Free Festival Fringe

The ‘Royal Bank on the Royal Mile’ is, for many, a must visit during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This section of the Royal Mile is closed to traffic and street performers hold impromptu shows on tiny stages and this streets famous cobbles. Everything is free and performers aim to impress you enough to visit their show and pay the ticket price. It’s an essential and eminently popular part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It’s amazing how large the crowds get, even for entertainment that’s often completely boring - like the ‘Strong Man Street Performance’ I saw this afternoon. It’s unlikely you’ll find any of the Fringes sell out performers on the Royal Mile (well maybe toasting their success in the many bars), but it’s free nonetheless.

Entrance to Royal Bank on the Royal Mile Strong Man Circus Show for Festival Fringe on Edinburgh's Royal Mile

You’ll also end up receiving a plethora of flyers from Fringe performers in character, like the pirate flag waving group or tall men in bowler hats. If the ‘Royal Bank on the Royal Mile’ isn’t enough free fringe for you, then tomorrow’s Fringe Sunday event should satisfy the bargain hunter in you. From 11am until 5pm the Meadows plays host to a plethora of Fringe performances lasting between 10 and 15 minutes. Comedy, Cabaret/Music, Dance and a kids tent will all be there and so will approx. 150,000 people. The Edinburgh blog visited last year and found it difficult to see most performances with the sheer number of people crammed into the tents and also ended up with yet more flyers from shows of little interest…but it’s free nonetheless.

Performers advertising their festival fringe show on Edinburgh's Royal Mile Festival Fringe performers on Edinburgh's Royal Mile Posters advertising Festival Fringe shows on Edinburgh's Royal Mile

Of course there’s no such thing as a great free lunch, so if you want to see the best shows you best hit the box office.

One Response to “Free Festival Fringe”

  1. We think the fringe and the main festival ought to be encorporated into one festival, an all-new Edinburgh Drama Festival, thus giving a higher profile to the more fringey events, and a more cosmopolitan, and maybe comedic feel to the main event. One Edinburgh Festival would erase the distinction between high and low brow, and make for a higher quality yet more diverse and better promoted combined festival, which engages with everybody, rather than “preaching to the converted”, which is the problem with so much theatre, be it the fringe or the mainstream.

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