Happening every year since 1947, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the event to attend, to experience, to see, and be seen. Offering everything from professional artists to brand new upcoming performers, the festival includes cabaret, comedy, children’s shows, dance, exhibitions, theater, and musical events to suit every taste.
Running from August 7 to 31, over 3,000 shows, with thousands of performances, are on offer this year, and according to the official website, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has a long history in the arts and music field in Scotland.
The name has varied over the years, but basically started at what was then the Edinburgh International Festival back in 1947. Eight uninvited theater groups simply turned up in the city and went on to stage their shows. In the wake of the Second World War, this new and fresh entertainment was welcomed, and the crowds loved it.
As the theater groups were uninvited, they considered themselves to be the “Fringe of the Festival,” and the name Edinburgh Festival Fringe eventually stuck. Year after year, more performers followed their lead, and the Festival Fringe Society was formed in 1958 in response to the growing success of the event.
— The Guardian (@guardian) August 15, 2015
The trend continues with the city offering support and encouragement to a wide ranging group of artists of every kind, offering them free access to rehearsal space and the exposure to the public that they need.
According to a recent article about the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the Scotsman, while at first numbers in the audience were few, the popularity worldwide has grown to the extent that over two million people visit the festival each year. Not only does this benefit the artists themselves, but it is also, of course, of great financial benefit to the city that hosts the event and this year ticket sales are up by one-third.
New and upcoming artists can participate along with professional performers, not only getting exposure, but also learning from the best. It should be noted that artists who appear at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe are not necessarily Scottish in origin, as comedians, performers, and musicians from all over the world are welcome to perform at the event.
Not every act at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is performed in a theater or auditorium, as the art spreads into the streets of Scotland’s capital, including the amazing street drummer in the video below. His equipment may be basic, but his art is to be admired.
Staying in the streets of Edinburgh, colorful costumes, Brazilian dancers, a Chinese Dragon parade, and jazz players pass by on Princes Street, livening up the atmosphere with open air events the order of the day.
Besides the jazz festival atmosphere, music of every kind and genre is available, up to and including the Soweto Afro Pop Opera from South Africa, playing modern popular music as well as light opera to a foot-tapping audience and huge applause.
They are not alone, as the Soweto Spiritual Singers have also performed to stunned audiences at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, as can be seen in the video below.
Comedy is also a popular aspect of the Fringe, with funny guys and girls from all over the country and beyond, performing to amused and appreciative audiences.
— DANCRS (@Dancrs_app) August 10, 2015
For anyone who enjoys theater, comedy, and music of any description, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is definitely the place to be every August.