Edinburgh Festival Fringe

180 High Street Edinburgh EH1 1QS

This is what most people think of as the Edinburgh Festival, although it started out as merely the 'fringe' of the official International Festival. Its size is mind-blowing: for three or so weeks in August, every available performance space, from church halls to dank basements, are put to use by comedians, theatre groups, dance acts, artists and rank amateurs – while some Fringe shows are highly professional set-ups, there's no restrictions on participation. The numbers are phenomenal: around 1500 shows take place each day across 200 different venues around the city, virtually around-the-clock, and small industries are built on the event, from leaflet printers to review websites. Some mega-venues stand out for hosting star names and a broad range of decent-quality material, among them the Pleasance, Assembly and Guilded Balloon.

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