With the Fringe just a few weeks away, it’s time to start planning in order to make the most of the festival. We’re pretty lucky to have the world’s largest arts festival right on our doorstep, and over the years we’ve picked up plenty of top tips for surviving (and enjoying!) the Fringe. Here are some of our favourite tips to help you make the most of this year’s festival, which runs from 3rd August – 27th August 2018.
Get yourself a Fringe guide
Doing some advanced planning is always a good place to start. As soon as you can, grab yourself a Fringe guide (they’re available to pick up for free in shops and venues across Edinburgh) and start flicking through it. There are thousands of shows to choose from, and it can be pretty difficult to narrow down what you want to see, but having a good look through the Fringe guide will give you an idea of what’s on offer this year.
If you’re feeling extra organised, pop some sticky notes on the pages of shows you really want to see, to make it easier to find them again when it comes to booking. You can also browse shows on the Fringe website, which is really helpful if you want to search for specific performers, shows or genres.
Look out for offers
It’s a good idea to book early for shows you absolutely want to see, or ones that are likely to be very popular and sell out quickly. But otherwise, we think it’s a good idea to just go with the flow. You can often get good deals by buying your tickets last minute – keep an eye out for flyers with 2-for-1 tickets, discounted tickets at the box office around 15 minutes before a show, or daily offers at the Virgin Money Half Price Hut.
Going to lots of shows during the Fringe can quickly add up, so make the most of all the deals available to keep costs down. Shows are usually much cheaper on the first couple of days of the festival, and weeknight/matinee shows often cost less than weekend tickets.
Go to a variety of shows
It can often be tempting to stick to what you know, but the beauty of the Fringe is that it encourages you to try something new – and most of the time, you end up loving it! The Fringe is a great opportunity to see famous comedians, but don’t forget about the newcomers and lesser-known acts. There are always a few shows that start off the festival being completely unknown, and by the end they’re a roaring success with sold-out shows and rave reviews. Don’t miss out on hidden gems!
It’s also a good idea to push yourself to see lots of genres of shows. If you’re usually into stand up comedy, why not try a musical this time? There’s everything from Shakespearean plays to interpretive dance, and plenty in between.
Soak up the festival atmosphere
Edinburgh has an amazing atmosphere during August. Even if you’re not seeing any shows, you can soak up the festival atmosphere just about anywhere in the city. There are pop-up bars and food stalls everywhere, and there are plenty of street performers and free shows to watch. If you pop out for a pint in the pub during August, you’re pretty likely to find yourself in the middle of an impromptu stand up show!
One of the best places to enjoy the festival atmosphere is George Square. This is one of the main festival hubs, with Assembly, Udderbelly and Gilded Balloon all within a couple of minutes of each other. In the centre of it all, you’ll find lots of bars, street food vendors and live music in the George Square Garden. It’s the perfect place to spend a sunny evening.