The Fringe street events will be back in August 2024.
The Fringe street events are among the largest international gatherings of street performers anywhere, taking place throughout the festival and free for anyone to attend.
Each year, the historic Royal Mile and Mound Precinct are transformed into huge street performance playgrounds where hundreds of world-class street artists mix with thousands of festivalgoers, creating the most vibrant and visible event of Edinburgh’s summer.
This page is primarily for the use of street performers – find out more about attending the street events as an audience member.
First time at the street events?
Busker Anny Leigh has made a video of her experience as a first-time performer at the street events in 2022. It's full of useful hints and tips for prospective buskers – give it a watch:
Street events registration for 2024 will open next summer!
Registration to participate in the Fringe street events and opens in the months leading up to the festival (subject to confirmation of full funding and licensing). Registration for buskers and circle shows is free and remains open up to and throughout the Fringe.
Once registration opens, you'll be able to find links to the different online registration forms on this page. Which form you fill in depends on the kind of street performance you are looking to deliver, in addition to other relevant details such as any accessibility requirements. You will also be asked if your performance features any health and safety considerations and if so, you will be asked to confirm public liability insurance coverage.
If you have any questions about performing as part of the Fringe street events, please email our team on [email protected].
Please note: in order to prioritise core programme delivery for street artists in 2023, we had to take the decision to have no market stalls. We will continue to explore ways to bring back the market stalls for future Fringes.
How do I register to be part of the street events?
As part of registration, you will be asked to identify which street events category you fall into.
- Street performers (circle shows)
Street performers who perform within circles of people. They are capable of entertaining audiences for 45 minutes with a combination of circus skills and comedy. You should only register for these slots if you are an experienced street performer. Slots last 45 minutes and this includes all build and break time required.
We have two performance areas for buskers. The standard busking pitch is aimed at performers who can work within a small area, performing to passers-by. Slots last 30 minutes, with five minutes to introduce your act and 25 minutes to perform.
This competitive pitch on the Royal Mile is aimed at solo musicians with strong busking experience. Given the nature of the pitch, we recommend that you have at least two years' experience performing at the street events, with at least 50% original material (with no karaoke or pre-recorded tracks) and the ability to sell your records.
St James Quarter
If you're a musician looking for other performance opportunities in Edinburgh during August, St James Quarter have previously hosted a diverse music programme throughout the festival. Though the collection of money from audiences is not possible, these performances are paid.
- Festival favourites and balloon artists
Artists and performers providing fun festival experiences on the street, such as portrait artists, henna tattooists, balloonists, etc. All festival favourites will be programmed on the Royal Mile (close to the City Chambers) and the Mound.
- Finale shows
If you have something too big and noisy for our regular busking or Fringe stages, you can register to be a finale show. Finale shows happen at the end of each day between 18:00 and 19:00 at the Mound. In the past we’ve had marching bands, huge choirs, drumming groups, brass bands and more. If you’d like more information on whether your performance would be a good fit for this kind of slot, email our team on [email protected].
- Living statues
Mime artists who pose as statues, sometimes with realistic, statue-like make-up. We require a level of experience in this category, and spaces for this are limited, so please submit your application as soon as possible.
Can registered Fringe artists perform on the street events?
Every year, as part of the outdoor street events programme, registered artists have the chance to perform an excerpt of their show to Fringe audiences on an outdoor stage, which in 2023 was located on the Mound. These 20-minute performance slots give you a chance to promote to audiences on the street and encourage them to attend your full show.
If you have any questions about the taster stage, please get in touch on [email protected].
How do the street events work?
Please note: the information below pertains to Fringe 2023, and may be subject to change in 2024. We will update this page once details for 2024 are confirmed; in the meantime, please regard the following information only as a guideline.
There are eight spaces for buskers and circle show performers in 2023, running continuously from 11:00 – 19:00 at the Mound and on the High Street.
Slots last 30 minutes for buskers and 45 minutes for circle shows. Your slot is timed from the moment the pitch is available to when you and all your kit is out of the area.
Performances are scheduled by a draw at the start of each day (see more information on the draw below), with the daily schedule published online by noon. There are also schedule boards at each performance area listing the shows happening that day, plus a large-scale map to guide audiences through the different areas. When registering, don’t forget to add your social media accounts – we often get queries from audience members looking for more info on the performances they saw that day!
Where can I perform?
We are currently working with the City of Edinburgh Council to finalise the overall street events footprint; so far we can confirm the following:
- Circle pitches
Mercat Cross, West Parliament Square, Mid High on the High street and the Mound.
- Variety busker pitches
St Giles Cathedral, Low Mid High and St Giles Street.
All slots are programmed daily by a draw system to allot performers with a time and a pitch.
Performers meet before 10:00 every morning at Parliament Square to put their passes in the hat ready for the draw at 10:00. These are then pulled out at random: the first performer drawn given first choice of the available time slots and locations, the second performer drawn is given second choice, and so on. If there are slots remaining, they will be allocated by going back up the list of names in reverse order from which they were drawn.
Joint Edinburgh Fringe Street Events Charter
The Street Performer Charter, published in 2022, outlines a set of values shared by the Fringe Society and the street performing community, as represented by the Street Performers' Council. The Charter, which includes commitments from the Fringe Society and street performers, will facilitate fair, open decision making between the two groups. Among its various commitments, the Charter works towards increasing accessibility of street events, taking social responsibility for pay, sustainability goals, and improving health, safety and mental wellbeing among street performers.
Fringe Connect is our social network and events space that will be home for artists and arts industry professionals. Street performers are welcome to set up a profile, explore the opportunities section which houses performance opportunities, discounts and more, and attend discussion and networking events.
You will also be able to search for, reach out to and connect with other artists and industry professionals for onward opportunities and connections.
As well connecting with other members of the Fringe community on Fringe Connect, there also a few performer groups on social media (such as the Edinburgh Fringe Performers Forum on Facebook) where you can link up with other artists and performers to ask for advice and guidance from peers.
Can I use Zettle or another payment service to take card donations?
Can I run a food stall at the street events?
Should I do a circle show or a busking spot?
Can I do a circle show and busk?
What kind of accessibility requirements should I let you know about?
What is public liability insurance and where do I get it?
Will there be storage on the Royal Mile for my performance equipment?
Will the Fringe Society be running the stewarding, staffing and security for the event?
Can I be a Fringe show and perform on the street?
Get in touch
If you have general questions about participating in the street events please or contact our street events team on [email protected].