From the early days of summer, there has been a shift in the atmosphere in Edinburgh. Scotland’s capital, a captivating city at any time of year, pulsates with the excited anticipation of its renowned festivals.

At the heart of this excitement is the world’s biggest arts festival and the UK’s number one tourist attraction, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Though Edinburgh has many attractions the whole year round, visiting the city during its annual Fringe Festival is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023 will last three weeks, from 4th August to 28th August.

The sheer array of performances attracts a wide audience, as the Fringe Festival Edinburgh 2023 offers something for everyone. With a choice of festival activities including theatre, music, comedy, dance and exhibitions spanning almost every style and genre, the Fringe proves a hit with visitors from all walks of life.

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History of the Festival

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival traces its roots to a group of eight theatre companies that were not invited to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947.

Determined to have their voices heard, they staged their own performances on the fringe of the main festival, giving birth to what would become an extraordinary movement.

Over the years, the festival grew exponentially, attracting artists from all disciplines and transforming Edinburgh into a bustling hub of creativity. Today, it has expanded far beyond its theatrical origins, embracing a wide range of artistic expressions.

Where to stay for Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023?

With the wealth of Edinburgh accommodation on offer, including serviced apartments and hotels in Edinburgh, the city is accessible for individuals and groups, catering for all budgets.

Our recommendations,

  • Cairn Hotel ($98 per night**)
  • Livingston Lodge Hotel ($99 per night**)
  • Edinburgh-House-Hotel ($104 per night**)

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Venue of the Festival

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023 will happen at well-known spots like George Square Gardens, Bristo Square, Gilded Balloon, Underbelly, The Stand Comedy Club, The Pleasance Courtyard and other popular venues and bars.

This year, many free shows will be returning to The Three Sisters.

Festival Lineup

Edinburgh Fringe Festival will mark its 76th anniversary this year, and performers from 70 countries will grace it. You can expect nearly 3,013 shows with some exciting acts at Fringe Festival Edinburgh 2023.

Edinburgh Festival Lineup

Attendees can also browse, book, and store tickets from the brand-new Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023 app.

Some theatre highlights include Call Me Elizabeth on the movie star’s early life at theSpaceUK, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Nightmare at Greenside and Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story at Pleasance.

Grace Campbell will enlight the comedy side with her show A Show About More Me(n) at the Gilded Balloon, Daniel Sloss at the Edinburgh Playhouse and Geoff Norcott at Underbelly.

Musical shows are an integral part of the Fringe Festival, and Potty, the Plant at Gilded Balloon is a ‘new dark-comedy musical starring Potty, a singing, talking, tap-dancing pot plant.

Open Access and Diverse Performances

One of the defining features of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is its open-access policy. This ethos allows performers from all backgrounds and levels of experience to participate, creating a platform for emerging talent as well as established artists.

From avant-garde experimental theatre to side-splitting comedy acts, the festival offers an unparalleled variety of performances.

Audiences can immerse themselves in thought-provoking dramas, witness breathtaking physical theatre, revel in the joy of musical performances, or laugh uproariously at stand-up comedy shows.

Why is it called Fringe Festival?

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is called a “Fringe” festival because it originated as an alternative or “Fringe” event to the Edinburgh International Festival.

In 1947, a group of eight theatre companies that were not officially invited to participate in the Edinburgh International Festival decided to create their own event on the “fringes” of the main festival. They performed their shows in smaller venues, often unconventional spaces such as pubs and church halls, and focused on experimental and innovative works.

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Over time, this alternative festival gained popularity and grew into what is now known as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, or simply the Fringe.

Festival Experience

Attending the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023 is an experience like no other. The entire city becomes a playground for creativity, with countless venues hosting performances in every nook and cranny.

Street performers captivate passersby with their extraordinary talents, while pop-up venues and makeshift stages appear on every street corner. The atmosphere is electric as artists and spectators come together, united by their shared passion for the arts.

Every year, millions of people descend on Scotland’s capital, hoping to participate in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Many don’t realize that the massive arts festival they wander into is a composite of multiple festivals, focusing not just on Fringe theatre but also on dance, well-regarded international theatre companies, film, television, and more.

Here’s how to enjoy your time and make your summer festival one you’ll always remember.

Pick your shows: Figure out your ticket budget and plan how to spend your hard-earned cash. Some shows sell out way ahead, while others may offer discounts on the day, and some venues allow you to get a discount after purchasing a certain number of tickets to their shows.

Read the Fringe guide cover to cover, and you’re more likely to find shows you want to see.

Get Socialized: During August, Edinburgh becomes a veritable playground for some of the most talented actors, writers, and directors in the UK and the world.

Plenty of these people hang out at the festival’s famous beer gardens: the upside-down purple cow outside Teviot, the Pleasance’s outdoor bar, and the Pear Tree’s much-loved tables.

Talk to the people around you, and you might discover the next big thing!

Try to stay in the city centre: There is nothing like walking out of a hotel in Edinburgh’s city centre and finding yourself on the Royal Mile amidst numerous street performers and tourists.

You’ll see snippets from upcoming shows, and you may even find yourself drawn to a show you would never have found otherwise!

Check out the student shows: While the Fringe has been growing more and more profit-driven over the last few years, students are still coming to the festival to present work that’s near and dear to their hearts.

You’ll see more passion in some of these productions, even though the overall quality may not match a West End drama than you’re likely to see at the more mercenary big-name productions.

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival holds immense cultural and economic significance. This festival acts as a platform for emerging artists, providing them with exposure and networking opportunities that can be transformative for their careers.

Moreover, Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023 injects a substantial economic boost into the city of Edinburgh, attracting visitors from around the world who contribute to the local economy.

What is the dress code for Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023?

Fringe Festival Edinburgh 2023 has no specific dress code as it is an open-access arts festival. Since the festival takes place in August, it is advisable to dress in layers to accommodate unpredictable weather conditions in Edinburgh, including rain and cooler temperatures.

Ultimately, the dress code is flexible, and attendees are encouraged to wear whatever they feel comfortable while enjoying the festival’s various performances and events.

Conclusion

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival celebrates human creativity, a melting pot of artistic expression that pushes boundaries and challenges conventions.

From its humble beginnings, it has blossomed into an international phenomenon that continues to captivate audiences year after year.

Whether you are a performer seeking to share your talent, or an audience member eager to immerse yourself in the magic of the arts, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival promises an unforgettable journey of discovery, connection, and inspiration.

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FAQs

Is Edinburgh Fringe Festival family-friendly?

Yes, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is family-friendly. At the same time, the festival offers a diverse range of performances that cater to various audiences.

The festival features a dedicated program called the “Children’s Shows” or “Children’s Fringe,” which includes theatrical productions, puppet shows, storytelling, magic shows, circus performances, and interactive experiences specifically designed for young audiences.

How many shows are there at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023?

There will be 3013 shows with performers from 70 countries. This year, the event will happen from 4th August to 28th August.