The Fringe street events will go ahead in 2021, though at a much smaller scale than previously and with new guidelines so audiences and performers can enjoy the events safely. 

To enable any activity to take place, the following guidelines have been developed in close collaboration between the Fringe Society, Scottish Government clinicians, the City of Edinburgh Council and representatives from the street performer community.

  • Circle-style events and shows will take place in a purpose-built arena designed to offer maximum visibility, allowing audiences to connect with performers while also observing social distancing guidelines and other covid legislation. 
  • There will be a reduced number of pitches for circle shows, buskers and living statues, and market stalls will not go ahead in 2021. 
  • The High Street remains pedestrianised from Cockburn Street to George IV Bridge, but performance areas along the roadway will not be possible this year. 
  • Pitches at West Parliament Square, Mercat Cross and along the Royal Mile side of St Giles’ Cathedral will remain in place. 
  • There will also be a fixed busker pitch on the Mound precinct.

We will continue to work with everyone involved – particularly performers – to make sure this year’s infrastructure and guidelines cause as little disruption as possible. It’s worth remembering that, while these guidelines are mandatory, they are a temporary measure for this year in response to the pandemic and anticipated audience numbers in August, and we hope to return to a more familiar street events setup in 2022 and beyond. 

As the Fringe starts to take shape in this strange year, we expect a lot will change and evolve, and we welcome your feedback and direct communication to ensure we’re meeting your needs, as well as the requirements of public safety, as much as possible. We’d like to thank those of you in the street performer community who have offered advice and feedback so far and look forward to working with you to make the most of 2021 and come back fully in 2022.  

Please use this form if you'd like to register as one of the following performance types (more information below):

  • Street performer
  • Busker
  • Festival services and balloon artists

Register for the 2021 street events

If you would like to register as a portrait artist, caricaturist or piper, please email [email protected].

As part of registration, you will be asked to identify which of the following street events categories you fall into.

  • Buskers 
    Performers who are able to 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.

  • 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.

  • Living statues 
    Mime artists who pose as statues, sometimes with realistic, statue-like make-up. We require a level of experience in this category.

  • Portrait artists / caricaturists 
    The performers set up close to City Chambers and draw / paint paying customers.

  • Pipers (bagpipes) 
    We have limited spaces and time slots for pipers, as these instruments are loud, but we do accept some applications.

  • Festival services and balloon artists 
    We have limited slots for some services such as hair braiding, face painting, henna artists, balloon modelling, palm reading, massage, etc. These are not trading spots so you cannot sell products for customers to take away. We have spaces for experienced and professional providers in this category.

If you have general questions about participating in the Street Events please or contact our Street Events team on [email protected].