The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival and it brings the streets of Edinburgh to life each August. Running for three and a half weeks every year, it showcases a huge variety of talented, often undiscovered, performers and groups. As the Fringe is an open access arts festival, there is no jury to select artists or impose a theme upon the event so there is something for everyone. This creates an unrivalled hub of creativity and variety. If you’re looking for a little music, it’s there, if you want dance, it’s there too, if you want something a bit unique then pay a visit to the world’s largest street festival, the circus or check out some physical theatre, if you’re wanting Shakespeare, they’ve got that (you can even see it performed by drunk actors, and if you want comedy? Oh yeah; comedy is everywhere.
The Fringe began in 1947 when eight theatre companies came, uninvited, to participate in the Edinburgh International Festival. They had planned to take the change to showcase their alternative theatre to the city that had assembled for the International Festival. Little did they know that they were creating a whole new festival! It wasn’t until 1955 that an official booking centre was introduced, but since then Edinburgh hasn’t looked back: last year saw a staggering 49,497 performances and over 2 million tickets sold.
To a performer, this audience is crucial. The festival is essentially one big showcase for many artists hoping to get their first break because agents, journalists, other performers and very well respected companies relocate from London to Edinburgh for a few very hectic weeks of talent scouting. This means that young performers are everywhere in the Fringe, and Young Perspective will be looking at as many of them as possible over the next few weeks with written reviews, interviews and video features. Stay tuned.
Image credit: Phil Richards – philwirks, flickr.