Every year in August, Scotland’s capital city welcomes a myriad of visitors for its annual International Fringe event with over 50,000 performances across more than 300 venues. The Fringe is an annual tradition as far as I am concerned, and every year I come along to watch the shows and people involved, including the Hoff a few years back!
As the extract from the official website points out “every year thousands of performers take to hundreds of stages all over Edinburgh to present shows for every taste. From big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the festival caters for everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events.” #MakeYourFringe
The shows across the Fringe vary across many categories, from cabaret and variety, to children’s shows, musicals, theatre, dance, exhibitions and also to my personal preference, comedies.
It is a great event to watch a huge variety of acts playing all the way from very small venues (lowest audience number for me was around 8 people watching an act) to some long established comedians with huge exposure on TV and beyond playing to some large audiences at the Fringe. There are over 3 million tickets sold for the Fringe events every August.
Also a fantastic day out with friends, after all, what better than being out for drinks whilst exploring the Fringe and all that it has to offer!
Plus you never know what comedy act may surprise you (usually in a good way, although I’d stay clear of any ‘anti-comedies’ from experience). Plus you might bump into some of the acts on the street during the event, such as Luke Kempner (below) who has been quite prominent more recently on TV and radio in the UK.
Although watch out for getting too close to some of the acts as I found out with US comedian Lewis Schaffer….
My only piece of advice for those attending the Fringe for the first time is to check out the listings for the event that year, either online or using the Fringe Guide once available. Make sure you book at least some of the shows you want to watch in advance (you can collect the tickets from the Fringe office or at the Fringe booth in the Edinburgh Waverley train station during the event).
That will give you the opportunity to plan your day, have a few drinks and food, explore and potentially discover new acts by leaving to book some events on the day of your visit and enjoy the overall experience!
I cannot recall every act I watched in these past few years but here are just some of them (in no particular order): David Hasselhoff; Trainspotting Live; Alun Cochrane; Sue Perkins; Henning Wehn; Gareth Waugh; Al Murray; Fishbowl; Luke Kempner; Louise Young & Anja Atkinson; Lewis Schaffer; Paul Merton; Kerri Godliman; Lou Sanders; Brennan Reece; Ed Gamble; Sam Simmons; Tiff Stevenson; Nina Conti; Tape Face; Jason Byrne, and many others as I cannot remember them all….
There are plenty of shows I’d still like to watch, whether my preferred comedy genre or other shows related to topics of interest, such as whisky to name one, with plenty of classes (Blair Bowman and Charles MacLean to name a few) but also the fusion of whisky and music such as The Rhythm and Booze Project (with Felipe and Paul below).
Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy the Fringe however you decide and make it your own! #MakeYourFringe
For Reference – Inside the Cask blog post ‘Having fun at the Edinburgh Whisky Fringe’
For Reference – Inside the Cask blog post ‘Visiting the Scotch Whisky Experience’