Whether you’re a local who’s been to the Edinburgh Fringe before or a visitor coming out of town to experience one of the biggest cultural events in the world, we got you covered. The Fringe is fast approaching and is on between August 4 and 28, so it’s best we start preparing you now for the busiest month of the year. While the festival is so much fun, it can, indeed become very hectic very quick. So, we’ve put together the ultimate Fringe guide for our readers to let you know of some handy hacks, tips and what to avoid like the plague this August.
This year, the organisers are launching a new Edinburgh Festival Fringe app, where visitors can not only book tickets, but also check for nearby shows happening soon, as well as see the full programme and have all the e-tickets in one place. Plus, the app will remind users when their next show is about to start, so Fringe goers don’t need to worry about missing a show while in the Festival Village. And if you’re unsure what show to see, the app also has a random show option where it just picks one for you. The new app should be available in late July.
2. Leave extra time to travel in-between venues
One does not need an ultimate Edinburgh Fringe guide to see the festival has many venues stretching out throughout the city. While Edinburgh is a fairly small city, it can take ages to travel across the city centre during busy times, so, as a rule of thumb, leave an extra 15 minutes if you need to travel to another venue. Worst case scenario you’re there early with plenty of time to spare, getting the best seats in the show while grabbing a refreshing drink!
3. Make sure you’re able to make ordinary phone calls and send SMS
This is a weird one, but the reality is that the city centre gets so congested during August, the mobile internet often doesn’t work. So, if you’re meeting your pals in town for some pre-show drinks, you might need to give them an old-fashioned phone call or send an ordinary text message instead of just messaging on Whatsapp.
4. Buy some drinks from the supermarket
Many of us have noticed the bank statement drastically shooting up during the month of August. Well, in our case, it’s mostly due to all of the drinks and snacks consumed at the Festival Village and George Square Gardens. While we are absolutely obsessed with the vibes, our pockets aren’t that impressed. So, instead, why not just grab some drinks from the supermarket and head for a wee refresh to the Meadows or watch some shows on the Royal Mile. You’re not only going to save some money, but also discover some new acts you haven’t seen before along the way.
5. Go see The Free Fringe
Festival season doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. PBH’s Free Fringe is the way to go for those wanting to save a wee bit: the shows are pay what you can, with no pressure to pay a certain amount at the door. There are a multitude of venues across the city partaking in the event, such as Banshee Labyrinth, BrewDog West, CC Blooms, Kilderkin, Omni Centre, Pilgrim Bar and Voodoo Rooms. The current 2023 programme is in the works, and we can’t wait to see what the Free Festival Has in store this year.
6. Make the most of the 2for1 offer at the beginning of the festival
If you’re in town on August 8 or 9, then make the most of making the most out of the two for one offer on selected tickets. The ‘buy one ticket and get one free’ offer happens yearly on the first Monday and Tuesday of the Edinburgh Fringe. Once the day approaches, you can find which shows are participating the 2for1 discount on the event website.
7. Always pre-book bars and restaurants during August
For those planning to go out for a sit down meal in-between shows, or just going out for some drinks in town and not seeing any shows, make sure to book a table in advance to avoid disappointment during the festival. As the city is overcrowded with tourists, artists and locals, it does get really busy in most places, so it’s best to stay safe and pre-book any bars or restaurants.
8. Watch the street performances on the Royal Mile
While Royal Mile has been named the UK’s worst tourist trap, it does get quite exciting during the festival and deserves a spot on the ultimate Edinburgh Fringe guide. The street becomes a world-class stage, and musicians, magicians, acrobats and comedians come together to out on the very best shows for the crowds. It’s just as good as the paid events, so spending some time on the Royal Mile should be on each festival-goer’s list.
Each day, a variety of shows will be available at the Half Price Hut during the second half of the Fringe Festival. With the Edinburgh Fringe Festival gaining momentum, Fringe-goers are able to get half-price tickets at the Half Price Hut. While the physical hut itself no longer exists, visitors are invited to make their way to The Box Office to get same-day tickets on a select number of shows specific for that day. You can check out how to claim the discounted tickets in our Half Price Hut guide!