After 53,232 performances of 3,398 shows in 300 venues across Edinburgh, the curtain falls and the house lights go up on the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The 2017 Fringe included performances in a swimming pool, a boat, a bathroom, a football ground, a tunnel and a racecourse, and featured shows that addressed themes of belonging, identity, grief, Brexit, Trump, fake news, the Syrian conflict, gender and activism.

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said:

“This has been a very special year for the Fringe as we celebrated 70 years of defying the norm, 70 years of the greatest melting pot of arts and culture anywhere on the planet, and 70 years of Edinburgh as an internationally renowned festival city. The Fringe continues to play an essential role in the worldwide arts community, enabling artists to showcase their work, reach new audiences and make new connections.

“I hope that everyone that has attended a show, watched a street performance, or spent time in one of the hundreds of venues around the city has enjoyed their Fringe experience.

In the current climate of global uncertainty, we were delighted to see an increase of 29% in the number of countries represented in this year’s Fringe Programme. We will continue to work to support global engagement and international participation in the Fringe over the coming years.

“As the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe draws to a close, we look forward to another 70 years of championing the world’s largest platform for creative freedom.”

Sir Tim O’Shea, Fringe Society Chair added:

“After 70 great years, the 2017 Fringe has been the most spectacular success. On behalf of the of the audiences from home and abroad that have enjoyed the Fringe this year, I would like to thank the thousands of participants that have entertained and inspired us. The Fringe would not be possible without the courage, creativity and sheer hard work of the festival’s participants, and for that we are very grateful.”

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs said:

“In its 70th anniversary year the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has again attracted artists and audiences from across the world to enjoy a breath-taking array of performance art against the spectacular backdrop of our capital city.

“The Fringe contributes strongly to Scotland’s culture and economy and is key to the growth of our tourism and creative industries. I am proud to support its continued growth through the Expo Fund, the additional funding we provided for the inaugural World Fringe Day this year, and the extra £5 million we will invest in Edinburgh’s major festivals over the next five years.”

By Monday afternoon, with hundreds of performances still to take place, we can confirm that more people than ever attended shows at the Fringe with an estimated 2,696,884 tickets issued for shows across Scotland’s capital. The number of tickets issued reflects a 9% increase compared to tickets issued by the same point last year. 

In July this year, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society launched the inaugural World Fringe Day (, celebrating the birth of the fringe movement that started in Edinburgh in 1947 and has inspired a network of over 200 fringes around the world. Over 100 fringes participated in World Fringe Day, reaching an estimated 34 million people across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. To celebrate World Fringe Day in Edinburgh, the Fringe Society gifted £50,000 of Fringe Box Office vouchers to families and individuals via 26 charities across the city. Lothian Buses also partnered with the Fringe Society to give free day tickets to those families and individuals, enabling to them to enjoy a Fringe day out for free.

The Fringe Society continued to work towards making the Fringe more accessible with the introduction of a Venue Access Award, developed in partnership with charity Attitude is Everything. The award provides venue managers with a minimum standard of accessibility to aim for and offers different levels of achievement. This year we also provided a Mobiloo, the world's first attended mobile toilet and changing facility for people with disabilities who can't use a standard accessible toilet, in partnership with disability charity PAMIS. 

The Fringe Schools Poster Competition, supported by Virgin Money, engaged with more schools than ever before, as school pupils across Scotland were given the opportunity to inspire the design of the official Fringe Programme. The Fringe Society worked with artist Jon Bishop, aka the Grey Earl, to enhance participation from teachers and young people and, as a result, 60% of the entrants to the competition were from Scottish schools that had not engaged with the Fringe before. Winning designs were chosen from three age categories and three different programme covers were created that have been enjoyed by thousands of visitors to the city this summer.

Fringe Central, the Society’s centre for performing companies, venues, media and arts industry professionals attending the Fringe, delivered its largest ever programme of professional development events for Fringe participants. 119 free events covered a variety of topics including international touring, participation and engagement, and skills development. The Fringe Central Welcome Address was delivered by Ireland’s foremost drag queen, Panti Bliss, the stage name of performer and equality champion, Rory O’Neill.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe will run from 3 – 27 August 2018 with the Fringe World Congress taking place in Edinburgh from 16 – 20 August.


Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact the Fringe Media Office
[email protected] / +44 (0)131 240 1919

The 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe dates were 04 – 28 August.

