Every year, on 11 July, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe unites with more than 200 fringe festivals from around the globe to celebrate World Fringe Day. The day was established in 2017 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Fringe movement (which started, of course, right here in Edinburgh), and fringes from New Zealand to Hawaii take part.

This year we’re using World Fringe Day to highlight our commitment to openness and accessibility, and we’ve asked other fringes to share their stories and what this theme means to them on social media, connected by the #WorldFringeDay hashtag.

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Fringe Society, said:
“World Fringe Day is a celebration of global culture and the ties that bind us across borders. With over 200 fringe festivals across the world, the fringe concept has come a long way. We are looking forward to celebrating with our sister fringes and to highlight the importance of accessibility and inclusion in the performing arts. In an increasingly uncertain political climate, it has never been more important for the Fringe to exist as a platform for openness and freedom of expression. At the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, we are constantly working to improve access to the Fringe, with the aim of making the Fringe the most inclusive festival in the world for participants and audiences.”

As an open-access festival, the Fringe is not programmed or curated, and anyone with a story to tell and a venue to tell it in can take part. The Society is committed to removing barriers to participation and ensuring everyone is welcome at the festival, a key part of our long-term Fringe Blueprint. Initiatives this year include accessible stages and viewing areas at the Virgin Money Street Events on the Mound and the Royal Mile, BSL interpretation on the West Parliament Square Stage every Saturday of the Fringe, complimentary personal assistant tickets and an increased number of sensory backpacks for autistic children and adults.

On Saturday 13 July, we’re holding a disabled access day at the Fringe Shop on the High Street, so visitors can find out more about the services we offer to customers with access requirements. To give a flavour of the Fringe we’ll be hosting BSL-interpreted street performances, and our access bookings team will be on hand to explain their services and how to find accessible performance information on the Edinburgh Fringe website, as well as helping to book tickets on the day.

Find out more about our accessibility work