The founding principle at the heart of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe - to be an open access arts event that accommodates anyone with a story to tell and a venue willing to host them - still regulates the work of the Society today.

It is our policy that no single individual or committee determines who can or cannot perform at the Fringe.

Constituted in 1958 to formalise the presence of more and more performers who came to Edinburgh despite not being included in the programme of the Edinburgh International Festival, upon its creation, the Society took on the role of providing information to artists, publishing the Fringe Programme and creating a central box office. In 1969 the Society was incorporated as a limited company and its constitution published.

Unlike many other festivals our constitution celebrates the fact that the Society shall do no vetting of the Fringe programme. That means we have no artistic director and that the programme is shaped by the very initiative and vision of performers willing to showcase their work here.

The Fringe Society has three core objectives:

  • Provide support, advice and encouragement to all participants.
    The Fringe Society supports and encourages anyone who wants to take part – all the amazing artists, producers, venues, arts industry professionals and members of the media. From choosing a venue to creating a successful marketing campaign, the Fringe Society is on hand all year round with one-to-one tailored advice, events, facilities and online resources.
  • Assist the audiences who come to Edinburgh to navigate what’s on offer.
    The Fringe Society provides ticketing through a centralised box office, offering tickets to every show on the Fringe, and a wealth of information via the official Fringe Programme, website and mobile app. We continuously improve and expand our services to ensure the best possible experience for Fringe audiences.
  • Promote this wonderful and unique festival to the rest of the world.
    The Fringe Society markets the Fringe in its entirety – locally, nationally and internationally – to participants, the public, media and arts industry to retain its position as the world’s leading arts festival. As well as delivering a high-profile annual marketing and media campaign, the Society works closely with media outlets all over the world to maximise publicity for the Fringe. 

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has open-access at it's core and we aim to make sure that this philosophy runs through everything we do as an organisation. 

The Society is proud to be signed-up to a number of voluntary pledges which support our access, outreach and sustainability ambitions. This includes the Scottish Business Pledge, a voluntary commitment to uphold standards of business practise and to embrace principles of fairness, equality, opportunity and innovation. Our commitments include: paying all employees at least the Living Wage; promoting staff development and training; supporting local businesses and investment in research and innovation.

The Society also works closely with Festivals Edinburgh and Creative Carbon Scotland to reduce our negative environmental impacts. We are proud to be working towards a more sustainable Scotland through participation in the Green Arts Initiative, a project designed to support festivals, venues, companies and audiences in reducing their carbon footprint while participating in the arts.

Following the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, Sharon Burgess, Susan Morrison and Richard Wiseman have been elected to the Board of Directors. They will each serve a four-year term. Click here for full details on the outcome of the 2017 Board Elections. For a full breakdown of results, Fringe Society members can log into the Fringe Society members area.

Both the special resolutions were passed.

Board of Directors FAQs

Participants’ Council FAQs