Today, Friday 04 August 2023, marks the official start of the 76th Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which will run until Monday 28 August 2023. Artists from 72 countries will be represented at the Fringe this August, with 973 shows from Scotland and 469 from Edinburgh itself!

The vision of the Fringe is to give anyone a stage and everyone a seat, and this year the average ticket price is less than £12, allowing audiences to experience a variety of work at a relatively low cost. There are also 439 free shows at this year’s Fringe, and another 614 using the ‘pay what you want’ or ‘pay what you can’ model.  

Following its launch last month, the official EdFringe app has received over 36,000 downloads across the app stores. From today, the ‘nearby now’ functionality will encourage audiences to try something new near them, when between shows; with the Shake it Up feature also providing a random show selection to take a chance on.

This August there are 3,535 shows registered, who will undertake over 52,000 performances during the month. Comedy represents 38% of the programme, with theatre 25%, music 13% and a range of genres completing the mix, including children’s shows, cabaret, circus, dance and musicals. The world-famous Fringe street events will start tomorrow and will run from 11:00 till 19:00 every day from 05 – 26 August with events free to attend and open to all.  

Supporting artists by facilitating a range of services via the Fringe Society, so far this year the Media Office has accredited over 700 reviewers, editors, journalists and broadcasters, who will be instrumental in boosting artists’ profile. In addition, to date, some 950 arts industry professionals from 45 countries have accredited, and will be on the lookout for shows at the Fringe to offer onward touring or TV and film adaptation opportunities.

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: “I am overjoyed – absolutely ecstatic! – to welcome everyone to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023! There are so many people who have worked so hard to get to this point, including artists, venues, staff and too many more to mention – I want to say a massive thank you to all of you, and hope you get a chance to enjoy this amazing thing you’ve created over the next three-and-a-bit weeks!

“The Fringe Society exists to support artists come to the Fringe and our team will be within the Fringe Central: Artist Hub throughout August with on the ground help and advice. There is a great programme of events taking place there, to support artists with their future career ambitions. For our Fringe audience, please fully jump into this wonderful festival with a mix of everything on offer, from established names to thousands of first time or emerging performers. I urge you now more than ever, to see shows, and then see even more! Get out there and Fill Yer Boots!”

Thumbnail photo credits, l-r: Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World (2022), Pleasance; Project Dictator (2022), Pleasance; Sugar? (2022), Greenside; Randy Feltface: Alien of Extraordinary Ability (2022), Assembly. Photographer: David Monteith-Hodge.