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 exists to:

  • Support, advise and encourage everyone who wants to participate in the Fringe.
  • Provide information and assistance to help audiences curate their own Fringe experience.
  • Promote the Fringe and what it stands for all over the world.
  • Ensure the Fringe Society is sustainable, utilising its resource to the greatest benefit of the Fringe and its constituents.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has open-access at its 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.

Nominations to stand for election to the Board of Directors of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society are now open.  All nominations must be received, in hard copy, by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society at 180 High Street by 12:00 noon on Wednesday 18 July 2018.

For more information on how to stand for election to the Board of Directors, log in to the Fringe Society Members area of the website.

Have your say

Members who have joined the Fringe Society by 12:00 noon on Wednesday 08 August 2018 will be eligible to vote in the coming elections. We encourage you to join us in promoting membership of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.


The AGM will be held on Tuesday 21 August at the Playfair Hall, The Royal College of Surgeons at 12:30. All are welcome.

Board of Directors FAQs

Participants’ Council FAQs