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Edinburgh Fringe

(34 Posts)
Anya Fri 13-Jan-17 10:29:44

I've never been to The Fringe and it's on my Bucket List. So this year I will go. There no problem with accommodation as I have relatives in Motherwell and can get the train in daily.

But I don't actually know how it works as it were. I'm aware there's various acts, plays, comedians, etc from well-known to complete amateurs. And logic tells me there must be venues all over the city.

So I figured there is bound to be those on this forum who can offer some practical advice and suggestions, so this poster can get the best from the experience. I'm thinking just a couples of days for a start.

kittylester Fri 13-Jan-17 10:39:38

Nearer the time there is the opportunity to book for events you fancy but the street theatre and things you happen upon are good too. There is also a book festival and The Edinburgh Tattoo which coincide as well as the Festival proper. Google It and see what comes up.

Be prepared for hoards of people, busy restaurants and tons of fun! And we always bump into someone we know. We've been a few times but it is one of the things on our bucket list too.

kittylester Fri 13-Jan-17 10:40:56

Should have said - there are lots of different venues spread all over the city so make sure you get a map when you get there!

Megram Fri 13-Jan-17 10:42:10

This might help. You are right, there are venues all over the city (and some just outside) from church halls, bars, marquees and street theatre. The city really comes alive.
I hope you enjoy it!

janeainsworth Fri 13-Jan-17 10:42:51

We've been several times Anya.
The main problem is that there are literally tens of thousands of events to choose from!
This is the official website
But it's probably easier to send for the paper brochure.
There are numerous venues so you have to be on top of the logistics to make sure you can get from one venue to another.
Massive choice of types of events too, most of the artists you will never have have heard of, but we saw Ruby Wax, David Sedaris and Lucy Porter at various times.
Wide range of music - we enjoyed chamber concerts in the lovely ROSL on Princes St
and a group called Blueswater who I believe are on again this year.
One year I went on a guided tour of hidden gardens of Edinburgh.
Anyway you will have a great time just soaking up the atmosphere. smile

Jane10 Fri 13-Jan-17 10:51:42

I live in Edinburgh. We hide during the festival!! Bah humbug.
Motherwell is a bit of a distance away. Check timings for last train/bus. Lots of shows are late night and you wouldn't want to be stranded. Maybe check Edinburgh budget accommodation?

janeainsworth Fri 13-Jan-17 11:00:30

Good point Jane10.
We have always gone with an old friend who was at Edinburgh University in the previous century and he rents a student flat in one of the halls or residence a short distance from the Royal Mile. Cheap and cheerful but very convenient.

kittylester Fri 13-Jan-17 12:17:11

Our town has a yearly Street fair jane and we used to hibernate when we lived near the centre of town. Nothing like as big an event but I really empathise! wine

Jayh Fri 13-Jan-17 12:46:22

We book in advance any shows we particularly want to see but this year we went on spec and were handed lots of flyers in the street. We bought tickets for the shows that appealed and we weren't disappointed.
We travel in by train but it would be nicer to stay in the city. Early accommodation booking is advisable and a map of the venues as already mentioned.
Wear comfy shoes! 😀And enjoy.

Anya Fri 13-Jan-17 12:51:56

I'm combining the Fringe with visiting the elderly aunts. Last time I was 'up' it was five years ago and since then two have shuffled off this mortal coil sad So I'm duty bound to stay with them. Also I'm going alone so would rather have company in the evenings.

Is there plenty to see during day time hours then? It's just 'being there' and soaking up what's on offer as it were. Is there one area in particular where there's more going on than others perhaps?

janeainsworth Fri 13-Jan-17 12:59:42

Loads to see and do during the daytime Anya, and no specific location. Best to have a look at the programme and see what takes your fancy. Risk of information overload though!

Elegran Fri 13-Jan-17 13:32:55

If you did nothing more than walk along Princes Street and down the Royal Mile you would see street performers doing all sorts of stuff. Then there are the people with handfuls of flyers for shows, who shove them into your hand if you as much as slow down near them.

Read the official Fringe programme and mark any that appeal - the most popular are sold out early, so if you want to see a particular performance book it. Then read the reviews in the papers (and listen to word of mouth) to know which of the unfamiliar shows are good. They too will fill up with all the other people who have read the reviews. Often you can really enjoy something just picked with a pin, but you could also get a real turkey. It is all part of the fun.

Wear comfortable shoes, carry a mac and a bottle of water, and get a day bus ticket that lets you hop on and off buses without having to shell out the right change each time.


