Celebrating amazing moments during the 75th anniversary of the Edinburgh Fringe
24 August 2022
From nervous beginnings, and the rewarding elation of performing at the Fringe for the first time, to the butterflies of finding new or everlasting love. Today the Fringe Society is delighted to share amazing moments gathered from artists and audiences from the past 75 years of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Anecdotes have been gathered over the last few months and include memories such as the excitement of bumping into a favourite celebrity, to taking inspiration from a performance and setting out on a new career journey.
"I first discovered street performing at the Edinburgh Fringe. I was there for the first Fringe Sunday in 1981 and that’s where I first saw a street band called Pookiesnackenburger (from whom Steve McNicholas and Luke Cresswell later became STOMP) who played huge gigs on the street. That got me interested in street performing.” Eddie Izzard
"Whilst here I met a guy who was working at the same venue, we hit it off... 19 years later we are married, have two girls, two cats and we both work in the arts and cultural sector in Edinburgh. I would just like to say thank you to the Fringe for positively changing my life." Sharon May
"I love the unexpected, the chaos, the anarchy of the Fringe. Trying to find your way through the programme knowing that while you'll see excellent shows, you'll always miss other great ones; talking to strangers while queuing up about their favourite performances so far and sharing yours; watching the audience and actors mix ... All of this with the dramatic and incredibly beautiful backdrop that is Edinburgh, a perfect place for the festival." Uta Bretsch
"We have attended the Fringe every year since 1998 and it is something of an obsession for us. So much so that we decided to get married there... in secret.” Richard Brown
"Edinburgh Fringe has been a highlight of our summer since we moved to Edinburgh in 2013, an opportunity for our whole family to indulge in culture and the arts together, to dip our toes into new experiences and deep dive into some familiar favourites. Come rain or shine, we pack our rucksacks and disappear into the crowd and into another world of magic and endless possibilities." Julia Whitaker
“It’s just great being part of it; it’s the biggest arts event in the world. It's the only place to be in August – the two years I didn’t go at all, I just felt like my friends were having a big party and I decided not to go. I would feel like I was in the wrong place, not being in Edinburgh.” Arthur Smith
“This year will be our 20th visit since first coming up to see our son in a college production. Every time is magical, trying to take in as many diverse shows as we can." Merlyn Anne Goudie
“There is no place in the world like Edinburgh Fringe in August. The energy is fantastic and you feel alive doing what you love, during the height of summer." Clare Harrison Mccartney
"To this day I have met lifelong friends and some of the most inspirational people at the Edinburgh Fringe having participated in more than 10 Fringes. The Fringe tests your resolve, your patience, your abilities and your energy. Yet it also rewards you with an amazing experience that will forever leave a mark on your soul." Paul Perez
Shona McCarthy, CEO of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said:
“It has been an absolute joy to read memories from audiences and artists from across the years, and it is testament to the resilience of this great festival, and all those who have played a part in building it, that it is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. The stories that have been shared with our team highlight the impact the Fringe can have on inspiring young people, captivating audiences, and being the place to be every August.
"From childhood memories, to the transformational effect the festival has had on artist careers, we thank each person for taking the time to share their favourite Fringe memory.”
We encourage the public and those performing at this year’s Fringe to share their own memory on social media and tag it #FringeMoments.