the-mighty-gareth-street-performer-returns-to-the-edinburgh-fringe-c64999The Edinburgh Fringe Theatre Festival first flourished in the early 1960s as an artistic alternative to the upscale International Arts Festival on which Edinburgh's post-war tourist economy was built. But in terms of its size, economic importance, artistic significance, and sheer excitement, the "Fringe" quickly overshadowed its purported center.

Each year, Edinburgh plays host to thousands of shows in over 300 venues across the city during three weeks in August. Despite this growth, the Fringe has retained its counter-cultural, grass-roots identity. The Fringe offers performers an opportunity to find new audiences, win awards, and gain international recognition. Everything is there: political theatre, physical theatre, dance, new plays, Shakespeare, musicals, cabaret, street theatre, puppetry, stand-up comedy, interactive theatre, art installations. Anyone who experiences the vast array of theatrical possibilities can only be inspired about the future of theatre and performance.

Student tickets to theatre performances are relatively inexpensive (between $8.00 and $25.00 per show). A "free fringe" is also featured each year, with hundreds of free performances, as well as the ubiquitous street performances.

In addition to the International Arts Festival, which features world-class classical music, opera, and a few theatrical performances, there are also a number of other festivals that run concurrently with the Fringe Festival. These include an Arts Festival, a Food Festival, the Book Festival, and other music or cultural offerings. 

For more on the Fringe, visit and explore their website.

A few of the 300+ venues throughout Edinburgh: