Edinburgh Waverley.

*All images and logo © Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.