So much happens during the Edinburgh Festival it’s impossible to keep up. There are all sorts of festivals within the full festival from the serious to the bizarre. Most people go to Fringe events at some point.
The Fringe has it’s own giant programme which comes out as a large free magazine in June free. It’s easy to pick up. The tradition is that you get one as soon as you can and you take it home and go though it. You mark the shows you’d like to see and then you set it aside until nearer the time. Then you either completely ignore it, you try to book shows too close to the performance, which are sold out, or you actually book stuff and go. Then you promise yourself you’ll make a better job of it next year. But you don’t.
If you’re doing the fringe then there are a few places you’d want to go first. Heading for the art galleries in the middle of Princes Street is a reasonable place to start. Street performers do their stuff at the side of the galleries and it’s free apart from any money you might want to throw in their hat at the end. There are a number of stalls there too if you want food or hair braiding, henna tattoos, hats, t-shirts, jewellery etc.
Walking away from Princes Street with the art galleries on your left you goup the steps and across the road. Go past Porto and Fi, which is fab café up to the junction. Cross over left past St Giles and there are more street performers there too.
The Assembly Rooms in George Street are also a good place to go. Apart from there being loads of shows on there a lot of other people from other shows milling about outside handing out fliers. Sometimes tickets are given away free too. Ticket prices range from sort of £8.00 upwards to £15.00 with bigger names anything up to £35.00. I’ve been given free tickets there a few times. Some were really good and some were dire. You can always leave if it’s not good though.
This year the bit of George Street which the Assembly Rooms is on has been closed to traffic and there’s a huge outdoor bar and a spiegeltent there. There is a lot to see at the Assembly Rooms and it’s a good place as a base for the Festival.
St Andrews Square has stuff on and the Stand is just down the hill in York Place. The Playhouse is just a bit further along to the East. The Queens Hall is a good bet for stuff as well as is The Pleasance. The Pleasance is the place to go if you are into “sleb” spotting. It has a number of venues within it and a number of bars so you can stroll around and people watch etc. before or after going to see a show.
The Cowgate has a number of venues along its length although the bigger venues are further up nearer the Grass Market. The Underbelly has moved there for this year and it also has a large number of different shows. Obviously, there are hundreds of shows and venues to consider; almost every bar has some sort of show going on so you shouldn’t be stuck for things to do.
You may also be accosted as you walk along the street or are standing watching street theatre. A lot of those doing the accosting may well be dressed in strange outfits, they may also have excessive make up on and they will almost certainly be on the loud side of loud. You have a choice to make. Take their leaflet, claim you’ll go to their show or say no. It is Edinburgh and for the most part they will be fairly polite although far too garishly clothed.
You may even be asked to join in the performance.
This post is probably three weeks too late. Not to worry though. I’ll just re-hash it for next year!
Have fun if you’re coming to the Fringe. If not definitely plan to come next year.