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 439 free shows at Fringe 2023, 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 / pay what you can
More than 600 shows are offering 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.
Get 2for1 or half-price tickets
In town on 07 or 08 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.
Opening on the first Wednesday following the 2for1 days, the Half Price Hut (HPH) offers – you guessed it – half-price tickets for shows beginning that day or the morning after. You can browse the daily HPH listings online, but please note that you can only book HPH tickets in person from the Fringe Box Office at 180 High Street.
Become a Friend
Fringe Friends get access to several great perks including 2for1 tickets on a choice of over 1,400 participating shows, a dedicated booking line, plus a 10% discount in the Fringe Shop; some Friend tiers also get access to some great local discounts and offers. On top of all that, Fringe Friends get that warm, fuzzy feeling of supporting the Fringe Society, a registered charity.
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.
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 – follow our social accounts to be kept in the loop!
Receive concession prices
The Fringe Box Office offers a reduced price on some tickets for students, registered unemployed, disabled people, 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.
Check out venue ticket offers
Many venues run their own discounts and offers for shows in their spaces. Follow them on social media or head to their webites for the latest deals.
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 pick up your participant pass from the Fringe Central: Artist Hub.