2017 Fringe Award Winners

Allen Wright Award

  • Winner, Features: Arusa Qureshi
  • Runner Up, Features: Gillian Furmage
  • Winner, Reviews: Kate Wyver
  • Runner Up, Reviews: Arusa Qureshi

Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award

  • Woke – Play the Spotlight Theatre (Gilded Balloon)
  • Adam – National Theatre of Scotland (Traverse)
  • Borders – Gilded Balloon and RedBeard Theatre (Gilded Balloon)
  • Salt – Selina Thompson Ltd (Summerhall)
  • The Fall – Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town (Assembly)
  • What if I Told You – The Mayers Ensemble and West Yorkshire Playhouse (Summerhall)
  • #JeSuis – Aakash Odedra Limited (ZOO)

Amused Moose Comedy Award

  • Rob Kemp: The Elvis Dead – Rob Kemp Heroes / PWYW (Heroes)
  • Ian Smith: Snowflake – Bound & Gagged Comedy (Underbelly)
  • The Kagools – The Kagools and Momentum Artist Management (Just the Tonic)

The Asian Arts Awards

  • Winner, Best Production: Taha – Amer Hlehel (Summerhall)
  • Winner, Best Director: Sigma – Gandini Juggling (Assembly)
  • Winner, Best Comedy: Ongals: Babbling Comedy – The Ongals (Assembly)

Comedian Choice Awards

  • Winner, Best Show: Mat Ewins Presents Adventureman 7: The Return of Adventureman (Heroes)
  • Winner, Best Performer: Rob Kemp, Rob Kemp: The Elvis Dead (Heroes)
  • Winner, Best Person: Bob Slayer (Heroes)

Brighton Fringe Award for Excellence in association with Komedia Brighton


  • The Prophetic Visions of Bethany Lewis – Laura Elmes Productions (Underbelly)
  • Hot Gay Time Machine – Hot Gay Theatre (Underbelly)

The Broadway Baby Bobby Award


  • The Laramie Project – The Italia Conti Ensemble (theSpace)
  • All We Ever Wanted Was Everything – Middle Child (Summerhall)

The Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award

  • Winner: The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk – Kneehigh with Bristol Old Vic (Traverse)

Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe

  • Winner: Ken Cheng: Chinese Comedian – CKP and ROAR group (Pleasance)

Euan’s Guide Accessible Edinburgh Festival Awards

  • Winner, Most Accessible Small Permanent Venue: Scottish Storytelling Centre

Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

  • Winner: Towers of Eden – Outland Theatre (theSpace)

Significant contribution to sustainable practice:

  • Home Sweet Garden – Asylon Theatre (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – John Hope Gateway)
  • Me and My Bee – This Egg and the Pleasance (Pleasance)
  • Tribe – Temper Theatre (ZOO)
  • Towers of Eden – Outland Theatre (theSpace)


The Filipa Bragança Award

  • Winner: Selina Thompson, Salt – Selina Thompson Ltd (Summerhall)

Herald Angels

  • Archangel Winner:
  • Sigma – Gandini Juggling (Assembly)
  • Angel Winners:
  • Adam – National Theatre of Scotland (Traverse)
  • Sophie Willan: Branded – Bound & Gagged Comedy, UTC Artist Management and Contact (Pleasance)
  • Misha's Gang – Russian String Orchestra (theSpace)
  • Atlantic: A Scottish Story – Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Assembly)
  • No Show – Ellie Dubois (Summerhall)
  • Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story – 2b theatre company with Aurora Nova (Summerhall)
  • Lauren Pattison: Lady Muck – Live Nation in association with United Agents (Pleasance)
  • Lear – John Scott Dance (Dance Base)
  • The Little Devil Prize Winners:
  • Just Like The Movies – Kingdom Theatre (Greenside)
  • The Gardener – Cumbernauld Theatre (Summerhall)

Holden Street Theatres Award

  • Winner: Flesh and Bone – Unpolished Theatre (Pleasance)

The Infallibles Award 2017

  • Winner: A Great Fear of Shallow Living – In Tandem Theatre Company (Zoo)

JustBe Loved Award

  • Secret Life of Humans – New Diorama Theatre in co–production with Greenwich Theatre (Pleasance)

The Edinburgh Comedy Awards

  • Winner, Best Newcomer: Natalie Palamides, Natalie Palamides: LAID – Soho Theatre (Pleasance)
  • Winner, Best Show: Hannah Gadsby, Hannah Gadsby – Nanette – Hannah Gadsby (Assembly)
  • Winner, Best Show: John Robins, John Robins: The Darkness of Robins – Phil McIntyre Entertainments (Pleasance)

The Malcom Hardee Awards

  • Prize for Comic Originality: Terry Alderton, All Crazy Now – Dabster Productions (Pleasance)
  • Cunning Stunt Award: Mark Dean Quinn, My Heart on a Plate – Heroes / PWYW (Heroes)
  • Most Likely To Make A Million Quid: Rob Kemp, The Elvis Dead – Rob Kemp Heroes / PWYW (Heroes)

The Mental Health Fringe Awards

  • Mental – Kane Power Theatre (Assembly)

The Mervyn Stutter 'Spirit of the Fringe' Award


  • Matt Panesh, Matt Panesh – Freedom…! – Matt Panesh / PBH's Free Fringe (Banshee Labyrinth)
  • Christine Bovill, Christine Bovill Paris – Christine Bovill / Salt 'n' Sauce Promotions (New Town Theatre)
  • Descent – A Moment White Productions (Gilded Balloon)
  • Sleeping Trees at the Movies – Sleeping Trees (Pleasance)
  • Jo Caulfield, Jo Caulfield: Older. Wiser. Smarter. Meaner. – Jo Caulfield / The Stand Comedy Club (The Stand Comedy Club)
  • Wereldband: Släpstick – Wereldband (Assembly)

