You don’t need to be rolling in cash to enjoy the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Here are some top tips for doing the Fringe on a budget.
See free shows
There are roughly 700 free shows in the Fringe Programme, so you’re bound to find something that suits your tastes. Free shows can be ticketed or non-ticketed, so make sure you book a ticket for any free ticketed shows that you’d like to see. You can filter free shows online and on the app.
Please note: We know you’re trying to keep costs to a minimum, but it’s polite to throw at least something in the performer’s bucket if you enjoyed the show. If your budget allows it, carry some change whenever you’re seeing a freebie.
Pay what you want
Some shows offer the option to pay what you want for performances so all you need to do is turn up, enjoy the show and choose the ticket price for yourself.
Preview a show
If you’re in Edinburgh in early August, you can make your money go further by checking out preview performances – ie shows that might still need a bit of fine tuning before they’re properly ready. Preview tickets are cheaper than standard ones, and the shows usually take place in the days before the Fringe officially starts. Dates for preview performances are highlighted in the programme or you can browse online for shows with preview dates currently on sale.
In town on 08 or 09 August? Make sure you check out all the shows included in the 2for1 ticket offer on the first Monday and Tuesday of the Fringe. Browse the shows participating in the offer and currently on sale and split the cost with a pal.
Become a Friend
Fringe Friends get access to several great perks including 2for1 tickets on a choice of thousands of shows, a dedicated box office and booking line, plus a 10% discount in the Fringe Shop. You also get that warm, fuzzy feeling of supporting the Fringe Society, a registered charity.
Nearly 60% of Fringe shows are offering 2for1 Friends’ tickets in 2019. Check out all the shows included in the Friends 2for1 ticket offer this year.
Want to be Friends? Find out more or sign up today. You can also grab a £3 discount off a Friends membership when paying by direct debit.
Watch world-class street events
The street events around the city centre offer visitors jaw-dropping street performances in return for a donation of your choice. The street events are performed by a wide variety of circus performers, musical companies, choirs, drumming groups, buskers, bagpipers and more. A daily schedule of street events is available online during the Fringe.
Receive concession prices
The Fringe Box Office offers a reduced price on some tickets for students, registered unemployed, people with disabilities, senior citizens and children under 18 so if you’re eligible, it’s worth checking. A further concession is also often available for families of two adults and two children or one adult and three children under the age of 18.
Attending the Fringe in a large group? For many performances, a 10% discount for groups of 10 or more is available.
Walk to and from venues
Edinburgh’s compact size makes it the perfect city to walk around, and loads of Fringe venues are located within a stone’s throw of each other, so you’ll rarely need to hail a taxi.
When it comes to traveling longer distances, Lothian provides a great bus service offering day, night and family tickets for travel all across Edinburgh.
Enjoy a bargain tea or coffee
Lots of cafes and coffee shops offer a discount for using your own reusable mug, so you can enjoy your favourite hot drinks at mates’ rates with the added bonus of doing your bit for the environment. If you don’t have one already, you can pick up a Fringe KeepCup in a variety of colours either online or in person at the Fringe shop (view on map).
Book your accommodation early
Fringe accommodation comes in all shapes and sizes, from B&Bs, university campuses and caravan parks to self-catering apartments and hostels. It pays to be organised so book early to avoid disappointment.
Perks for participants
If you’re performing at this year’s Fringe be sure to flash your performer pass at local businesses to receive a discount on everything from bagels and burgers to gym memberships and massages. You can find some of these at the back of the Fringe Central Events Programme.