Seven tips for your first time at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

We left Fringe over a week ago and I am missing it. So. Much.

This year was my first experience of the festival, and it won’t be the last. I wanted to pull together a few tips for any other first timers;
Install the Fringe app. I used this;
  • To find the ticket office, there was only one show i attended by myself which was an impulse buy. Finding the nearest ticket to the show I was attending prior was really useful in planning my day.
  • The planner section of the ap. You can add shows to a schedule, with locations and times to structure your day.
  • The Nearby function, where you can see shows in an area you define. Useful if you find yourself with a free hour or two and want to impulsively attend something.
Leaflets. There are so many leafleters at the Fringe, this was really helpful on the second day when we wanted to pass out our day, as the week went on it got annoying. After a show we went for drinks in the courtyard at the Pleasence, in half an hour we were approached by at least eight people for future shows, even as out body language communicated we wanted to be left alone. We avoided the space for the rest of our trip because of the leafleters.
Anything tagged with “Free Fringe” means there is no admission fee. At the end of each show the performer/s will be waiting with a bucket for donations as you exit the venue. Performer’s tended to request a £5/£10 donation, which is expected.

If the show says you dont need a ticket, but you can reserve a seat, reserve a seat. We made this mistake, arriving at a show half an hour before its start time and were asked to sit to one side and wait until those with tickets were seated. We waited until late comers had been seated, and were permitted to enter the venue a couple minutes after the shows scheduled start time.

Experience Edinburgh. Yes the festival is incredible, and it feels like there is always something happening but explore the city. We climbed Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano the base of which is a short walk from the city centre. It’ll take you 30-40 to climb, and is a little bit of work but completely worth it for the panoramic views of the city.

I also stumbled across Calton Hill whilst watching some shows by myself. Walking here just before sunset I was awed by how beautiful the area was. I Messenger called my partner from the top of Nelson Monument to share the incredible views with him.

Over excited from the top of Arthur’s Seat

The National Monument of Scotland
View from the top of Nelson Monument. Worth the £5 to get to the viewing deck.

Opt for a backpack with a hidden pocket, or a cross body bag. Areas like the Royal Mile are rammed with people at all times are there are signs everywhere advising attendees to pay attention for pick pocketers. Security aside, you’ll be able to carry a water bottle easily. Supermarkets and corner shops weren’t the most obvious things, so water bottles we could ask venues to refill were helpful.

Schedule in some downtime. Fringe is incredible, but it can be full on with shows running from the morning until midnight. Ours was a few days in Glasgow where we justtook things slowly

The Festival was a real high point of this year. My schedule has been ridiculously full (I’m quickly moving towards Hen Do number four of five this year) , and just spending a week with two incredible friend’s watching comedy, live music, hanging out and just enjoying ourselves was exactly what I needed from a week off.

Are you off to Fringe? If so, what tips do you have?

Emily