What to expect at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

It’ll be a wild ride, to say the least…

As the Edinburgh Festival Fringe celebrates its 70th birthday this year, hundreds of students will be heading up to perform in shows of all types; from musicals to comedy, to straight up drama, Edinburgh is the place to be this summer (and every summer, to be honest).

But what can you expect from Fringe if this is your first time visiting as a performer? Here are just some of the things you’ll experience at Fringe.


Flyering is THE worst.

What could be better than standing outside your venue, or worse – on the Royal Mile – for three hours plus, desperately begging bored passers-by to take the flyers for your show?

Answer: literally anything.

Anyone who has been to the Fringe before will tell you it’s the most soul-sucking part of the Edinburgh experience. You’ll start off the run having a laugh whilst flyering, but by the end of the month you’ll be internally cussing out every single person who walks past without taking a flyer.

You think we have the energy to reach for our phones whilst flyering in Edinburgh?!? Make do with UCL instead.


What is a ‘backstage’?

No seriously. What is it?

You can fit a surprising number of sleeping people into one bedroom.

Summer accommodation in Edinburgh is pricey, so how do student theatre groups manage to afford it each year?

The simple solution is to cram six students into each bedroom. Seriously, who cares if you sleep with your face in close proximity to your friend’s smelly feet on one side, and a chronic snorer on the other – you’re saving 300 quid.

The desperation to try a deep-fried Mars bar.

And the disappointment that follows. Seriously, they sound (semi) appealing in theory, but in reality, you just end up feeling like Aunt Marge in the Prisoner of Azkaban. If you really want to try something Scottish, go for a haggis instead. All the faux-Scottishness, with none of the regret (unless you’re a vegetarian…)

Some really great shows…

This one should probably go without saying, but I just had to mention it! There are so many shows on at the Fringe and a good number of them are free, so when you’re not sleeping, performing or flyering, make the most of your time in Edinburgh.

…And some not so great ones

Unfortunately, whilst much rarer, there are some really awful shows out there. Like, really awful. If you don’t believe that, try sitting through an hour of an amateur male standup pretending to be a ditzy air hostess and then get back to me.

Yeah, thought not.



The snazzy performer lanyard

It says Fringe on it!!! And you get a card with your name saying that you’re an official performer!!!


Some amazing friends

Who knew that living in such close proximity to those weirdos for a month would endear them to you so much?

Friends who Fringe together, stay together

The post-Fringe blues

Not technically something you’ll experience at the Fringe, but relevant nonetheless. After a brilliant month in Scotland’s capital, you’ll head back home with brilliant memories and hilarious stories for friends back home, but the most pressing thing on your mind will be how little you can wait for next year’s Fringe!

Performing back home just isn’t the same.

So, armed with these newfound expectations of the Fringe, head up to Edinburgh this August and have a blast!