Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide

A typical Edinburgh Fringe veteran.

So… it’s almost that time again when the comedy industry packs its bags and heads up to Edinburgh. Why Edinburgh? I have no idea and I can’t be arsed to do any research. Still this is an exciting time for the comedy, so we here at Laugh Out London thought it best to dish out some of our wisdom stew on how to maximise your Fringe experience…

1. Watch your purse strings!
Ok not the most fun to start off with, but be warned, the drink prices in festival season can be almost as expensive as in London (can you imagine!)  So you may have to save money in other areas, such as preparing you own lunch or eating roadkill (a Scottish delicacy).

2. Do some research before you go!
With over 12 shows to see in Edinburgh you want to make sure you pick the right ones for you. Have a good look at the programme or check out the EdFringe website.

Fringe shows tend to break down into two categories

Free:  Free shows with a collection on the door, well worth a punt if you like the look of the flyer / poster. If you enjoy it, drop a bit of cash in the bucket at the end. One of the best things you can do is to spend the day popping in and out of free shows and discovering something new.

The programmes for the free shows are here PBH Free Fringe & Laughing Horse Free Fringe

Paid shows: Sadly the £5 fringe has died (the tickets only cost £5) and most paid shows will cost £8 plus, but if you go via the fringe website a lot of shows have 2 for 1 offer on certain dates. Obviously get recommendations before you pay for a show. In general the bigger the comedian the more you will have to pay, you will also want to book these in advance

3. Venue hop!
There are loads of venues to see shows, each with their own charms, quirks and smells. Some are more suited to comedy than others (particularly the free fringe ones tend to be a bar with a microphone in the corner) but that’s part of the charm. One of my favourite Fringe venues is the Jekyll and Hyde, a horror themed pub with comedy in the basement. The toilets are hidden behind a bookcase, so you start to dread what lies within.

4. Chat to people!
In general I would say comedians and comedy fans are all lovely, cheerful, friendly people (as we have found out from doing the podcast). So don’t be afraid to tell a comedian that you enjoyed their act (believe me we can’t get enough of that shit). Strike up conversations with people about shows they have been to and people they recommend. You never know they might live in Edinburgh and invite you to stay over next year and save you paying for a hotel!

5. Do other stuff!
Yes! Believe it or not there is more to Edinburgh than just comedy! There is art, drama, music and all that stuff too. Why don’t you go see some? The Forest Fringe is really good for these things. Then there are loads of other brilliant/weird goings-on. Who can forget “A Young Man Dressed As A Gorilla Dressed As An Old Man Sits Rocking In A Rocking Chair For Fifty-Six Minutes And Then Leaves”. See what you might be missing out on? You don’t get that on live at the Apollo! Or take a break from the Festival in its entirety and climb Arthur’s Seat and take a trip to Portobello Beach and have a dabble in the North Sea.

Anyway hope that might have helped, we will be up there early on so feel free to come say hello!


Jack & Tom

Laugh Out London

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