Celebrations are taking place all over the world today to mark the first ever World Fringe Day. Events will be taking place across continents as fringes come together to celebrate 70 years of the fringe movement and pay tribute to Edinburgh as the birthplace of the fringe concept. Coverage from around the world will be appearing on the World Fringe Day website throughout the day.

In Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society will be thanking the people of Edinburgh for hosting the Fringe for the last 70 years. Fringe Society staff will visit 26 charities across the city, gifting Fringe days out to families and individuals in partnership with Lothian Buses. Gift recipients will be given Fringe Box Office vouchers along with Lothian bus day tickets that will enable them to experience the Fringe for free. The Fringe Bus will also be travelling around Edinburgh with Forth 1 presenter Micky Gavin, who will be gifting ‘Random Acts of Fringe-ness’ to members of the public.

Fringe Society staff gifting Fringe days out at WHALE Arts. Photo credit: Stewart Attwood.

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

“World Fringe Day is a rare opportunity for a truly international celebration of creativity, transcending national boundaries and demonstrating the power of arts and culture to bring people together. Events will be taking place all over the world today, and here in Edinburgh we are focussing on saying thank you to the city and people of Edinburgh for supporting the Fringe over the last 70 years. We have lots of surprises planned for the day and are delighted that, in partnership with Lothian Buses, we are able to gift Fringe days out to families and individuals around Edinburgh via 26 fantastic charities working across the city. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society works to improve access to the Fringe wherever possible with the aim of making the Fringe the most inclusive festival in the world and we hope that these days out will give people an opportunity to see what is on offer and be part of the Fringe in its 70th anniversary year.”

Gaynor Marshall, Communications Director for Lothian Buses, said:

“We are delighted to be supporting the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society on this World Fringe Day celebration, which will give people from all over Edinburgh an opportunity to enjoy all that the Fringe has to offer. Our partnership will enable lots of families and individuals to travel to and from Fringe venues across the city, at no cost to themselves, allowing them to enjoy the spectacular sights and sounds and all that Edinburgh has to offer throughout August.”

Fringe days out will be gifted to charities throughout Edinburgh including Canongate Youth, Lothian Autistic Society, Pilmeny Youth Centre, Sikh Sanjog, The Broomhouse Centre, 6VT Youth Café and WHALE Arts Agency.

Kate Griffin, Learning and Participation Manager, WHALE Arts Agency said:

“We are thrilled to receive Fringe days out as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society’s World Fringe Day celebrations and look forward to sharing these out amongst families and individuals in the Wester Hailes area. The logistics of planning a day out at the Fringe can be daunting, not just financially, but also in terms of navigating the Fringe programme and deciding what to go and see. The Fringe Box Office vouchers and bus tickets provided will remove the financial pressures that can be associated with a day out, enabling people to focus on how they want to spend their day at the Fringe and what they’d like to go and see.”

Fiona Horne, Operations Manager from 6VT Youth Café said:

“As a city-centre based charity we are always aware of the Fringe festivities taking place around us in August. However, we work with young people from across Edinburgh from a wide mix of backgrounds, many of whom have never had a chance to experience the Fringe first hand. We are delighted that the box office vouchers and bus tickets gifted by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society for World Fringe Day will enable young people from all over Edinburgh to try the Fringe out, sampling shows and enjoying free activities on offer at the Fringe, without having to worry about ticket and travel costs.”

Elsewhere in the world, Adelaide Fringe will pay tribute to Edinburgh with a World Fringe Day Ceilidh; Shenandoah Fringe (Virginia, USA) will host a pots and pans parade of colour and confetti featuring live performances from ShenFringe favourites; National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa, will be posting World Fringe Day selfies from its festival closing ceremony; Edmonton International Fringe Festival Fringe will be holding a World Fringe Day party; and China’s Shenzhen Fringe will host a celebration of all things fringe to mark 70 years of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and eight years of the Shenzhen Fringe Festival. In the UK, Buxton Fringe is holding a series of World Fringe Day drop-in events at the historic Pump Room and in Morecambe, the Morecambe Fringe is previewing a selection of performers that will be appearing at their inaugural Fringe in September 2017.

World Fringe Day has been supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo70 fund through Creative Scotland and by EventScotland.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs for the Scottish Government said:

“World Fringe Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the global connections that Scotland has made through the arts. Edinburgh’s festivals are world renowned and it is remarkable to think that the fringe movement, that began here in 1947 with the founding of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, has developed into a worldwide network with fringes now taking place on every continent except Antarctica. The Scottish Government is proud to support World Fringe Day through our Edinburgh Festivals Expo70 fund, acknowledging Scotland as the home of fringe and joining with the many other wonderful fringe festivals around the world for an international day of celebration.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

“EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the inaugural World Fringe Day in the 70th anniversary year of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and Edinburgh is renowned as a world class festival city, with the Fringe a leading festival model that continues to be emulated across the globe with more than 200 fringes taking place around the world. Today is a day for fringes and fringe lovers to come together and celebrate all that is great about these amazing events. Scotland's Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is an ideal opportunity to celebrate the remarkable story of one of Scotland's signature events.”

Laura Mackenzie-Stuart, Head of Theatre at Creative Scotland, said:

“In 1947 six Scottish and two English companies unwittingly set in motion the phenomenon which has become today’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe and, thanks to its innovative principle of open access, donating to the world a format which has proved to be the launchpad for many a career.  70 years later Creative Scotland is delighted that the Edinburgh Fringe continues to connect artists living and working in Scotland to their global counterparts and with audiences world-wide.”

Photo: Tom Duffin

Fringe participants and audiences from around the world have been sharing their fringe stories on social media in the run up to World Fringe Day, recounting their favourite fringe days out, most moving performances and even their best fringe celebrity spots. Visit worldfringeday.com to see what’s happening across the world and share your own fringe experiences on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, using the #WorldFringeDay hashtag.

Notes to Editors

For further information please contact the Fringe Media Office. Email: [email protected], Tel: +44 (0) 131 240 1919

World Fringe Day

World Fringe Day is supported by £100,000 through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo70 fund through Creative Scotland.

For more information or to request images from today’s photocall, please contact the Fringe Media Office [email protected] / +44 (0)131 240 1919

Website: www.worldfringeday.com

Social: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube - @worldfringeday

Get involved: #WorldFringeDay #Fringe70

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.


EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org. Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews.

EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see www.visitscotland.org or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see www.visitscotland.com.

2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology

  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017.  It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. 
  • For more information visit visitscotland.com/HHA2017 or join the conversation at #HHA2017