Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe - The Crème de la Crème of Performing Arts in Scotland

Up next on our virtual adventure in Scotland is a look at one of their most well-known and popular arts festival – the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Recognized now as the largest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Fringe has taken place every August since 1947. Every year thousands of performers from all over the world make their way to Edinburgh to share their stories and theatrical passion with a captive local and international audience. The Fringe attracts all sorts of artists; from big name artists to up-and-coming performers and students – you’re sure to have a wide variety of experience and education. That’s what makes the Edinburgh Festival Fringe so exciting!

via Flickr by Martie Swart
To think that this all started in 1947 when a small handful of uninvited theatre groups showed up to the first Edinburgh International Festival. These groups didn’t let their lack of invitations put a damper on their spirit – they took advantage of their captive audience and performed on the “fringe of the festival.” By 1958 these fringe performances had become so popular that the Festival Fringe Society was created; however, despite becoming more established and constitutionalized the festival continued to be a completely unjuried festival. This means that any performer or performing troupe that has art to share and a venue to house their performances can attend and be recognized on the Fringe programme.

via Flickr by Bob the Lomond
Many rising stars and notable play premières are woven into the history of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s history. For example, a number of the Monty Python team appeared in student productions at the festival, as well as actors such as Rowan Atkinson, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie!

For three weeks the festival is home to a blur of performance genres; from theatre to children’s shows and everything in between, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe offers something for absolutely every audience member...and then a little more! During the 2014 season Fringe announced that over the course of the 25-day festival there were 49,497 performances of 3,193 shows in 299 venues across the city. An audience member can attend performances all day if they so choose!

This year the festival will take place from August 7th to 31st...are you going?