Top 10 Tips for the Edinburgh Fringe

Since 2011, Virgin Money have been delighted to partner the world famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe by sponsoring the Fringe on the High Street and the Half Price Hut. As well as painting the town red, we felt this partnership mirrored our ethos doing things a bit differently.

We’ve been taking in everything the Fringe has to offer and here are our top 10 tips for discovering the festival:

  1. Pack for all types weather.
    We’ve already had the typical Edinburgh four-seasons-in-one-day so pack your suntan lotion, sunglasses, hats, jumpers, rain coats and wellies – as well as a bag to put the extra layers in when the temperature rises. Edinburgh can be bathed in glorious sunshine but it’s no stranger to a gust of wind or a sudden unexpected downpour so it’s best to be prepared.
  2. Get yourself a copy of the Fringe programme.
    It’s available all over Edinburgh, and from the Fringe Shop on the High Street. You’ll find listings inside for all the shows and details of the venues. If you cant track one down you can download a daily guide.
  3. Visit the Half Price Hut – opening 12th August.
    You’ll find the Virgin Money Half Price Hut down on the Mound with half price tickets for a variety of shows. We take half the financial risk when you take the creative risk of picking a show from the list available – you may find a new favourite!
  4. Download the official Fringe app for your phone
    The app is available on both iPhone and Android phones, is free and gives you show listings, maps to venues, ticket availability and you can keep a schedule of your shows so you know where to get to next. Most importantly, you can buy tickets in the app and then pick them up without queuing from the fast ticket machines.
  5. Walk the High Street
    Before you spend any money on shows take a walk up the High Street, you’ll find street performers from all over the world singing, dancing, juggling, performing magic and acrobatics. See how many floating people you can spot, see if you see the weaving woman with the fantastic mohican hairstyle and don’t forget to keep an eye out for Tom Gilzean: a High Street favourite, Tom is 95 and collecting for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.
  6. Surprise yourself and try something different.
    The flyerers are on the High Street for a reason – to open your eyes to shows you might never have otherwise heard of. Of course it’s good practice to book a few shows in advance, but it’s not all about the big names at the Edinburgh Fringe – take a chance on something new, the variety available is simply unbeatable.
  7. Visit the Fringe Shop
    Situated in the middle of the High Street, the Fringe Shop is one of the main ticket booking and collection locations, and don’t forget to pick up this years must have items.
  8. See the must see sold out show
    If there’s an act you want to see and it’s sold out, head to the venue. Some venues will have last minute tickets available before the doors open. But in future, booking early for the big name shows will ensure you get a ticket.
  9. You’ll need a map
    Venues range from 500 seat theatres to small tents and pub toilets spread all over the city of Edinburgh. There are free maps available that will help you get from venue to venue, you’ll find these being handed out at venues or ask at the information desk in the Fringe Shop.
  10. Be prepared for audience participation
    Many of the street acts rely on audience participation, ranging from children helping escapologists wriggle free from handcuffs and straight jackets, to adults helping to ensure acrobats don’t fall from 15 foot high poles. And after the show, don’t be afraid to go and speak to the performers to let them know what you thought of their show!

If you’ve got your own hints and tips why not let us know in the comments below?


About Ian Humphreys