Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Edinburgh Fringe posters

Edinburgh Fringe posters

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is usually held annually for most of the month of August. As the largest arts festival worldwide in the proclaimed Festival City, the three weeks of the Fringe are amongst the busiest in Edinburgh’s calendar.

History of the Fringe

The Fringe began by chance in 1947 when eight theatre groups turned up to try their luck at the new Edinburgh International Festival. It had been set up to boost creative life in the wake of the Second World War, which was great, but these groups hadn’t been invited. They didn’t seem to be put off by the fact they weren’t part of the official programme and simply performed anyway. As years went on, further performers joined them in their ad hoc tradition, leading to the formation of the Festival Fringe Society in 1958. Interestingly, the ethos remains the same as in the early days – the Society will not vet the programme and contributors, their website stating “we’re proud to include in our programme anyone with a story to tell and a venue willing to host them”.

That, obviously, appeals to many performers and groups, both known and unknown, and the festival includes music, shows, children’s events, theatre, comedy, dance, cabaret, opera, poetry, exhibitions and many other events. It is well documented that many major performers credit the Fringe with giving them their first lucky break.

Their website at

will provide more up to date details and allow you to book tickets for individual events, but don’t forget to book yourself accommodation with us straightaway afterwards.

Where to stay during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Events during Edinburgh Festival Fringe are held all over the city, so obviously accommodation does book up extremely quickly, with around 2,400 shows each year attracting many thousands of visitors. In fact, Edinburgh’s population is said to triple during this festival, so it is definitely recommended that you book your city centre accommodation early to avoid the block bookings leaving you with nowhere to stay! But, even if you do leave it a little too late to find accommodation in the heart of the city, the public transport network is robust, so why not stay on the outskirts? Do see below for more information.