Despite increasing global competition, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is still by far the largest arts festival in the world.
Bucking the economic downturn of the last two years, new venues continue to be introduced and last year a record 1,859,235 Fringe tickets were sold, an increase of 21 per cent up on the previous year. This is the 64th Fringe, and there are an amazing 2,452 shows scheduled across comedy, theatre and music.
Every space in this small city seems to be used as a venue in August – last year even saw a show take place in a toilet! But don’t let that put you off; there are performances in some truly stunning locations, from atmospheric underground caves to world-class theatres. With plenty of flights to Edinburgh there’s no excuse not to get yourself into the swing of things in ‘Auld Reekie’ between 6 and 30 August 2010.
If you’re travelling from abroad and can’t fly direct to Edinburgh, book flights to London and then get flights from London to Edinburgh. And remember to book your accommodation early – things get booked up fast!
Cutting The Fringe: Top Tips
• Check out the Half Price Hut every day – lots of great (and expensive) shows are often reduced
• Hang around outside venues – there are masses of free tickets given away every day
• Bring an umbrella – August can be beautiful, but expect unexpected downpours
• Try and get some sleep while you can – you’ll need it for the next day’s marathon of shows
• Word of mouth really is best way to find out – chat to people about what they saw
• Wander around – follow your ears, eyes and noses to discover one-off events
Best Of The Fest: Skyscanner Recommends
Alun Cochrane: Jokes. Life. And Jokes About Life.
The loveable Yorkshireman and former Perrier nominee will be performing at his sixth Fringe, seducing audiences as he recounts his love of scratchy, freshly-washed towels and explains why he can’t resist texting a friend when he’s made an amazing sandwich.
Emo Phillips: Please Witness My Act
Back in Edinburgh for the first time since 2001, Emo’s distinctive comic surrealism has won countless fans and awards and influenced a generation of stand-ups. Emo has also featured in a number of successful films and TV series, and lent his voice to a range of cameo voiceover appearances. The Skyscanner team are excited to have him back in Edinburgh!
The Gilded Balloon 25th Anniversary Shows
The legendary venue hosts three nights of special shows on 27-29 August to celebrate 25 years at the heart of the Fringe. A spectacular line-up is promised, so advance tickets are highly recommended.
The Oxford Alternotives
The Alternotives have been performing since 1993 and have notched a string of gongs: check out their hugely entertaining a cappella show before they hit New York in September.
Tim Vine: The Joke-amotive
We simply cannot resist a good pun here at Skyscanner, and Tim Vine certainly delivers them in abundance. The Punslinger returns with two shows this year – in addition to the Joke-amotive, Tim Vine Chat Show is on for three nights only between 26-28 August. Find out if he’s the pun for you.
Phil Kay: In Tweed
‘The bearded heart and soul’ and ‘fairy godmother of the Fringe’ are just some of the things that have been said about Mr Kay over his 21-year Fringe career. A truly unique and unpredictable experience, Phil will take you on a whirlwind tour of life, love and yesterday’s lunch. Also back to due popular demand is afternoon kids show ‘Gimme Your Left Shoe’. The surreal deal.
The Penny Dreadfuls
Virtually a sell-out last time around, the multi-talented The Penny Dreadfuls return with a brand-new sketch show at Pleasance Courtyard. The wondrous ‘Aeneas Faversham Trilogy’ and ‘The Brothers Faversham’ mesmerised audiences over the last few years and this is definitely one show not to miss.
The Phantom Band
The eccentric Glaswegians return with new material following the critical acclaim of their 2009 debut album, Checkmate Savage. We’ll see you there at the Electric Circus on 24 August. Part of The Edge Festival
S1L3NC3: Mind Reader
A sell-out performance at Camden Fringe 2009, prepare to be shocked and amazed by the debut Edinburgh Fringe show by S1L3NC3 which promises to ‘alter your perceptions of reasoning and belief.’