Jane10 Fri 13-Jan-17 13:41:48

Oh no its all coming back to me. Sitting fuming on the bus as 40 students slowly get on, Americans trying to pay their bus fares in dollars, people dawdling along and suddenly stopping to take selfies, the noise from thousands of wheely cases over the cobbles, having to avoid eye contact with 'actors' trying to get you to attend their show.
The blessed relief when its over. It never seems to occur to festival goers that some of us aren't on holiday and need to get to places!
Of course GNers aren't like that!!smile

Anya Fri 13-Jan-17 14:16:56

This is exactly what I need to know. Thanks. I've ore-ordered a brochure but they're not out until .June 7th, but have also registered online for info.

Great idea about the day the ticket.

Jane I live in a tourist destination too, and even today there were about 50 Japanese tourists cluttering up our tiny town each with at least 3 cameras. They of course had to step into the road to get photos so I'm not sure all 50 made it back to their coach. Doubtless they're all headed to Stratford now. So sympathies.

janeainsworth Fri 13-Jan-17 14:18:51

Oh dear jane10
Presumably many small businesses in Edinburgh benefit from the influx.

Elegran Fri 13-Jan-17 14:23:26

Jane . . . and at every bus-stop there is always one person who desn't know that the driver can't give change, and waves a £5 or £10. The bus can't move on until it has been explained and they search all their pockets and purses for yhr right amount, ask around the other passengers . . . If all hotels and B&Bs would tell their guests, and suggest a day ticket (and tendering the right amount for it!) travel would be so much better for averyone.

Anya Fri 13-Jan-17 14:24:34

Note to self...buses don't give change.

Elegran Fri 13-Jan-17 14:39:45

Make another note - if you catch a tram, you need to have bought your ticket from the machine before you board, and show it when asked. Otherwise you will be fined £10. (there are machines at each stop)

kittylester Fri 13-Jan-17 14:55:17

We decided that next time we will stay outside and travel in and quite fancied East Berwick until we looked at hotel/self catering prices to discover there is also a golf tournament at the same time.

Elegran Fri 13-Jan-17 15:02:01

kitty You could stay on the outskirts of the city and travel into the centre by bus. Every suburb has stacks of small guest houses and B&Bs where you would be well looked after without paying city centre costs and could get back at a reasonable time after an evening show - and you'd get a peaceful night's sleep too.

jollyg Fri 13-Jan-17 15:37:05

As many here complain, I just wrote a comprehensive post, tried to Edit it. Gone, moan over! Why is this site so useless? only due to the posters, both good and moony.

Edinburgh is not just the Festival and Fringe, there is the Tattoo! Busses come from all over Europe for this event. Best seats are on the East stand with the castle as a backdrop, and sometimes a super sunset to boot.

At the end of each performance there are fireworks, and good too. The folks who live cheek by jowl with the Castle are fed up with all the noise and either use earplugs to rent heir houses out.

They have a rehearsal evening about a week before , tickets available. Worth looking up as they can easily sell out.

Re accommodation Uni halls are good as well as hostels, some are very near to the action. Motherwell is a fair journey away.

For a bit of peace from the throngs of tourists there are th Botanical gardens where they also holds shows 23/27 bus from the Mound.

I confess not being around town then, as its too busy and pushy, tho any local will help you.


Jane10 Fri 13-Jan-17 18:52:17

Och ignore me everybody. I'm just a miserable cow!

Anya Fri 13-Jan-17 19:35:00

Thanks for the tip about the trams. Last time I was there they were still being reinstated and it was chaos.

Motherwell will suit me fine and I've explained why.

Elrel Sat 14-Jan-17 17:01:06

I've had two wonderful weekends at the Festival years ago. Elegran has described my experience well. I got off the overnight train from Kings Cross at Waverley, stoked up with breakfast and was off! Began at 9am with a magic show by two young brothers from North London, next a Restoration Comedy then a kaleidoscope of varied shows for two wonderful days.
Stayed with friends of friends a bus ride from the centre. Got stranded, buses had stilled, no taxis free, failed to find a hotel room. Tearfully spoke to a police man who assured me I'd be safe walking and indeed I was, an assortment of cheerful, harmless others were doing the same!
I think I'll make a bucket list 😉

Anya Sun 15-Jan-17 08:53:47

That's sounds like a great experience Elrel even the dodgy bits.

All these replies have given me a flavour of the event and it'll be less like heading into the unknown. I take a holiday alone every year, 2015 Jersey, 2016 Cornwall (Eden Project, Lost Gardens) and enjoy the freedom it gives me to go where I want and do what I want and I'm slowly working my way through my bucket list.

Thanks for all the ideas, especially the practical tips transport-wise.