Booking for the Edinburgh Festival?
Here’s an admission. I’ve never been to the Edinburgh Fringe. Or Glastonbury for that matter. Not very cool of me but *sigh* here you go. Whilst nothing will ever ever ever induce me to don wellies and carry wet wipes around all weekend at Glasto, I do have pangs of guilt and remorse at having never been to the Festival. I’m not sure why I’ve never made the pilgrimage really, because I love anything arty and theatrey (hey don’t judge, that’s an official word on Muddy Stilettos).
Anyway, the valiant Debbie who edits Muddy Stilettos Sussex is the opposite to me – a total Edinburgh Fringe Festival pleasure seeker. What she doesn’t know about what to do when, where and how isn’t worth knowing. So in case any of you are planning to go this year (the dates run from 5-24 Aug), or like me are totally green and need some advice, here are her tips for saving a few quid, finding the right accommodation and helping with availability for the Festival Fringe this summer.
Save on the first week
The first week shows are often as much as half the price they are at the height of the Fringe. They’ve yet to be reviewed so the acts reward you for taking a punt, and hopefully boosting attendance by your own word-of-mouth recommendations.
Saturdays and Sundays are busier as locals turn out on their days off and tourists save their annual leave by straddling their break over a weekend. Ticket prices rise with attendance levels, so Saturday, Sunday and often Friday too are pricier. (You might also want to avoid Friday and Saturday nights for more popular shows to avoid stag and hen parties).
Even established names usually follow the early-bird and weekday rule – for instance, tickets for comedy TV panel show regular Susan Calman are two-for-£14 on her first weekday show, but from that point onwards her weekday tickets are £12 each, and weekend tickets £14 each.
Take children on the last week
If you have a family, bear in mind that the Scottish schools go back a week early. That means you’ve more chance or getting your bums on seats in the most popular kids’ shows in the final week of the Festival.
Location, Location, Location
Edinburgh is fairly compact and you’ll burn a lot of calories plodding the streets during the festival. However a surprisingly lack of late night buses and taxis means you can’t always guarantee a ride back from your last gig, so try for digs that you can walk to if needs be. On the other hand if everywhere is booked up and you aren’t worried about doing the late shows, remember anywhere with a train route into Waverley station or on the bus or (much derided) tram routes will be OK.
A lot of established acts do Edinburgh warm-ups in cities around the country at discount prices. From Spring onwards check out your local comedy club to see if they are hosting any preview nights.