Musical Theatre Review Best Musical Award

  • Winner – A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) (Pleasance)

The Scottish Arts Club Award for Best Scottish Theatre

  • Winner: Adam – National Theatre of Scotland (Traverse)
  • Runner–up: Woke – Play the Spotlight Theatre (Gilded Balloon)
  • Winner, Bright Spark Award: Sara MacGillivray, Marie – Lazuli / Free Festival (Laughing Horse)

The Scotsman Fringe First Awards

  • Winners – week one:
  • Nassim – Bush Theatre (Traverse)
  • Flesh and Bone – Unpolished Theatre (Pleasance)
  • Letters to Morrissey – Traverse Theatre Company in association with Tron Theatre (Traverse)
  • Enterprise – Americana Absurdum Productions (Assembly)
  • The Believers Are But Brothers – Javaad Alipoor – (Summerhall)
  • Winners – week two:
  • A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) – Silent Uproar in association with LittleMighty (Pleasance)
  • The Shape of the Pain – China Plate, Rachel Bagshaw and Chris Thorpe (Summerhall)
  • How to Act – National Theatre of Scotland (Summerhall)
  • Borders by Henry Naylor – Gilded Balloon and RedBeard Theatre (Gilded Balloon)
  • £¥€$ (LIES) – Big in Belgium, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Vooruit, Richard Jordan Productions (Summerhall)
  • Adam – National Theatre of Scotland (Traverse)
  • Winners – week three:
  • Education, Education, Education – The Wardrobe Ensemble (Pleasance)
  • Fag/Stag – Underbelly and The Last Great Hunt (Underbelly)
  • Foreign Radical – Theatre Conspiracy with Aurora Nova (Summerhall)
  • (More) Moira Monologues – Kyle / Bissett Productions (Scottish Storytelling Centre)
  • Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story – 2b theatre company with Aurora Nova (Summerhall)
  • Stand By – Utter (Summerhall)

Primary Times Children’s Choice Award

  • Brave Macbeth – Captivate Theatre (Gilded Balloon)

So You Think You’re Funny?

  • Winner: Maisie Adam
  • First Runner–up: Sarah Mann
  • Second Runner–up: Morgan Rees

The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence 

Winners – week one

  • All We Ever Wanted Was Everything – Middle Child (Summerhall

Winners – week two

  • Prom Kween – Áine Flanagan Productions in association with Underbelly Untapped (Underbelly)
  • The B*easts – Monica Dolan and Something for the Weekend (Underbelly)
  • The Fall – Baxter Theatre Centre, University of Cape Town (assembly)

Winners – week three

  • Education, Education, Education – The Wardrobe Ensemble (Pleasance)
  • Pike Street – Barrow Street Productions (Summerhall)
  • Dust – Milly Thomas (Underbelly)

The Stage Awards


  • salt. – Selina Thompson Ltd (Summerhall)
  • Mouthpiece – Quote Unquote Collective / Why Not Theatre / Aurora Nova (Summerhall)

The Stepladder Award

  • Me and My Bee – This Egg and the Pleasance (Pleasance)

Three Weeks Awards


  • The Nature of Forgetting – Theatre Re (Pleasance)
  • Rob Auton: The Hair Show – Rob Auton (Just the Tonic)
  • At a Stretch – Jordan and Skinner (Scottish Storytelling Centre)
  • Pianologues – Will Pickvance (Summerhall)
  • Ian Smith: Snowflake – Bound & Gagged Comedy (Underbelly)
  • Hot Brown Honey – Briefs Factory (Assembly)
  • Prom Kween – Áine Flanagan Productions in association with Underbelly Untapped (Underbelly)
  • Knock Knock – Niv Petel (C Venues)
  • Barry Crimmins: Atlas's Knees – Barry Crimmins / Lakin McCarthy / The Stand Comedy Club (The Stand Comedy Club)
  • Edinburgh Renaissance Band: Musical Migrants – Edinburgh Renaissance Band (artSpace)

Total Theatre Awards

Innovation, Experimentation & Playing with Form
Winner: Palmyra – Bertrand Lesca & Nasi Voutsas (Summerhall)

Winner: salt. – Selina Thompson Ltd (Summerhall)

Winner: Our Carnal Hearts – Rachel Mars (Summerhall)
Judges Discretionary Award

Winner: Slap And Tickle – Liz Aggiss (ZOO)

Significant Contribution Award

Winner: Lyn Gardner

Total Theatre & Farnham Maltings Award for an Emerging Company / Artist

Winner: Five Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist – YesYesNoNo (ZOO)

Total Theatre & Jacksons Lane Award for Circus
Winner: Fauna – Fauna in association with Aurora Nova and Follow the Rabbit (Assembly) 

Total Theatre & The Place Award for Dance
Winner: Hope Hunt and the Ascension into Lazarus – Oona Doherty (Dance Base)

Physical / Visual Theatre
Winner: Sigma – Gandini Juggling (Assembly)