About the Edinburgh Fringe


The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland’s capital city.


Every year thousands of performers take to a multitude of stages all over Edinburgh to present shows for every taste. From big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the festival caters for everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, musicals, operas, music, exhibitions and events.


The Fringe story dates back to 1947, when eight theatre groups turned up uninvited to perform at the (then newly formed) Edinburgh International Festival, an initiative created to celebrate and enrich European cultural life in the wake of the Second World War. Not being part of the official programme of the International festival didn’t stop these performers – they just went ahead and staged their shows anyway. Year on year more and more performers followed their example and in 1958 the Festival Fringe

Society was created in response to the success of this growing trend.


The Society formalised the existence of this collective of performances, provided information to artists, published the Fringe programme and created a central box office. Its constitution was written in line with the ethos that brought these theatre companies to Edinburgh back in 1947: that the Society was to take no part in vetting the festival’s programme. To this day that policy remains at the core of our festival and we’re proud to include in our programme anyone with a story to tell and a venue willing to host them.


Facts and Figure for Fringe 2013:


•  45,464 performances


•  2,871 shows


•  273 venues


•  1.3 million visitors


“The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is not just important for being the largest arts festival in the world, or for being completely open access — although those things are profoundly important — but more important for being the most wonderful event, created by the spontaneous freedom of expression of tens of thousands of creative souls, from all over the world, from all walks of life, at all stages of their careers, and representing all art forms.” – Kath M.Maitland, Chief Executive Fringe Festival Society.


“The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest, most vibrant festival of its kind in the world - bringing visitors from far and wide to Scotland's capital to see the incredibly diverse array of creative activity it has to offer, and promoting Scotland's rich culture and distinct heritage on the world stage.” – Fiona Hyslop, British Culture Secretary


Visit the official Fringe website



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