On Saturday 23 July 2022, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, WHALE Arts and SCOREscotland in Wester Hailes jointly hosted Fringe at WHALE Arts, a free family fun day where local families could experience a taste of the Fringe. 

The event included a bubble and balloon artist, chalk painting, a juggling jester, face painting, Fringe badgemaking and drawing, a sword-swallowing street performer and a lunch prepared in-house. 

We also brought our mobile Fringe box office so people could book shows using their Fringe Days Out vouchers, or get help with planning for and exploring the Fringe. A group of young people from SCOREscotland volunteered and did excellent work to ensure the event ran smoothly on the day.

More than 140 people attended throughout the day, with a few sharing their experience: 

"I loved the balloons, sword swallowing, face painting and food. It was amazing!" (Adult participant) 

"I really enjoyed seeing members of our community get together and spend time in a fun and relaxed environment, especially after covid where these opportunities have been few and far between. I am proud of our young people who volunteered today and made the day a success. We also managed to agree on which Fringe shows to see this August, so it was a full-on Fringe day!" (Jennifer Ba, staff at SCOREscotland) 

"A fantastic spectacle of fun, danger and excitement – we loved the sword-swallowing street performer and giant bubbles! It was a brilliant opportunity for us to experience the Fringe and to feel included in what the city has to offer." (Kate Griffin, staff at WHALE Arts) 

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Fringe Society, said: "We’re delighted to have worked with WHALE Arts and SCOREscotland to take a little piece of the Fringe to Wester Hailles last weekend. The Fringe belongs to everyone in Edinburgh – and we’re proud to share its many wonders beyond the city centre.    

"At the heart of the Fringe is the idea that everyone is welcome. Through our Fringe Days Out scheme, we’re working closely with 33 community organisations – like WHALE Arts and SCOREscotland – to ensure that as many people as possible can experience the joys of the Fringe. We are committed to growing the scheme over the next few years and to working hand in hand with communities across Edinburgh to break down barriers to the Fringe and the performing arts. 

"In the next five years we aim to increase Fringe Days Out to £150,000 so that we can work closely with even more groups to experience the Fringe."

The Fringe Society would like to thank WHALE Arts ‘Pod Press’ for the excellent artwork and printing of posters and flyers. 


Photography credit: Lesley Martin