02 February, 2017

The first shows for the 70th anniversary edition of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe were released today, Thursday 02 February. Tickets can be purchased on edfringe.com, with more shows being released over the next four months, before the full Fringe programme is announced on 07 June.

To celebrate the start of the countdown to the 2017 Fringe, well known faces from the world of music, stage and screen, have explained what the Fringe means to them in a new short film. The film includes contributions from comedians Rory Bremner, Susan Calman and Daniel Sloss, actresses Cora Bissett, Annette O’Toole, and Mary Lynn-Rajskub, and Fringe stalwarts Arthur Smith, Mark Thomas and Nicholas Parsons.


Sharing their thoughts on the Fringe, Susan Calman said “for a comedian, the Fringe is like Christmas. We plan our entire year around it”, while Arthur Smith branded the Fringe “a playground of the imagination”, and TV and Radio presenter Nicholas Parsons, who attended the inaugural Fringe in 1947, said “it’s a joy to be part of it, I just love it.”

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

2017 promises to be one of the most exciting years in the history of the Fringe as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of this amazing festival and 70 years of Edinburgh as a world-renowned festival city. To kick off our 70th celebrations we asked some familiar faces to tell us what the Fringe means to them. It’s great to hear from a broad range of performers, writers and producers, whose experiences at the Fringe have shaped, enhanced, or inspired their careers. The Fringe continues to provide the world’s largest platform for artistic freedom, attracting artists and audiences from all over the world, who come together every year for a truly international celebration of arts and culture. We are looking forward to unveiling further plans for the Fringe’s 70th anniversary celebrations over the coming months.”

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society published their 2016 Annual Review this week, reporting on the success of the 2016 Fringe which featured 50,266 performances of 3,269 shows in 294 venues across Edinburgh. An estimated 2,475,143 tickets were issued at the 2016 Fringe, representing a 7.7%increase in comparison to tickets issued at the 2015 Fringe.

Download the 2016 Annual Review

The 2017 Fringe will run from 04 – 28 August 2017.


Notes to editors

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

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, the charity that underpins the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was established in 1958, eleven years after the birth of the Fringe in 1947, when the first performers turned up uninvited to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival. The Fringe is an open access festival – any artist or company can take part regardless of their experience or success and the festival is not programmed or run by an artistic director or any selection body. As a registered charity, the Fringe Society exists to support all participants, industry professionals, media and audience members who attend the Fringe from all around the world, and to produce accurate and up-to-date information and ticketing for audiences, and to raise the profile of the festival as a whole.

Fringe 2017 ticket release dates

To allow our audiences to plan their trips and book their tickets as early as possible, we begin releasing tickets for some shows through our website early in the year. All shows that register for the Festival Fringe are given the option of early release through the Fringe Box Office, so the number of shows available for early ticket purchase depends entirely on the preference of the participating companies. As shows continue to register, the number of shows available online will continue to grow as we approach our programme launch.

2017 release dates

02 February
02 March
23 March
20 April
11 May
25 May
07 June (Full 2017 programme launch)

After the full 2017 programme launch, you also buy tickets by phone through our ticket booking line on +44 (0)131 226 0000 or in person over the counter at 180 High Street, Edinburgh.

Fringe Programme

The official 2017 Fringe Programme will be released on Wednesday 07 June. As part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s 70th anniversary celebrations, school pupils in Scotland will provide the inspiration for the 2017 Fringe Programme cover via the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Schools Poster Competition. Winning competition entries selected from three age categories will provide the inspiration for three individual cover designs for the 2017 Fringe Programme.