How to survive your first Edinburgh Fringe experience

Last year, I took a long train journey up to Scotland with my dear friend Rob, and experienced my first ever Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Life has not been the same since. 

What ensued was not-quite-a-week’s-worth of mayhem, fun, inspiration and madness. Sadly, I am not returning this year, but I’ve got my eyes on booking a trip for 2018 already. Plenty of time to plan my return!

Honestly, I still think about it every day.

Meanwhile, The Edinburgh Fringe 2017 is just beginning.

Maybe, like me, you’re heading up there for the first time. Perhaps you’re a little nervous, and not sure what to expect.

If it’s all a little daunting for you, I hope I can help! Here’s a little list of tips and tricks to remember when you head up to Scotland’s wonderful capital. Some of these are from me, and some of these are from a couple of close friends who are Fringe Veterans themselves (thank you Rob and Robin!)

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Twelve tips to help you get the most out of your first Edinburgh Fringe Festival experience

  1. Plan ahead a little, and get a schedule in your phone. It’s exciting to have a timetable together and anticipate your next show! However…
  2. …leave space for spontaneity. Head up the Royal Mile and see what’s going on. Turn up to a box office and ask for a ticket to see whatever’s on next. You never know what you’ll stumble upon!
  3. See what’s on when you get to the venue. Popular acts will sell out, but there may be some last-minute tickets released just before the show – so it’s worth asking!
  4. It may be August, but this is Scotland we’re talking about. Pack shorts and a waterproof.
  5. Make sure you take time to stop, eat, and refuel. Try and grab some fresh food, and SLEEP. Self care is important, and you can easily burn out.
  6. There’s a half-price hut for on-the-day bargains. Go there.
  7. This is the one time it’s ok to talk to as many strangers as possible. You might hear about a fun show, or event, or meet some new friends! You might just make their day, too.
  8. It’s ok to take time out. It can be an overwhelming experience; take time to explore the city, sleep in, climb Arthur’s Seat, or just have coffee and people watch. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to see a show every minute of every day.
  9. Take time to check out the Free Fringe. There are some true gems.
  10. You will probably see something crap. There’s always a bit of a risk, so don’t be disheartened if you end up watching something you don’t enjoy. That’s all part of it. The good stuff more than makes up for it, anyway.
  11. Ask friends for advice and recommendations. If they have the same tastes as you, it’s the best way to find a good show.
  12. Keep your ticket stubs, and make a list of everything you see. You’ll want to remember everything.

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