Wednesday, August 9, 2006

The 60th Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the “world’s largest arts festival” opened on Sunday, August 6. It features more than 1,800 shows put on by 17,000 performers in 260 venues.

The Fringe now dominates the group of annual arts festivals that draw 750,000 visitors to Edinburgh every year, last year 1.3 million tickets were sold for Fringe shows. Anyone can register, pay a fee, find a venue and put on a show at the Fringe, famous for its quirky choice of venues – this year, they include a double-decker bus, a swimming pool, tree and a toilet; and “Hamlet” is being performed in a bouncy castle.

An estimated 160,000 people watched the Fringe Festival Cavalcade, a jamboree of more than 3000 marchers, which marks the launch of the Fringe.

Fringe director Gudgin urged audiences to be selective, saying that it would take five years, 11 months and 16 days to see all the shows back-to-back. The Festival is scheduled to end in August 28.

A recent Edinburgh City Council study concluded the Fringe brought more than £75m to the local economy each year. The festival’s job openings included rickshaw drivers, show announcers to shouts details of the impending show and tell the audience when it is time to take their seats, and collectors to pick up flyers that people throw away.


  • 1 Good opening
  • 2 Religious satire prominent
    • 2.1 Religion and politics mix
  • 3 Controversy over Churchill’s cigar
  • 4 Funding woes
    • 4.1 Fees go up
  • 5 External links
  • 6 Sources