It’s almost that time of year again… that’s right, it’s the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015!
Without a doubt, Edinburgh is one of the best places to be in the month of August. It’s the precise reason thousands upon thousands of tourists and visitors flock to the city to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy close to 50,000 performances each year.
If you’ve never been to the world’s largest arts festival before, you’re in for quite an experience!
Firstly, let me tell you a bit about the grand city itself.
The perfect location
Edinburgh is one of my absolute favourite cities to explore. Steeped in culture and history, with looming architecture and cobbled streets galore, it’s the perfect place for wandering.
Many visitors are attracted to the main shops on Princes Street, accompanied by the significant Princes Street Gardens and view of Edinburgh Castle, whilst others like to explore the small yet interesting shops and cafes that can be found down Cockburn Street, the Royal Mile and the Grassmarket.
It was in one of the aforementioned cafes that J.K. Rowling first dreamed up the young, bespectacled character of Harry Potter.
From high spots such as Arthur’s Seat or the Scott Monument (named after Walter Scott) you can take in views of this beautiful city in its entirety whilst you process thoughts of the day – plus you’ll be sure to get your exercise!
Now, can you image what happens when you combine this beloved city with the world’s greatest arts festival? I’ll give you a hint: it’s something quite magical.
Edinburgh Fringe Festivities
Edinburgh may be a mostly peaceful metropolis full of intrigue and imagination, but during the month of August, the entire city takes on a different atmosphere, with tens of thousands flocking towards the many bars, pubs and clubs that turn into venues for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
And so many diverse performances on offer means you can enjoy comedy, theatre, drama, music, cabaret, children’s shows and so much more – including impressive street performers who take to the Royal Mile to show off their breath-taking (if sometimes unique) skills.
One of the best things about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is that there’s just so much choice, but let me highlight some of the most popular venues and organisers you’ll find this year:
This is where it all started for the Underbelly (which now has a wealth of different venues under its hat), and I still love this venue today. It’s a little bit more smooth around the edges these days, and most of the rooms within (Jelly Belly, Yellow Belly, White Belly, Belly Button) no longer smell like dirty potatoes, but the nostalgia is still there.
Check out what’s on at the Underbelly right here.
Bristo Square is usually the centre of the action, and is home to the Teviot (mainly taken over by Gilded Balloon) along with the familiar giant purple cow known as the ‘Udderbelly’. Sure, it’s part of the Underbelly, but the purple cow has earned its very own mention due to it becoming a regular staple of the Fringe. Plenty of top acts perform here, and it’s a great place to catch comedy in particular.
Just look at that cow!
Entering the Pleasance is like entering another little world, and there’s always plenty going on. Grab a drink and look at the various stalls, or simply sit on the astroturf whilst you regain your momentum (Fringe can be tiring!) and pick out your next shows.
You can find more info about shows at the Pleasance, here.
If you like dark and exciting venues, the Caves are well worth a visit – and yes, it’s an actual venue, not just some caves. This is where you can catch amazing cabaret such as ‘Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens’, which has already been dubbed ‘The Rocky Horror Show for the Millennium’ and is one of the most entertaining shows at this year’s Fringe. (Also, check out the Voodoo Rooms if that sounds right up your street)
It’s the 21st year of theSpace, which like the Underbelly, has multiple venues, where you’ll find a little bit of everything. You can technically see over 300 shows spread out around the city, so I’d recommend checking out the official website to see if there’s anything you fancy.
Laughing Horse and PBH’s Free Fringe
What’s that? You don’t have the cash for a full day of shows? That’s no problem, as one of the other things I love about the Fringe is that it’s for everyone! Thanks to the Laughing Horse and PBH’s Free Fringe, you can spend an entire day at various venues across Edinburgh with minimum spend (although performers do ask that you make a donation at the door for whatever you think the show was worth).
It’s easy to see why everyone loves the Fringe, and if you’ve never been, you’re missing out big time. Edinburgh is a wonderful city full of character to begin with, but when the Fringe comes to town, its atmosphere is utterly transformed.
With over 50,000 performances each year, and some glorious street acts and venues into the bargain, it can be tough to pick what you want to see. To make it a bit easier, I’ve put together a list of some of the best venues and organisers, so you don’t have to.
I’d definitely recommend coming along in August to experience all the Fringe has to offer!
Do you have any shows booked for Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015 yet?
[cta id=”1929″ align=”none”]