We're delighted to announce the return of Fringe Days Out, our flagship community engagement programme. Fringe Days Out involves partnerships with 37 schools, community groups, charities and organisations around Edinburgh, and provides Fringe vouchers, bus tickets and additional support to help local communities engage with the festival.

We provide our partner organisations with free ticket vouchers for the Fringe and transport passes, so that cost is not a barrier to engagement with the Fringe. Since Fringe Days Out began in 2017, over 16,000 Fringe visits have been through Fringe Days Out at the festival.

We work with a broad range of individuals and groups including young people, single parents, isolated elderly people, disabled people, ethnic minority communities, refugees and asylum seekers, LGBTQIA+ people and many more. In the last year, four new groups have joined:

  • The Ripple Project, who work to tackle poverty and inequality by responding to local priorities, circumstances and needs in a sustainable way by helping the people of Restalrig, Lochend and Craigentinny to help themselves.
  • Strange Town is a Leith-based theatre company that connects young people with theatre through after-school drama clubs and touring productions in local schools, and bursaries for classes.
  • Valley Park Community Centre serves Burdiehouse and neighbouring communities with classes and a café.
  • Edinburgh Cares offers support for care-experienced students, estranged students and student carers at Edinburgh University.

All the groups we work with are trusted in their communities and have formed close relationships with their members. These relationships are crucial to the success of Fringe Days Out. By having open conversations with people they know and trust, participants can feel encouraged to take more risks in whether they choose to go to the Fringe and what they choose to see. These conversations also help us better understand what we can do to open doors and enable communities to celebrate the arts, culture and creativity on their own terms.

The Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh and Fringe Ambassador, Robert Aldridge, said: “It’s fantastic to see Fringe Days Out returning for 2024. It’s really important that all our residents and communities are able to enjoy our festivals regardless of their economic background.

“I have no doubt that this year’s edition will be a great success and I look forward to seeing the programme in action.”

Lyndsey Jackson, Deputy Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: “Fringe Days Out is a real privilege to deliver and a joy to relaunch for 2024. It is vitally important to the Fringe Society to ensure Edinburgh’s communities get to enjoy the Fringe, seeing work that they want to see. Since 2017 we've focused on breaking down the barriers for residents and communities to attend and Fringe Days Out is a wonderful example of how of collaboration, co-design and community can come together to celebrate this amazing festival with the many communities of Edinburgh.”

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Thumbnail photo credit: Zinnia Oberski (2024). Photographer: Lesley Martin.