Taking place across three weeks in August since 1947, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is an expression of creative freedom. It is an open-access festival, meaning anyone with a story to tell and a venue to host them can come and present their work.

The Fringe is an unparalleled focal point of creativity and performance for artists and arts industry professionals across the globe. In 2023, more than 3,500 shows took place in over 280 venues, with nearly 25,000 performers from 65 nations represented.

Offstage, more than 1,400 arts industry professionals came to see and book work and to meet  each other. This makes the festival a melting pot for intercultural dialogue, exchange of  ideas, making new contacts and seeing ground-breaking work. With shows starting from as early as 10am to as late as 3am in the morning, it is a completely unique international marketplace for performing arts professionals and artists.

There’s no other place like Edinburgh. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned veteran, finding your way around the city during the festival can be made easier with our guide to visiting Edinburgh. There you can find out more about different modes of transportation within the city, specific walking routes and safety information.

The city hosts 11 festivals at the same time in August, attracting artists, audiences and industry, so finding accommodation can be a daunting and time-consuming task. It also constitutes a big part of most budgets. We recommend you start looking at accommodation as early as possible. 

Edinburgh is a medieval town which often means limited access to certain areas or spaces. And while the busy streets of festival-goers and performers make for a festive and energetic atmosphere, the hectic pace and crowded spaces can also be an overwhelming experience at times. Our website has information on our accessibility services, including our access ticketing service for accessible ticketing requirements and enquiries, as well as information about individual Fringe venues and their accessibility.

Please note, our venue access information has been provided by venues at the point of registration. This means that sometimes the information may not have been updated; the best way to find up-to-date access information is to visit venues’ own websites.

Any questions? The Arts Industry Office is available all year round – you can get in touch with us on [email protected] or call +44 (0) 131 240 1902.

If you are coming to Edinburgh from abroad, please ensure you are aware of the specific rules for visiting the UK. Visit gov.uk/uk-border-control for general information on entering the UK.

The visa requirements of your trip will depend on your circumstances and the circumstances of your work at the festival. To confirm what the visa requirements will be, you should contact the UK visa and immigration office.

From big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the Edinburgh Fringe is a platform for performers of every stripe.

The programme is broken into categories including theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children's shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events.

You can browse all shows at this year's festival on our ticketing site, which is optimised to work on smartphones and mobile devices.

There's also the official EdFringe app, which will be available to download ahead of the festival. The app includes many navigational features which support audiences in exploring the wealth of performance available at the Fringe. Users can view and search full programme listings, book tickets on the go and use a ‘nearby now’ function to find shows starting soon that are close to their location. As the Fringe is fully e-ticketed, e-ticket QR codes are stored in the app’s planner area and can be seamlessly integrated with users’ day-by-day show schedules.

Need help navigating the shows? If you are accredited with the Arts Industry Office you can request a bespoke list of shows from our team (email [email protected]). You can also access more specific advice and programme recommendations from venues and Industry Associates who are seeing shows; these experts are on hand to support delegates in advance of and throughout the festival.  

The festival as a whole is not curated and each venue operator is responsible for its own programming of shows and operations. Some venues take a more active approach in their programme curation, while others have an open-door style.

In line with the open-access ethos at the core of the festival, any space can be used for performance. In addition to the larger venue operators inhabiting theatre spaces and university buildings, each August a multitude of temporary venues pop up across the city, ranging from site-specific locations such as sheds and taxi cabs to unused basement spaces in bars and restaurants.

The Fringe Society provides a venue map with the location of all Fringe venues and an alphabetical index of all venues, including their access information.

The Arts Industry Office exists to offer guidance and assistance to industry professionals at the festival, supporting you to find shows, connect with artists and meet with other arts industry professionals for conversation and potential future collaboration. We’re here to help you make the most of your festival experience. Accrediting with us will give you access to a range of tailored services designed to help you make the most of your time at the festival.

Find out more about arts industry services